The package of thin-sliced chicken breasts that has been sitting in your refrigerator for days needs to be either cooked or tossed. But coming up with a recipe that'll bring out the taste of the chicken without smothering it in a sauce mystifies you. And you know that just plopping the breasts into a skillet makes them turn into shoe leather. What's a person to do? First, don't fret! Thin cut chicken breast recipes are not only tasty, they're easy, creative and leave you satisfied. Hungry for a specific taste? Incorporate special seasonings into your recipe, and your chicken breast slices make a stellar meal.
Chicken – Meet Your Maker
Boneless and thin sliced chicken breasts need the help of good seasonings, slow cooking and a coating that'll give a nice crunch without overpowering the chicken. The delicate, thin slices don't stand much of a chance on their own. Low in fat, high in protein, when prepared correctly, they'll soon be a frequent visitor to your table.
Thin Chicken Breast Coatings
If you've ever seared thin-sliced chicken breasts on their own, you'll have discovered that unless you brown them to death, their color is so pale as to be unappetizing. That's where the coating comes in. Flour not only adds heft to your chicken, it helps during the browning process and gives it the crispy crunch your mouth enjoys.
Flour is the go-to coating for thin chicken breasts. You can use, not only all-purpose flour, but whole wheat, rice, gluten-free, corn and potato starch flours as well. And if you have a bag of almond flour in the pantry, it'll give your chicken a "South Seas" crunch. Each type of flour gives a different taste, but none overwhelms the chicken.
From Coating to the Pan
Once you've brought your chicken breasts to room temperature and towel-dried them, they're ready to be coated. In a large bowl, mix the flour and any seasonings you want to include. Garlic powder, salt, pepper, red chili flakes, chopped cilantro, and French or Italian seasonings add personality. Just don't use freshly chopped garlic – it'll burn during the sauteing process and give your chicken a bitter taste.
Gently place the pieces into the bowl, one by one, and cover them completely. Shake them out and place them on a kitchen towel or paper towel until all are ready for the skillet.
Sauteing the Chicken Breasts
Pour olive oil into a skillet and heat until the oil is wavy. One by one, add the chicken pieces and wait for them to sizzle. Each piece should take no longer than 5 minutes on each side to get the color you want and to be fully cooked. A meat thermometer reading 165 degrees Fahrenheit tells you when they're ready for dinner.
In less than 15 minutes, you've taken those wimpy pieces of chicken breast and turned them into golden nuggets. Spray a little lemon juice on top or serve with a dip of Thai chili sauce to ratchet up your meal.
Cooking in the Oven
Thin cut chicken breasts can also be prepared in the oven. Lightly oil a shallow roasting pan and heat the pan for 5 minutes at 350F. Lay the chicken pieces, either floured or just seasoned, into the oil, cover the pan, and let the chicken cook until it reaches 170F on your meat thermometer, or for about 25 minutes.
Turn on the Grill
Grilling also works when cooking thin sliced chicken breasts. Just keep them at least 6–8 inches from the heat source and oil the grill slats just before placing the meat over the fire. Turn the pieces several times and slather your favorite flavoring sauce as they cook. Remove when the internal temperature reaches 170F. This should take anywhere between 10–20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the slices.