Chicken breasts are a tasty and easy-to-cook portion of meat. You can prepare a healthy meal with chicken breasts, as they are low-fat. However, the lack of fat can give the breasts a dry, rubbery texture. There are several preparation techniques you can combine to ensure your chicken breasts retain moisture and are tender and juicy once cooked.
Things You'll Need
Brine the chicken breasts before cooking. Soak the breasts overnight in a salt solution and place in the refrigerator. Add 1/2 cup of sea salt for every gallon of water. Drain the water and pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels. The breasts absorb the brine and will retain moisture when cooked.
Add oil to the chicken breasts when marinating. Mix olive oil, or any cooking oil, along with marinade ingredients of your choice such as herbs and spices. Oil keeps the meat moist and prevents it from drying out. Use a 2:1 ratio of oil with the other marinade ingredients. Marinate the chicken breasts and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours prior to cooking.
Use moist-heat techniques to cook the chicken breasts. Poach the chicken breasts or cook them on low heat with the lid on to help retain the moisture and flavor.
Wrap the chicken breasts in aluminum foil while baking. The foil will seal the moisture in and prevent the chicken breasts from drying out.
Retain the skin of the chicken breast while roasting to prevent the meat from drying. Discard the skin, if desired, once the breasts have cooked.
References and ResourcesThe Kitchn; Tender And Juicy: 3 Ways To Cook A Perfect Chicken Breast; Emma Christensen; June 2010
BBC; Chicken Breast Recipes; Gino D'Acampo
Kalyn's Kitchen; How To Make Juicy Grilled Chicken Breasts That Are Perfect Every Time; May 2007
ResourcesCooking For Engineers: Brining; Michael Chu
O Chef: How To Keep Chicken Moist