Reality Check. I have a huge fear of undercooked chicken and therefore still never trust the method fully – I generally wait and extra one or two minutes cooking the chicken on low and again with no heat (for a total of 22 to 24 minutes) and they still turn out perfectly moist. But even after cooking them this way 10 times or more, I always think to myself “there’s no way this is going to work.” But it does!
Cooking Chicken Breasts on the Stovetop: Foolproof Method
1. Flatten the chicken breasts. Using fresh or fully thawed chicken breasts, pound to an even thickness. I like to cover with parchment paper to contain any splatter and make for easy cleanup. For pounding I use the bottom of a mason jar.
2. Season the chicken breasts. You can use anything here – from simple salt and pepper to fresh herbs. For this version I used Byerly’s packaged Signature Chicken Seasoning (link here).
3. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat until quite hot – swirl oil to cover pan.
4. Turn down the heat to medium and add the chicken. Cook for one minute without moving. This should just lightly cook the chicken on one side. The third picture shows the desired result. You do not want to sear or brown the chicken.
5. Flip the chicken breasts over and season the other side if desired.
6. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid, turn the temperature to low and cook for 10 minutes. Set a timer. Important: do NOT lift the lid – no peeking! (This cooking method requires trust.)
7. After ten minutes have passed (I have cooked for one to two minutes longer, and the method still works beautifully) turn off the heat and let sit, covered (again, no peeking!), for an additional ten minutes – set your timer again. If you have an electric stove, move off of the heat source.
8. After the ten minutes in step 7 above have passed, your chicken is done! Make sure there is no pink by slicing into the largest part of the chicken or by using an instant-read thermometer to see that the chicken is at least 165 degrees.