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#1 Tue 09 Oct 07 2:20pm

cloetzu

Member
Member since Fri 28 Sep 07

The basics: How to cook chicken breasts

I was hoping someone here could help me with a very basic question - how long do you cook chicken breasts for and how do you cook to keep them WHITE? I know you can use a meat thermometer to check doneness but I find that painfull to do - don't ask ...

I was at a party this past weekend that was catered - they served chicken breasts stuffed with a cheese and cranberry mixture served in a light cream sauce.  The breasts were completely white - no color at all.  The tip was a bit rubbery but the rest was really good - I can't figure out how they cooked it? First I thought poached - but if that were the case the stuffing would have oozed out - it didn't and there were no marks on the chicken to indicate that it was wrapped in cheese cloth or anything like that.  Steamed maybe? but if that were the case it woudl have been very bland would it not? 

Any ideas on how they did it and how long it took?  when I cook chicken breasts I'm always afraid that they aren't done so I overcook them and they get dry ;(

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#2 Tue 09 Oct 07 4:40pm

SusanneH

Forum champ
From Germany
Member since Mon 13 Mar 06

Re: The basics: How to cook chicken breasts

The exact cooking time depends on the thickness of the meat. You can test in between by cutting into the meat. Or even by pushing down on it. When it is done it will give less than raw or partially raw meat.
I used to look by cutting into the meat several times until it was done, but with more experience you'll be able to tell without.

There are several options to keep chicken breast white. In fact only frying or grilling will make it brown (or marinade of course). Steaming doesn't necessarily make it bland. That is a common stereotype by people who cook their veggies in salt water and think that the steamed veggies then are not salted or seasoned otherwise. But it really depends on what you do. You can steam over chicken or vegetable stock to add some flavor, and especially when your meat is filled you have lots of flavor and seasoning right there. Also when cooking with steam you keep the original flavors in (that often are poured out with the cooking water otherwise).

Regarding your stuffed chicken breasts now:

- they could have been steamed
- they could have been made in the oven at low temperature
- they could have been made in the oven in foil or paper (Jamie has several fantastic chicken or fish recipes done in a foil or paper bag. I love the chicken breast with wine and mushrooms - have misplaced the recipe though and can't remember which book. I think it went into the oven for 45 minutes - does anyone know?)


As with most things there is no ONE way to cook chicken breast wink
I usually either cut a pocket in them for seasoning (sometimes not) and then either bread (dust with flour, flip through whisked egg, turn in bread crumbs) or just dust with flour.
Then I heat up a pan with olive oil on high, add the meat and immediately turn heat down to medium. Then I fry the chicken from both sides until done (again: time depends on size of breast piece).  wink

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#3 Tue 09 Oct 07 4:54pm

Tanya

Forum champ
From Scotland
Member since Thu 15 Jul 04

Re: The basics: How to cook chicken breasts

Here are a couple of Jamie's "bake in the bag" chicken recipes.  I think the first one is the one you mention Susanne.

Jamie's recipe for Chicken Breast baked in a bag with Mushrooms, Butter, White Wine and Thyme from his book "Happy Days with the Naked Chef"

2 x 200gr/7oz skinless chicken breasts
1 handful dried porcini
255gr/9oz mixed mushrooms, torn up
1 large wineglass white wine
3 large knobs of butter
1 handful fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

As this is for 2 people I'm going to make a large envelope/bag to cook everything in. Using wide tin-foil make your bag by placing 2 pieces on top of each other (about as big as 2 shoeboxes in length) folding 3 sides in and leaving 1 side open.

Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas7.

Mix everything together in a bowl, including the chicken.  Place in your bag with all the wine juice, making sure you don't pierce the foil.  Close up the final edge, making sure the bag is tightly sealed and secure on all sides, and carefully slide it on to a roasting tray.  Place the tray on a high heat on the hob for 1 minute to get the heat going, then bake in the middle of your preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven, place the bag on a big plate, take it to the table and break open the foil.   Feel free to vary the recipe - things like grated parsnip, smoked bacon and red wine also work well.


Jamie's recipe for Chicken Breast baked in a Bag with Cannellini Beans, Leeks, Cream and Marjoram from his book "Happy Days with the Naked Chef".

about 10 baby leeks, trimmed and washed
2 x 200gr / 7oz skinless chicken breasts
1 x 400gr / 14oz tin of cannellini beans, drained and washed
1 clove of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 small handful of fresh marjoram or oregano, leaves picked
1 small wineglass of white wine
140ml / 5 fl oz double cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

As this is for 2 people I'm going to make a large envelope/bag to cook everything in.  Using wide tin-foil make your bag by placing 2 pieces on top of each other (about as big as 2 shoeboxes in length) folding 3 sides in and leaving 1 side open.

Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas7. 

Put the leeks into a pan and cook in boiling water for 2 minutes just to soften.  Drain and mix in a bowl with all the other ingredients, including the chicken, mushing a handful of the cannellini beans to a pulp in your hands.  Season well, then place in your bag with all the creamy sauce, making sure you don't pierce the foil.  Close up the final edge, making sure the bag is tighly sealed and secure on all sides, and carefully slide it on to a roasting tray.  Place the tray on a high heat on the hob for 1 minute to get the heat going then bake in the middle of your preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven, place the bag on a big plate, take it to the table and break open the foil.  Feel free to vary the recipe - things like cooked new potatoes, a tablespoon of wholegrain mustard, or a couple of handfuls of raw spinach are all good.

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#4 Tue 09 Oct 07 5:06pm

SusanneH

Forum champ
From Germany
Member since Mon 13 Mar 06

Re: The basics: How to cook chicken breasts

Tanya's right! That's the one!  thumbsup
Love it. Husband loves it too wink

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#5 Tue 09 Oct 07 7:00pm

Antonio76

Member
Occupation Cook
From Sicily
Member since Thu 05 Jul 07

Re: The basics: How to cook chicken breasts

i' m going to try this one ...  kiss

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#6 Tue 09 Oct 07 8:43pm

cloetzu

Member
Member since Fri 28 Sep 07

Re: The basics: How to cook chicken breasts

THANKS! I'm going to have to try both of these recipies!

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