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How To Cook Perfect Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts + Recent Eats

Hi there! I hope everyone is having a great week.

8.13scorpion

One of my friends is teaching a monthly yoga class at the Ritz Carlton. For just $20 you get a 75 minute vinyasa class in their 18th floor yoga studio with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the city, as well as access to the amazing pool and hot tub area after. This made for a fun Tuesday night

I’ve got recent eats to share with you today along with my method for cooking perfect boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Let’s get started!

Breakfast

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Smoooothies! (Who’s surprised?) I cannot get enough of the peanut butter and jelly combo.

Lunch

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I had a major egg craving on Monday. This was sourdough toast, mayo, avocado and a perfect egg (I’m a big fan of mastering “perfect” cooking methods over here!). Farmers market peaches and tomatoes on the side.

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The best salad I have made in months. (On my new countertops…pretty!) Super greens mix with cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, carrots, dried cranberries, almonds, feta and figs. Dressed with a Vidalia onion honey mustard that I got from a local farm stand. A little Bon Appetit reading on the side. I try to take a break from the computer during lunch and read instead.

Dinner

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Despite the chaos in the kitchen, I just had to get back in it and prepare myself some meals this week. This chicken breast was from the farmers market. I seasoned it with a spice rub and then served it with roasted cauliflower and shredded brussels sprouts.

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And the following night I had another spice rubbed chicken breast with a sweet potato and roasted okra.

So let’s talk about cooking boneless, skinless chicken breasts. There’s two ways to do it. 1) Pound them thin and cook them for 3-4 minutes per side in a skillet. 2) Leave them as is and sear them in a skillet and let them finish cooking in the oven.

What does NOT work is leaving them regular size and flipping them a million times in the skillet. This always results in an overdone outside and an undercooked inside. I season my chicken generously and then heat some olive oil in an ovenproof skillet (I prefer stainless steel or cast iron) on the stovetop. I sear the chicken breast on both sides (about 2-3 minutes per side) and then transfer the skillet to the oven to finish cooking.

It really doesn’t matter what temperature your oven is. Anything from 325-450 will work, the important part is using one of these.

thermapen_tan_z_a

If you do not own a Thermapen you are missing out. These things are an invaluable resource in the kitchen and they’re a foolproof way to cook meat to the right temperature so that you don’t end up with overcooked or undercooked meat. I have had one for over 10 years now. It has made me a better cook!

So back to the chicken, you want to pull it out of the oven when it reaches 160 degrees and then LEAVE IT ALONE for at least 5 minutes to let the juices redistribute. You can either serve the breast whole or slice it. If you can’t tell, I love to slice for presentation and ease of eating.

Let me know if you have questions and give it a try!

Etc. 

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I’ll leave you with this. Another thing I highly recommend that you try…sliced bananas with freshly ground almond butter, chocolate chips and toffee bits.

What’s  your favorite way to prepare boneless, skinless chicken breasts? 

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Kim @ FITsique August 13, 2014, 8:27 pm

    I don’t get to do Yoga often, but if I did I would choose to do it at the Ritz!

    • 2
      Jen August 18, 2014, 12:00 pm

      it’s pretty fabulous! 🙂

  • 3
    miki August 13, 2014, 9:34 pm

    My method is very similar to yours but sometimes I don’t preheat the oven and just put the lid on the skillet for the same effect. So quick and easy after a long day.

    • 4
      Jen August 18, 2014, 12:00 pm

      great suggestion! i also love braising chicken breasts on the stovetop…which is similar to what you mention!

  • 5
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves August 13, 2014, 11:07 pm

    Your chicken always looks amazing! We love slicing chicken breasts before grilling/sauteeing them, so that they’re almost like chicken fingers once they’re done. Not quite as presentable as cooking them whole though!

    • 6
      Jen August 18, 2014, 12:01 pm

      that’s interesting! i’ve never done that for grilling but have for things like stir fry. thanks!

  • 7
    Andrea August 14, 2014, 1:52 am

    I have been reading your blog for about two weeks now. I accidentally found it when I was googling “man maker” cause I needed to know what the exercise was to add to my routine. Your site (and man maker circuit, which is awesome by the way) came up and I have been hooked since!! I too am very into yoga, strength training and overall health and wellness. Where I am lacking is the home cooking and the balance of everything. Your blog is a complete inspiration, I love all your meals and food ideas!! You make a healthy balanced life seem easy, and u make healthy food look delicious (mine is definitely lacking in flavor haha). I’m so excited to try some of your recipes and add some of your fitness moves into my routine. Oh and I got “crow pose” in a second after watching your video!! You have a new dedicated reader 🙂

    • 8
      Jen August 18, 2014, 12:02 pm

      hey andrea! i’m so glad that you stumbled across my blog. thanks for trying out my workout and checking out my blog. i really hope i can help you out on the cooking inspiration front. it’s something that i enjoy so much.

      and YAY on getting into crow!!! congrats!!!

  • 9
    Brynn August 14, 2014, 5:39 am

    Most of the time I make my chicken on the grill outside. But in the cooler months, I bake it. I cannot wait to add the searing step to seal in the juices! Yum!

    • 10
      Jen August 18, 2014, 12:02 pm

      gah, i love the grill but mine needs some replacement parts that i haven’t ordered so it’s been out of commission this summer. boo!

  • 11
    Lucy August 14, 2014, 8:43 am

    Where can I find more information about the Ritz yoga classes? Would love to try it with a few girlfriends!

    • 12
      Jen August 14, 2014, 8:56 am

      hey girl! i will email you kyle’s contact info.

  • 13
    kristin August 14, 2014, 9:17 am

    yoga at the ritz sounds incredible!

  • 14
    JennyS August 14, 2014, 10:12 am

    When the weather cooperates, I like to grill chicken breasts outside – zero pans to clean. My hubby’s recommended method on our gas grill is simply to put the chicken (no pounding necessary) on the grill once it’s pre-heated to around 350-400. After 5 minutes, rotate the chicken breasts (like a volleyball team rotates!) due to gas grills having hotter/cooler spots – but do not flip them. After 5 more minutes, rotate AND flip. After 5 minutes, rotate again. Cook for 5 more minutes and then take them off the grill to rest. I’ve found this method to work well, but for exceptionally large chicken breasts, either cook them longer or pound them first. Use that meat thermometer to ensure thorough cooking!

    • 15
      Jen August 18, 2014, 12:03 pm

      i love, love, love grilled anything! thanks so much for giving us the tips on how to cook it (and with pretty grill marks!) and i hear you on those crazy big chicken breasts. they’re nearly impossible to cook right.

  • 16
    She Rocks Fitness August 14, 2014, 10:38 am

    I usually just dice it up and marinate the breast in the morning…then at night I throw it in a skillet and cook away..Super easy and ready in 10 minutes or less. All about efficiency over here…HA!

    • 17
      Jen August 18, 2014, 12:04 pm

      see, i need to get on the morning prep and start using marinades more!

  • 18
    Elizabeth August 14, 2014, 8:09 pm

    Could you share what you include in your spice rub? I always looking for new ways to mix it up with chicken. Thanks!!

  • 20
    erin August 14, 2014, 9:42 pm

    Such a fun Tuesday night!!! I bet it’s awesome to look down on Charlotte while you’re practicing!
    Love all the fun finds from the local Farmer’s Market – one of the best things about summer!

  • 21
    Erin August 15, 2014, 1:43 pm

    I checked the Ritz’s website and can’t find more information about the class, only private sessions. I’d love more information about that!

  • 23
    kristina August 19, 2014, 5:43 pm

    how do you prevent the oil from spritzing everywhere?

    • 24
      Jen August 19, 2014, 8:41 pm

      make sure your chicken breasts are completely dry before placing them in oil. the water is what makes the oil splash.

  • 25
    Rachel January 26, 2016, 8:18 pm

    Hi! The Thermapen’s range in price from $180 – $29. Do you know the if the more expensive is worth it?

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