Chicken breast is one of the most versatile and healthy meats you can consume. It’s low in fat, high in protein, and easy to prepare in a variety of ways. Learning how to cook chicken breast in a pan is a must-have skill in every home cook’s arsenal. In this article, we will take a look at the steps required to get perfectly cooked chicken breast every time.
1. Choose your Chicken Breast:
Before you start cooking, you need to select the right type of chicken breast. Always choose fresh and organic chicken breasts, if possible. Look for the ones that are pale pink in color and have a smooth texture. Avoid any chicken breast that has spots of blood. You can also use frozen chicken breast, but make sure to thaw it properly before cooking.
2. Prepare the Chicken Breast:
Now that you have the chicken breast, it’s time to prepare it for cooking. Remove any excess fat from the chicken breast and season it with your preferred spices and herbs. Salt and black pepper are a must-have seasoning, but you can also use a combination of garlic powder, paprika, or any other seasoning that you prefer. Don’t be too heavy-handed with the seasoning; you can always add more later.
3. Preheat the Pan:
The next step is to preheat the pan. Use a non-stick skillet or cast iron pan and heat it over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil or butter to the pan and let it melt. Spread the oil evenly over the surface of the pan.
4. Cook the Chicken Breast:
Once the pan is hot, add the chicken breast to it. Cook for 6-7 minutes on one side until it’s nicely browned and then flip it over to the other side and cook for another 5-6 minutes on medium heat. Make sure to keep an eye on the chicken breast while it’s cooking. You don’t want to overcook it, as it can become dry and tough.
5. Check the Internal Temperature:
To ensure that the chicken breast is cooked through, check its internal temperature. It should be at least 165 ℉ (73.9 ℃) before consuming. You can use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature.
FAQs about Cooking Chicken Breast in a Pan:
1. How do I know if the chicken breast is cooked through?
You can check the internal temperature of the chicken breast using a meat thermometer. It should be at least 165 ℉ (73.9 ℃). Another way to check is by cutting into the thickest part of the chicken breast. If the juices run clear, it’s cooked through.
2. Can I cook chicken breast without oil?
You can cook chicken breast without oil, but it may stick to the pan. To prevent this, use a non-stick pan or add a small amount of oil to the pan.
3. Should I cover the pan while cooking chicken breast?
It’s not necessary to cover the pan while cooking chicken breast. However, if you’re finding that the chicken breast is cooking too quickly on the outside, but still undercooked on the inside, then you might want to cover the pan momentarily.
The Bottom Line:
Cooking chicken breast in a pan is an easy and quick way to get a delicious meal on the table. With the right type of chicken, seasoning, and pan, you can have a perfectly cooked chicken breast every time. Follow these steps, experiment with different seasoning, and enjoy!