Last Updated on January 30, 2020
Among all the available cuts of meat and poultry, we believe that boneless, skinless chicken breasts are one of the healthiest you can cook for yourself.
Unfortunately, they also have a downside as they are incredibly prone to drying out to the point that you feel like you’re chewing on rubber.
Chicken breasts don’t have to taste this way. Remember that juicy, tender, flavorful, succulent chicken breast you had at a restaurant that one time? You can achieve that same result at home, I promise. The secret’s in the salt (literally). Salt not only seasons chicken breast, but it also helps reduce toughness. Salt chicken breasts and let them sit for at least an hour before you start cooking.
After that step here are a few ways to prepare and cook chicken breasts that will ensure tender results.
Think about your poaching liquid as a salty brine in which your chicken breasts get to marinate and cook. This liquid doesn’t need to be just plain saltwater. Try adding soy sauce to water, or chicken stock to water—the regular stuff with all the salt! Have some fun and add spices and aromatics to the liquid as well—think garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme, citrus zest, etc.
Add shredded or cubed chicken breast to a pot full of aromatics, beans, and deeply flavored stock, and you’ve got yourself one of the healthiest, tastiest bowls of comfort food around. This type of dish is also a wonderful way to use up—and bring new life to—leftover roasted chicken breast.
Sauce ‘Em Up
So, say you’ve already roasted up some chicken breasts and they turn out dry—which happens to everyone. How can you save them in a pinch? Have a sauce on hand to dip those chicken breasts into, piece by piece. This sauce can be served on the side, such as a chimichurri, or you can make a pan sauce.
One of my favorite recipes to make growing up was my Mom’s chicken cutlet marsala. The preparation is simple yet guaranteed to bring you tender, saucy results. Make chicken cutlets, heat up the three-ingredient marsala sauce, pour the marsala sauce over cutlets and warm it all in the oven.
Truly a winner, winner, chicken dinner.
Chicken Cutlet Marsala
- 3 ButcherBox Chicken Breasts, bnls/sknls
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- ½ cup Pecorino Romano cheese grated
- black pepper
- garlic powder
- 4 tbsp butter
- ½ cup Marsala wine
- ½ lemon squeezed
- Cut chicken breasts in half horizontally and pound into ½ -inch thick cutlets.
- Beat eggs in large bowl; set aside.
- Mix bread crumbs, grated cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a separate bowl and spread mixture in a pie plate or paper plate.
- Add chicken to egg mixture, coat well.
- Take egg coated cutlets and dip in crumbs, one at a time. Lay all cutlets on a platter.
- Pour ¼-inch canola oil into large nonstick fry pan. Turn heat to medium-high.
- Fry about 6 cutlets at a time for about three minutes on each side until golden.
- Lay cooked cutlets on paper towel-lined platter, until all cutlets are cooked.
- Lay cooked cutlets into a 13 x 9 Pyrex dish.
- In small pot, melt butter, marsala, and lemon juice until simmering.
- Pour the marsala sauce over the cutlets.
- Cover dish with foil and bake at 325°F until warmed through, about 20 minutes.
Kristina DeMichele is the Digital Content Strategist at Harvard Magazine. She is also a freelance copyeditor who has worked for America's Test Kitchen as the Senior Content Editor of Cook's Illustrated Magazine.