Cooking boneless, skinless chicken breasts can be a hassle. Especially when they turn out dry and stringy, and not worth the money you paid for them. I discovered that brining them first, and then steaming them in foil packets prevents the dryness, and results in delicious, juicy chicken.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Tonight I used 4 chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and of relatively equal size. If your chicken breasts are not the same size, you can either pound them and then trim, or trim them until they are. Use the excess trimmings to make a stock, or cook them to put in a salad.
After the chicken is nice and uniform, prepare the brine. I use 5 cups water, 3 Tbs. kosher salt, and 2 tsp. of sugar. Mix together, pour in a gallon sized ziplock, and add chicken. Put in the fridge and let osmosis go to work.
I brined mine for an hour, but you can certainly go longer. I feel this is sufficient enough for a lb. of chicken breasts, as they come out so tender and moist. Rinse the chicken under cold water to remove the brine and pat dry.
Season the chicken with your favorite seasonings; tonight I used fresh parsley, dried oregano, dried basil, salt and pepper,
then I seared them in my cast iron grill pan drizzled with olive oil (mostly because I like the marks, but also because it help to seal in the juices) for a couple minutes on each side.
When finished, onto the foil they went and then I topped with sliced garlic, a bay leaf, sealed the packet and put on a baking sheet. (here I brushed the foil with a little more olive oil)
I baked at 450 degrees for 12 minutes, removed the baking sheet and then poked holes in the foil and let them rest another 3-5 minutes.
They came out perfect, no dryness here!