5 quick and delicious ways to cook chicken breast
by Tobias • 8 minutes read
Last updated: 03 Jun, 2022
This is an article showing how to cook chicken breast 5 quick and easy ways. There are many different variations of these meals, with various vegetables and carbohydrates that can be included too.
These 5 meals are my cheat-code to sticking to the CICO lifestyle. If you have chicken breast at home and some frozen veg you will always have a quick, tasty and healthy meal on hand, and that means one less excuse to break your diet and get a takeaway. Because there will be something healthy and it will be ready before the greasy dominos can rear its ugly head.
These aren’t the meals you bring out to impress a date with your cooking, or to wow your in-laws. These are meals for tired Wednesday evenings where you just want magic pixies to lift pizza into your mouth. But NO, you stay disciplined, grab a few healthy ingredients from the fridge and tell yourself, “it’s ok, I’ll be eating in 20 minutes time…”
A national favourite, hunters chicken is basically the bacon cheese burger of the chicken world. It’s essentially an example of American problem solving,if you want to make a meal less healthy but more delicious, what's the answer? That’s right, cover it with bacon and cheese.
There are a few different ways to cook this meal, essentially deciding how healthy or unhealthy the meal is and whether the cheese goes in the middle or on the outside, or both! I would suggest using low fat cheese, low sugar BBQ sauce (or none at all) and bacon medallions. Depending on how many calories and macros you have left for the day, I’ll let you decide.
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6, 400°F (200°C)
Remove the chicken breast from the packaging, trim the breast and slice down the centre of the breast.
Fill the chicken breast with low fat cheese, the tastiest one I’ve found is EatLean.
Place the chicken breast on a tray and put in the oven.
Tip: At this point, decide which vegetables you would like to accompany this meal, perhaps a microwaveable vegetable bag, maybe peas and carrots? Apparently they go together like Forrest and Jenny.
5. After 15 minutes, remove the chicken breast from the oven.
6. Place your choice of BBQ sauce, bacon and cheese on top and place back in the oven.
7. Leave the chicken for approximately 10 more minutes and then ta-da, pair with your choice of veg and your quick and easy meal is done.
Warning: When cooking chicken always use a thermometer to ensure that the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C)
Stir Fry Chicken
A chicken stir fry is one of my favourite meals, it takes only minutes to cook, the hotter the hob the faster it cooks, bonus points if you cook it in a wok.
It really is very simple, I would suggest grabbing a mixed bag of stir fry vegetables that you can find in most supermarkets. I've even seen them in a petrol station. Then pair with your choice of fresh noodles (not dried). There are a lot of variations that you can make in a stir fry. Some people prefer adding chilli flakes for a bit of spice, or soy sauce for the salty umami flavour or even ginger or just garlic. That’s the great thing about chicken, it takes on any flavour you care to pair with it.
The recipe is fairly simple;
Slice the chicken breast into slices a couple of centimetres thick. The smaller you cut the chicken the quicker it will cook.
Heat a pan or wok on a high heat. Cook the chicken with a bit of oil until it starts to brown.
Turn down heat to medium and add whichever flavouring you’ve chosen, i.e. soy sauce or garlic or ginger or perhaps some sort of stir in sauce. Stir your chicken to make sure it’s evenly coated
Add stir fry veg and stir well, mixing it with chicken and flavouring.
Lastly, add fresh noodles and continue to stir, keep stirring for about 5 more minutes.
Once cooked thoroughly, serve up portions.
As always, make sure that the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
A stir fry is a good dish to try several times as you will likely find that it improves every time as you find out what you like and how you like it.
There are many different versions of balsamic chicken, some more complex than others with wildly varying preparation times. Some recipes even suggest marinating chicken for 24-48 hours, but who the hell has time for that!? Not me.
This article is for people looking to make chicken breast not taste like grey leather whilst being ready as soon as physically possible. So I will be showing you the quickest and easiest way to cook this meal.
First things first, trim the breasts and slice the chicken breast into slices approx 2 or 3cm thick.
Create a vinaigrette of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, the amount can change but keep it to a ratio of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil. So, for example, 10ml vinegar and 30ml oil. Also cut up a few garlic cloves (those are the small sections, DO NOT add 3 whole bulbs) and throw those in as well.
Add the chicken breast to the vinaigrette and stir well, leave for as long as you have time, or are patient enough to do.
Lift chicken breast out of marinade and cook in a medium/high heat pan.
When chicken has started to brown, turn heat down low and add the rest of the marinade.
Tip: Open any windows or outside doors you can, cooking vinegar will produce vinegar steam which feels like you are at the Somme. You’ve been warned.
Cook chicken for 5-10 mins more, stirring thoroughly to prevent part of the sauce burning, keep stirring as it thickens.
So to recap;
Slice chicken breasts
Add chicken breasts to vinaigrette then wait.
Add chicken to hot pan and cook until brown
Turn the pan down low and add marinade and keep stirring.
Serve delicious chicken with your selection of vegetables and carbs.
Serve chicken with any type of veg you choose, this chicken always feels classy to me so I like to pair it with “Classy Veg”, if there is such a thing, something like Asparagus and mash potato or perhaps long stem broccoli which is posh for a reason I’ve yet to understand.
You could even part-cook some pasta and then add it at the same time as the marinade so it can absorb all the flavours.
As with all the other recipes you can make personal changes such as adding chilli flakes for a bit of heat or sugar to thicken the marinade into a glaze and add some sweetness.
Now I am sure for a lot of people reading this, I won’t be telling you about buffalo sauce for the first time. You’ve almost definitely heard of it, if you haven’t tried it. If you haven’t tried then here is the recipe to end your buffalo virginity.
Tip: Buffalo Sauce is named after Buffalo, a City in NY state, nothing to do with the giant land mammal, which, if i'm honest, would probably pair pretty well with buffalo sauce.
The recipe below is probably fairly similar to the above recipe as it’s essentially a case of;
1.Put chicken breast in sauce.
2.Put chicken in pan
3.Put sauce with chicken in pan
Now I did say right at the beginning I would keep this simple and with this recipe I've definitely been true to my word, you can’t get simpler than this.
The main reason I included this recipe in this collection is that I really love it. The spicy vinegary taste of the original Franks Red Hot buffalo sauce is incredible.
So like the missionaries in Africa I want to continue spreading the good word of the gospel of chicken. Now my brothers, enjoy this sauce and venture forth and spread the news, chicken has risen and it is spicy.
Salt & Pepper Chicken
I feel this final recipe deserves a mention as it is just so flexible, salt and pepper chicken should never be overlooked for a quick and simple addition to many other meals.
This is definitely a meal I’d recommend using a meat thermometer for as, in essence, juicy chicken is tasty chicken and if you bake the chicken for too long then you’ll end up with a dry tasteless mass that’s fit for a dog. So my recommendation is aim to get as close as possible to the safe internal temperature without going to far above it.
1. Preheat an oven to Gas Mark 6, 400°F (200°C)
2. Trim chicken breast as needed, add salt and pepper liberally.
Tip: You can rub the salt and pepper into the breast. But I don’t as you have to immediately wash your hands afterwards and it feels awful, like stroking a hairless cat.
3. Place chicken in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.
4. Remove chicken from over and use it for whatever you want.
The beauty of this chicken is its ability to be added to other meals with a jar of sauce or some passata you’ve got a chicken bolognese. Let the chicken cool and slice it finely and you can boost the lean protein content of any salad. You could even just eat the chicken exactly as it is with some vegetables or salad, though I would recommend some sort of sauce such as a Nando’s sauce for those here in the UK.
I hope you have found these meals helpful and remember these are just guidelines you can make chicken however you like, as long as it’s cooked thoroughly, I don’t want to be seeing any “Chicken Sashimi” dishes on all of your social media, thank you!
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