Chicken breast is known to be one of the best sources of lean, muscle-building protein items out there. A healthy portion of 100g of skinless, boiled chicken breast contains 164 calories, 30g of protein, 3.5g of fat and virtually zero carbs, making it a fantastic protein option for body builders, people on clean bulks, and people on a weight-loss diet.
Asides for its reputation as an affordable protein option, boiled chicken breast is equally recognised for how bland and boring it can get. “Struggle chicken,” YouTuber (@fitmencook) Kevin Curry calls it. “You drench your food in so much sauce because that’s the only way you can choke it down.”
Tired of rubbery chicken breast?
If you’ve ever prepped meal after meal of plain boiled chicken breast with an equally loathsome side of veggies, you’d know what Curry is talking about. #struggletown
Curry has over 370,000 subscribers for good reason. His meal ideas are creative, simple, and he keeps things affordable. And in this video, Curry shares with his followers how to make your chicken breast something you’d actually want to eat, day after day.
Here, we break down some of his greatest tips for fantastic-tasting yet healthy chicken breast, as well as some of his best chicken breast meal recipes.
1. Brining your chicken
This tip is especially useful for those who tend to overcook their chicken breast. Combine 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of salt and have your chicken soak in the solution for 2 hours, and no more than 3 hours. Over-brining leads to rubbery chicken.
2. Tenderise the meat
Some people choose to cut the chicken breast in half, width-wise. Curry recommends pounding the meat as this will help make the meat more tender. Wrap the chicken breast with plastic or cling wrap, and pound the meat with a mallet, fist, or rolling pin.
Make sure to pound each piece of meat to uniform thickness. This is important because you don’t want the skinnier parts or smaller pieces of your chicken to be cooked while other parts are raw.
3. Add lemon juice
While some people choose to add a couple tablespoons of water into the frying pan so as to add moisture to the chicken breast, Curry chooses to squeeze half a lemon instead. He says that this helps to add more flavour and caramelise the seasonings.
4. Monitor your chicken!
Curry emphasises that this is where most people go wrong – they don’t take their chicken off the stove in time! Once it turns white, take the chicken breast off the heat. Chicken and all other meats continue to cook even after taking them away from the heat source as the internal temperature of the meat continues to rise afterwards.
This is especially important for those who are prepping several meals in advance. When reheating chicken breast in the microwave, chicken breast will dry up even further. Thus, it is essential to keep an eye on the stove, and remove the chicken once it is done.
5. Let it rest
Allow the meat to cool for at least five minutes before slicing into it. This is to prevent the juices that built up during cooking from leaking out. By letting it rest for 5 minutes, you allow the juices to be reabsorbed back into the meat.
HealthLoco tip: Tent the meat with aluminium foil to prevent it from turning cold rapidly.
HealthLoco gave Curry’s methods a try – we wouldn’t go so far as to say we would have chicken breast everyday, but it did make our chicken more flavourful and softer than usual!
Give Curry’s methods a whirl, add chicken breast to your salad or fix it with a side salad. Let us know what you think in the comments below!
To watch Curry’s video yourself, click here.
Cover Photo: Foodblogs