Are you tired of dry and flavorless chicken breast? Well, professional chef Frank Proto is here to save the day with his expert tips and techniques for making the juiciest chicken breast you’ll ever taste. In this video by Epicurious, Chef Frank provides step-by-step instructions on how to prep and cook chicken breast, as well as make a delicious pan sauce to elevate the flavors. With chapters on prepping the chicken, cooking it to perfection, making the pan sauce, and plating, you’ll be well on your way to creating a restaurant-quality chicken dish. Get ready to learn from the best and enjoy a succulent chicken breast like never before!
Featured on Epicurious, a platform that offers recipes, videos, and cooking ideas, Chef Frank Proto is known for his expertise in making juicy chicken breasts. He recommends using smaller chicken breasts for a more tender texture and advises cutting thicker ones in half for even cooking. With just salt and pepper for seasoning and a stainless steel sauté pan for cooking, Chef Frank shows you how to achieve that perfect caramelized brown on your chicken. And don’t forget the pan sauce! By reducing chicken stock, adding butter, lemon juice, and parsley, you can take your chicken breast to a whole new level of deliciousness. So grab your apron and get ready to impress with the best chicken breast you’ll ever make!
Prepping the chicken
Choosing the right chicken breasts
When it comes to selecting chicken breasts for optimal juiciness and tenderness, it’s best to choose smaller ones. Smaller chicken breasts tend to be more tender and have a better texture. Look for breasts that are of a uniform size and shape for even cooking.
Cutting thicker chicken breasts in half
If you have thicker chicken breasts, it’s a good idea to cut them in half. This will not only help with more even cooking, but it will also reduce the cooking time, ensuring that the chicken is cooked through without drying out. When cutting the chicken breast in half, be sure to use a sharp chef knife and apply light pressure to make a clean cut.
Seasoning the chicken breasts
For a simple and delicious flavor, all you need to do is season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. As a minimalist approach, this is sufficient in bringing out the natural flavors of the chicken. Start by seasoning the chicken breasts on one side with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Then, flip them over and season the other side.
Patting the chicken breasts dry
Before cooking the chicken, it’s important to pat the breasts dry with a paper towel. This step removes any excess moisture, ensuring that the chicken browns properly. Moisture on the surface of the chicken can hinder the browning process, so take a moment to thoroughly pat the chicken dry on both sides.
Cooking the chicken
Choosing the right saute pan
A stainless steel saute pan is ideal for cooking chicken breasts. The thicker gauge and heavy bottom of a stainless steel pan provides even heat distribution and prevents hot spots. Avoid using thin saute pans, as they may result in burnt spots and undercooked areas.
Using high smoke point oil
When sautéing chicken breasts, it’s essential to use an oil with a high smoke point. This type of oil can withstand the high heat required for sautéing without burning or releasing unpleasant flavors. A neutral oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil, is a good choice for this cooking method.
Cooking the chicken breasts on high heat
To achieve a delicious browned crust on the chicken breasts, it’s important to cook them on high heat. High heat will promote browning and develop flavor, ensuring that the chicken is not only cooked through but also visually appealing.
Avoiding overcrowding the pan
It is crucial to avoid overcrowding the pan when cooking chicken breasts. Overcrowding can cause the chicken to steam rather than brown, resulting in a less desirable texture. Cook the chicken in batches if necessary, making sure to leave enough space between each breast for proper browning.
Resting the cooked chicken breasts on a rack
After cooking the chicken breasts, it’s essential to let them rest on a rack. This allows the meat to relax and the juices to redistribute, ensuring optimal juiciness. Resting the chicken on a rack also prevents the bottom of the breasts from becoming soggy due to trapped steam.
Making the pan sauce
Using caramelized juices in the pan
The caramelized juices left in the saute pan after cooking the chicken are the star of the show when making a pan sauce. These juices are incredibly flavorful and will add depth and complexity to the sauce. Be sure to scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan to incorporate into the sauce.
Reducing chicken stock for more flavor
To intensify the flavor of the pan sauce, reduce chicken stock in the saute pan. This process helps concentrate the flavors and enhances the overall taste of the sauce. Simmer the chicken stock until it has reduced by about half, creating a richer base for the sauce.
Adding butter for a creamy texture
To give the pan sauce a luxurious and velvety texture, add a pat of butter. The butter will melt into the sauce, creating a smooth and luscious finish. As the butter melts, it will also help bind the flavors together, adding richness to the sauce.
Adding lemon juice and parsley for freshness
To brighten up the flavors of the pan sauce, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of chopped parsley. The acidity from the lemon juice will add a tangy kick, while the parsley will provide a fresh and herbaceous note. These additions balance out the richness of the sauce and add a burst of freshness to the dish.
Plate and taste
Slicing the cooked chicken breast
To showcase the beautifully cooked chicken breast, slice it on a diagonal. This cutting technique not only makes for an appealing presentation but also enhances the texture of the meat. Slicing on a diagonal creates larger, more tender pieces, allowing for a better mouthfeel when eating.
Presenting the pan sauce
When plating the chicken breast, place the pan sauce on the bottom of the plate. This allows the sauce to seep into the meat, enhancing each bite with its rich and flavorful profile. The pan sauce also adds moisture and juiciness to the chicken, ensuring a delicious dining experience.
Enjoying the juicy and delicious chicken breast
With the pan sauce perfectly complementing the juicy and flavorful chicken breast, it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy your culinary creation. Take pleasure in each tender bite, savoring the combination of flavors and textures that make this dish truly restaurant-quality.
For more inspiration and recipes, visit the Epicurious website. This platform offers a vast collection of recipes, videos, and cooking ideas from various sources such as Bon Appétit and Gourmet. Explore the world of culinary delights and expand your repertoire with the help of this valuable resource.
Other chicken breast recipes from Epicurious
If you enjoyed learning how to make the best chicken breast from Epicurious, be sure to check out their other chicken breast recipes. With a wide range of options and variations, you can continue to discover new and exciting ways to prepare this versatile protein. Expand your culinary horizons and create delicious meals that will impress your friends and family.
In conclusion, by following these tips and techniques shared by professional chef Frank Proto, you can transform a simple chicken breast into a juicy and succulent masterpiece. From choosing the right chicken breasts to perfectly seasoning and cooking them, every step is crucial in creating a dish that will rival restaurant-quality chicken. Don’t forget the pan sauce for added flavor and the finishing touch of freshness. With these insights and resources from Epicurious, you can elevate your chicken breast cooking skills and delight in the delicious results. So gather your ingredients and get ready to enjoy a meal that will leave you wanting more.