Simple Sautéed Chicken Breasts

Sautéed chicken breasts are perfect for a quick weeknight meal, or make a great addition to salads. I love turning a side salad into an entree salad by adding chicken.  I have a fool-proof method for sautéing chicken breasts.  Maybe it's not completely fool-proof because anything can be overcooked, and it is especially easy to over cook boneless skinless chicken breasts. I do have a little trick which does make it a little more difficult to overcook them. It involves water, or chicken broth, and a lid.

Simple Sautéed Chicken Breasts
boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders (pictures below show both)
flour (optional - skip the flour to keep this South Beach phase 1 or The New Atkins friendly)
olive oil

1. Remove chicken from packaging. Trim any fat off the chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. You can rinse the chicken before you pat it dry if you want to; it's not necessary. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.

2. Here is the optional step of dredging in some flour. It adds a wonderful crust to the chicken just like it adds a wonderful crust on these Greek meatballs.

3. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add chicken and sauté on side one for 5 to 7 minutes (5 minutes for tenders and 7 for breasts).

4. Here's the trick. Most recipes will tell you to flip the chicken and cook for a few more minutes on the other side. That's true but my chicken is markedly more tender when I flip and add 1/4 cup of water or chicken broth for a 10" pan or 1/2 cup for a 14" inch pan and cover for 2 minutes. Remove cover and cook for an additional minute or two until the internal temperature is 165 degrees or the juices are clear.

5. Overcooked chicken ends up being dry and stringy. Look at how juicy this chicken is when it's cut up.


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