Sunday, January 23, 2011

How to Saute' Chicken

From: Rochelle

Okay, this seems like a simple thing. Everyone has probably done it, right? But last week at this conference I went to, we learned from a chef a way to saute' your chicken the "professional" way. I thought I would share. I tried it and it tastes dang good!

How to Saute' Chicken

Step 1: Thaw chicken breasts.

Step 2: Pound your chicken to one even thickness.

Put your chicken breasts between layers of plastic wrap. Get a hammer or you can get a meat hammer and pound the chicken to one even thickness. This makes it so that the chicken will cook evenly and be done at the same time. It will also help keep it juicy and tender.

Put between layers of plastic wrap.

Pounded chicken breasts.
 Step 3. Coat with seasoned flour.

Put about 1/2-1 cup of flour on a plate and sprinkle some salt and pepper in it. Lightly coat the chicken breasts in the flour. This will help give the chicken a light "crust" which reminds me of the chicken you would find a Olive Garden.
Coat chicken breast in seasoned flour. 
 Step 4: Heat pan and put a few tablespoons of butter in it.

I know, butter, so much for being healthy right. But I used Smart Balance if that is worth anything. It really makes a big difference to the flavor. Oh my goodness, I think it is worth it.

Step 5: Place chicken breasts skin side down (the smoother side).

If you place the skin side down, it will help keep your chicken tender. Don't flip your chicken until it is browned. You can tell when it is ready to flip when the chicken starts turning white around the edges.
Brown skin-side first

  Step 6: Flip the chicken breasts.

You might need to add a little bit more butter to the pan. Keep chicken on this side until chicken is no longer pink in the middle. The less you cut or prick your chicken the more tender it will be because the juices will not leak out.

Step 7: Let Chicken rest for a few minutes.

Letting the chicken rest also help it to retain it's juices. This is true with any meat. If you cut your meat right after it has been cooked, all of the juices will flow out. If you let it sit, those juices will be absorbed back into the meat making it juicier.
Let chicken rest for a few minutes.
 You can eat this chicken as is, OR you can cut it up and add it to your favorite salad, pasta dish, etc.  You can also deglaze the pan with chicken stock, add some flour and butter, then add more chicken stock and seasonings and make a pan sauce to put over the chicken.

The few extra steps are worth it, I think, because I love how the chicken has a little crust to it and it is to juicy! I few tips to take the basics up a notch.

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