I think some people don’t like the idea of “food prep.” The idea of preparing a bunch of meals in advance, portioned into little ‘heat and eat’ Tupperwares, isn’t appealing, and for the most part, I’d have to agree. But food prep doesn’t have to be that. I often premake large portions of chicken to eat in different meals over a few days. I’m pretty sure that’s the definition of “food prep”, but no where in that description is a Tupperware.
Now, all the different things I make with my prepped chicken is a whole ‘nother blog entirely (stay tuned- I’m working on that one😉), but for this blog I’d like to just simply explain how I cook my chicken. The method I use has versatile spices, and what I’ve found to be the best way to keep the chicken from drying out.
First off, I think the cut of chicken in pretty important. Too thin and you risk dry out because it cooks quickly. Too thick and you risk dry out because you may overcook it in an effort to make sure it’s cooked all the way through. So, I usually butterfly, or even go all the way through and make one thick breast into two thinner breasts. (I should note that I like my chicken on the drier side, so I have been, even known to take a thick chicken breast and slice it into 3 thinner breasts. But whether you do that, depends on what you are using the chicken for and how you like your chicken.)
Next, is the spices. Because I use my chicken for a variety of things, I pick spices that are pretty versatile and taste good on everything, in my opinion. But this is clearly a preference thing. I’ll just tell you what I do, but you do whatever your little heart desires. I use garlic powder, onion powder, Himalayan sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper. It’s perfect. Flavorful and simple.
For cooking my chicken I always use Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. You would think that’s enough explanation, but I’ve found that there are two ways to use it and one uses much more oil and may cause you to overcook and, thus, dry out your chicken. If you pour the oil in you pan, let the oil get hot, and put the chicken in. It will create a tougher outside almost like a crust. This is yummy and is good for some dishes, but for food prep I don’t think this is the way to go. The potential for the chicken to get dried out is high, and the tough ‘crust’ makes it harder to cut into nice slices for dishes. What works best for me, is to put the spices on the chicken and then drizzle and rub the olive oil around. Making sure to cover the whole chicken breast with the oil. I say this because if garlic powder isn’t moistened (sorry if you hate that word 😬 lol) by the oil, then it may burn easily and turn bitter.
So, that’s about it. In case you aren’t sure how long to cook it, well, that just depends on the thickness of the chicken. I look for the white to start to come up the sides of the chicken and look for a golden brown color on the meat, then I flip.
I think maybe I should mention also that you should never cut a protein right after you cook it. Let it “rest” for at least 5 mins or so. This gives the juices time to redistribute throughout the meat. If you cut it too soon you will lose some of the juicyness to the cutting board or plate that you cut it on.
Have a wonderful day and Happy Cooking, My Friends!!
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