Cooking meat at home is relatively new for me. I used to eat mostly vegetarian at home and satisfy my carnivorous cravings when I ate out so someone else could cook the meat for me. My constantly evolving journey of figuring out what types of food best support my health (from mostly vegetarian, to mostly raw, to mostly vegan, to mostly gluten-free, to mostly sugar-free) has most recently landed me in the land of the Paleo Diet (though I hate calling it a diet, because it's really more of a lifestyle).
I don't follow any strict rules (I just use it as a guideline), but find that my body does very well when I nourish it with organic animal protein, organic veggies, healthy fats, no refined sugar or artificial sweeteners, little to no grains, little to no fruit, and little to no gluten. When I eat this way, I feel completely satisfied and energized eating only 3 times a day and I have zero cravings for sugar. Any desires to compulsively overeat disappears. It's pretty amazing and I'd say I eat this way 80-90% of the time.
With that said, the time had come when I had to step out of my comfort zone, suck it up, and learn to prep meat at home because dining out all the time was not a sustainable option. I started with ground beef and ground turkey to make burgers. That was easy. But chicken breasts? No way...not only did I not enjoy handling it, but the couple of times I did attempt to make it, they came out dry and totally unappetizing.
That's why, when I received a newsletter from my fellow health coach friend Evelyne about how to make the best chicken (which she adapted from this recipe), I got really excited. I tried the super simple recipe later that week and the results were phenomenal! I made the most perfectly juicy and tender chicken ever. It was one of those kitchen moments where I really wished someone else was there to witness the magic of it all!
When I get excited about something, I want to share it with EVERYONE. So if you dread cooking chicken like I used to, try this recipe for yourself. I know you're going to love it too :)
My Favorite Way to Cook Chicken
Yields: 1-4 servings
- 1 to 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup almond meal or almond flour (optional, but recommended)
- 1 teaspoon freshly chopped herbs or spices (optional) - I'm a fan of All Purpose Seasoning
- 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
- Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness with a meat mallet or rolling pin (this quick video shows you how)
- Lightly salt and pepper the chicken breasts.
- Mix about a half teaspoon of salt in with the almond meal along with a little pepper. Chop the herbs finely, if using, and mix in as well.
- Quickly dredge the chicken breasts in the almond meal, so that they are just lightly dusted with it.
- Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the coconut oil. Let it melt and swirl around the pan.
- Turn the heat to medium. Add the chicken breasts. Cook for just about 1 minute to help them get a little golden on one side (you are not actually searing or browning them). Then flip each chicken breast over.
- Turn the heat to low. Put the lid on the pan. Set a timer for 10 minutes, and walk away. Do not lift the lid; do not peek.
- After 10 minutes have elapsed, turn off the heat. Reset the timer for 10 minutes and leave the chicken breasts in the pan. Again, do not lift the lid; do not peek.
- After the 10 minutes are up, take the lid off, and tada! Soft, tender, juicy chicken breasts that aren't dried out in the least. Doublecheck them to make sure there is no pink in the middle. Slice and eat.
Ingredients modified from the original recipe which can be found at www.thekitchn.com
Thanks to Evelyne Lambrecht for bringing this awesome recipe to my attention!