While grilling adds depth and flavor to chicken, especially if you're cooking skinless or a low-fat cut such as the breast meat, it is not always an option. If weather, access to a grill or even just a desire for something different prevents you from grilling your chicken, there are a number of other healthy and flavorful cooking methods to choose from.
Put the chicken in a pot large enough to hold all the pieces. Add enough cooking liquid to fully submerge the chicken. Bring the water to a boil, and then reduce it to simmer.
Simmer the chicken in the cooking liquid for 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the cut. According to the Better Homes and Gardens website, boneless chicken breasts cut in 2-inch cubes will take 10 minutes, while bone-in breasts with the skin on will take about 30 minutes. Chicken is fully cooked when the juices run clear when cutting into the thickest part of the chicken.
Remove the chicken from the pot with a slotted spoon. You can store the cooking liquid to use as a light stock.
Coat and Bake
Heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat your chicken with a thin layer of olive oil and place it on a lightly greased baking sheet or roasting rack.
Cook the chicken until the juices run clear from a cut at the thickest portion, or when an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit. For boneless chicken, the cooking time will be between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on thickness. For bone-in pieces, the cooking time will increase to upwards of 45 minutes.
Rest the chicken in the cooking dish for five minutes prior to serving.
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Blanching Chicken Before Grilling
- Martha Stewart: Perfect Roast Chicken
- The Joy of Cooking: All About Chicken; Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker
- News One: Researchers Say Washing Chicken Is Dangerous for Your Health!
- Better Homes and Gardens: How to Boil Chicken Breasts
- If cooking frozen chicken, defrost it in the refrigerator overnight in plastic bag. You can also defrost it in a bowl of cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes.
- Season the chicken in an acid-based marinade to increase flavor.
- Do not wash your chicken before cooking to avoid possibly transferring bacteria to other surfaces and foods in your kitchen.
Bethany Lalonde has been a professional writer since 1997. She has published for CBS Health Watch, WebMD, the "Ann Arbor Daily News" and "Entertainment Weekly." She holds two masters degrees from the University of Michigan, in dietetics and nutrition as well as journalism.
Alexandra Barry/Demand Media