When I was growing up, I remember boneless, skinless chicken breasts becoming really popular. It was around the time of everyone becoming convinced that even a drop of fat on your plate meant instant death by heart attack, so while I don’t believe that myself, I can understand why this cut of meat seems to be one of the most stocked in my grocery store.
The good news is, there are many things you can do with a boneless, skinless chicken breast – my Mayo Free Waldorf-Inspired Avocado Chicken Salad Recipe recipe being one of my favorites. The bad news is, because there is no skin and no fat on this cut of meat, it is very easy to make it dry and tasteless.
Because of that, I’m all about infusing chicken breast with flavor by steaming them with something – in this case, garlic and lemon. The secret here is cooking them in a covered pan. That way you’re cooking the chicken breasts in the ingredients directly (by placing them on top of the garlic and lemon), and the moisture in the pan is also infused with the garlic and lemon which steams it into the chicken meat. It’s the most moist and flavorful way I’ve ever found to cook a plain chicken breast.
As an added bonus, cooking up a few of these is an excellent way to have a fast, nutritious meal for the week. Here’s our secret:
Once a week I’ll chop up a bunch of mixed vegetables (shown here: red onions in one bowl and red peppers, yellow peppers, orange peppers, celery and zucchini in the other bowl. Usually there are also cucumbers, but I used them up in the Cucumber Salad Recipe. I also cook up some hard-cooked (not boiled) eggs, cook some Garlic Lemon Chicken Breasts, and stock the fridge with spring mix lettuce. Then, if I’m having a busy night, I can just toss all the ingredients in a bowl and head to the back porch for a lovely meal al fresco – next to the herb garden, of course.
Doesn’t that chicken breast just look amazing on top of that salad? It was so juicy and the lemon made for such a vibrant dish.
Garlic Lemon Chicken Breast Recipe Photo Tutorial
(Printer friendly version below)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 cloves garlic
2 small lemons
1-2 tablespoons cooking oil
salt and pepper
Step 1: Warm cooking oil in a pan over medium/medium-low heat (depending on your stove). Crush and chop garlic. Add the garlic to the oil and cook for about a minute.
Step 2: Slice the lemons and add about half of the slices to the bottom of the pan. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts and lay them on top of the garlic/lemon slices in the bottom of the pan. Top the chicken breasts with the rest of the slices.
Step 3: Cover the pan with a lid and turn down to medium low. Cook until the chicken breasts are cooked through, turning once. The amount of time this will take will depend on how thick the chicken breasts are. Just keep an eye on them. But try not to open the lid too many times because you’ll let the moisture out.
Step 4: (Optional) Once they’re cooked through, take the lid off and turn up to medium. Let cook for a minute or two on each side to brown them a little. If I have enough liquid left in the pan, sometimes I’ll brown them a little, then remove the chicken breasts and keep the liquid in the pan cooking a little to thicken it. Then, you can use the pan drippings like a gravy. It’s very tasty.
Step 5: Once they’re done, either serve and enjoy, or slice them up and store in the fridge to serve and enjoy later!