Think of a chicken breast as a blank canvas: it’s just begging for you to use ingredients and techniques to make it a flavorful work of art. You’ll never think of chicken as being boring again after learning these four fast and easy tricks to totally change up chicken.
1. Split It
Place the breast flat on a work surface and stabilize it with your palm. Using a chef’s knife, slice horizontally starting from the thicker side of the breast, creating two 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick pieces. Cook the cutlets quickly in EVOO and use them in sandwiches like this Chicken BLT.
2. Pocket It
Using a paring knife, make a horizontal cut, about an inch and a half long, in the thickets part of the breast. Sweep the tip of the blade laterally within the cut, being careful not to poke through the sides, to create a pocket. Now, you can stuff it with cheese, herbs, mushrooms and other tasty things like spinach and feta!
3. Pound It
Place the breast between two sheets of plastic wrap. Working with a meat pounder from the center of the breast outward, use firm, even blows to flatten the breast to the desired thickness. Thinner breasts roll up easily. Layer on meats and cheeses; then roll, bake and slice into cool spirals!
4. Process It
Cut chicken breasts into cubes and place in a food processor. Pulse until finely ground but not a paste, about four 1-second pulses. Keep ground meat refrigerated until ready to form into patties or use in chili.
Looking for more chicken ideas?
When done right, pizza dough is crispy and crunchy and delicious. The secret? A long, slow rise. Follow our step-by-step lead for the best-ever 6-ingredient pizza dough!
Learn how to mix, pour, turn, oil, punch, shape, rest and finally roll out the best-ever pizza dough.
More technique tips:
Canning and pickling are back in a big way, and it’s easier than you think! If you know how to boil water, you can stock away sweet, juicy, peak-season produce in a few simple steps.
After gathering and sterilizing your utensils, it’s time to parcook the food. This is also the time to season or add flavorings like spices or sweeteners. Learn how to parcook your food, plus what comes next here.
Explore our full slideshow for the step-by-step canning breakdown. Then, get five more spicy, smoky or even sweet home canning recipes.
More technique tips!
A perfectly browned sear on everything from steak to stew meat creates a flavorful crust and juicy interior. Just follow these four easy searing commandments.
Commandment #1: Thou shalt pat the meat dry.
If excess moisture (aside from butter, oil or fat) is present, the meat will steam, not sear.
Commandment #2: Thou shalt get the pan hot.
Intense heat creates the tasty, burnished crust you’re looking for.
Commandment #3: Thou shalt be patient.
Hands off–and we mean it! If the meat isn’t touching the hot pan
(because you keep moving it), it won’t brown properly.
Commandment #4: Thou shalt take turns.
(Illustrations by Claudia Pearson)
To achieve a uniform sear, each side of the meat needs equal attention. However, try to keep flipping of the meat to a minimum as it will dry and toughen the meat.
|When a recipe like our Red Velvet Meltcakes (pictured left) calls for beating heavy cream or egg whites, it will often mention soft or stiff peaks. How do you tell what’s what? You can see where you stand by just lifting up the beaters.|
- Soft Peaks will be thick but still droopy and are perfect for dollop-friendly whipped cream.
- Stiff Peaks will stick up straight from the beaters and are what you’re looking for when making meringue.