The Best Way To Make Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts Is Not To Buy Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

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This is an important message from your sponsor, me. You know how grocery stores sell boneless, skinless chicken breasts more than they do actual chickens? And how people bring them home and cook them in such a way that they’re dry, flavorless pieces of cardboard? And how this leads people to hate food cooked at home so much that they wind up going to Popeye’s where this woman has an orgasm as she watches you eat your chicken? And everyone gets obese as our country goes down the toilet? I’m going to tell you a secret.

If you buy chicken breasts with the skin and bones you can still serve skinless, boneless chicken breasts for dinner only they will taste a million times better. Let me explain.

Bones and skin do good things for chicken: they give it flavor. We know bones have flavor because when you put them in a big pot of water and crank up the heat, a few hours later you have a flavorful stock. And skin clearly has flavor because it’s often the best part of the chicken once it’s cooked.

So if you cook a chicken breast with the skin and bones attached and then remove them won’t that clearly taste better than cooking a chicken breast without skin and bones attached? Absolutely, 100% yes. The skin, more than anything, protects the chicken as it cooks, so it doesn’t dry out; it’s a natural lubricator, rendering its fat just enough to keep things moist. Yes, I said the “F” word so you health nuts will run away screaming, but a little fat in your chicken breast will actually encourage you to eat dinner at home again and again.

Do this. Buy a packet of boneless skinless chicken breasts and one of chicken breasts that have skin and bones. Heat your oven to 350, put all the chicken on a foil-lined cookie sheet, drizzle everything with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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Pop into the oven and about 45 minutes later the chicken should be done. (Use a thermometer–stop at 160 F–or cut in to see.)

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Now remove the skin from the chicken that had the skin and wait 5 minutes, letting things rest.

Cut a taste from the boneless skinless chicken fillets and compare that to a taste from the ones you roasted with the skin-on.

The defense rests. My work here is done.

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8 comments

  1. you are on a roll. I am LOVING your posts recently. Am always nodding my head along in agreement.

  2. I must disagree here….or maybe I am just insane. I despise chicken on the bone. Texturally, it tastes different to me. Buying them and removing the breast from the bone just doesn’t work – hence my purchase of buying boneless, skinless. The other thing to keep in mind is that you absolutely cannot cook both for the same amount of time. This is how you get dry tasteless chicken. It actually takes a lot less time than people usually think. I can heat up a skillet and have a juicy, filly cooked chicken breast coming out in 10-15 minutes….if that.

  3. I was joking about the insane part….forgot the smiley face. Makes all the difference between a joke and sounding like a jerk. Sorry!!

  4. Perfect timing! I just bought bone-in, skin-on breasts yesterday, even though I didn’t really know what I’d do with them.

  5. Bone in breasts with skin are also cheaper…much cheaper. In general, I agree, however, in a house with a person on a “heart healthy diet”, my spouse, we are not allowed food with the kind of flavor imparted by skin. So the general rule of thumb around here is to grille the boneless, skinless breasts for about 15 minutes. Appropriately seasoned, they ain’t bad.

  6. There’s actually room for both. For a simpler roasted flavor I use the skin on bone on often putting fresh herbs and butter under the skin. To avoid dried out boneless skinless chicken breasts I brine them for an hour before cooking. Saute, grill or bake with a sauce and you’ll enjoy them as well.

  7. Or you could _not_ buy chicken breast. I prefer the thigh meat, which has light-years more flavor than white meat.

  8. Adam, I have to disagree. There is a place for boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can actually put them on the grill and they come out with great flavour and totally juicy. You just have to know when to take it off the grill. Also, boneless, skinless is great for stir fries. Thinly sliced, add some beans or broccoli and then some black bean sauce. It’s perfect.

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