Perfect Chicken Breasts Every Time: FLF 22-Minute Chicken
"Why do chicken breasts always turn out so dry and rubbery?"
"How do I make chicken taste good?"
"How do I get enough protein?"
If I had a dollar for every time we get these questions here at Fat Loss Foodies, I could buy a lifetime supply of boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts.
And this is the exact recipe I would use to cook them.
This 22-minute Chicken is barely even a recipe, it's more of a technique really - but it's going to change the way you cook chicken FOREVER.
It has quickly become a weekly go-to in the FLF kitchen and even after 2-3 months, I'm still making chicken this way every few days as part of my mini cooking sessions.
Twenty-two Minute Chicken is done entirely on the stovetop, requires only 2-3 minutes of actual work, and produces juicy, flavorful chicken every. single. time.
Are you ready to start making chicken breasts you actually LOVE eating? LET'S DO IT!
- Leslie Ann
organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and fresh black pepper to taste
1. Place chicken breasts on a large sheet of parchment or wax paper. Fold paper over the chicken, and pound each chicken breast to an even thickness (about 1") with a mallet.
2. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper.
3. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a teaspoon or so of olive oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom evenly.
4. Place seasoned chicken breasts in the skillet and set a timer for 1 minute. Flip the chicken with a pair of tongs and cook for 1 minute longer.
5. Turn heat down as low as it will go. Cover the chicken. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
***DO NOT LIFT THE LID. The lid is key; it's trapping the heat and creating steam to continue cooking the chicken. If you lift the lid, the heat/steam escapes and you've ruined it. Womp womp.
6. When the timer goes off, kill the heat completely but again, DO NOT LIFT THE LID. Set a timer for another 10 minutes.
When the timer goes off, you should have the most beautiful, juicy, flavorful pieces of chicken you've ever cooked! This cooking method also creates a delicious pan sauce that you can pour over the chicken when you store it in a container. It helps retain additional moisture and flavor.
Protein is Key for Fat Loss
Ladies, there is no way around it: If you want to get lean - that is, lose body fat and retain your lean muscle - you HAVE to get adequate protein in your diet, and you probably need more than you think!
Protein is the #1 macronutrient for fighting hunger, and it's the building block of muscle. If you're an active woman exercising regularly and trying to improve your body composition, we recommend multiplying your body weight by .8-1 and setting that as your daily protein goal.
Example for a female who weighs 150 pounds:
Foods that are high-quality protein sources include:
Grass fed beef and bison
Fish and seafood - preferably wild caught
Wild game like venison and boar
Whey isolate protein powder or plant-based protein powder for those with dairy sensitivities (i.e. pea protein, brown rice protein, hemp, etc.)
Whole eggs and egg whites - preferably organic
Poultry like chicken and duck - preferably organic; white and dark meat are fine, as most of the fat is in the skin)
Organic dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese - because dairy is insulinogenic and a common allergen, some women have difficulty getting leaner with loads of dairy in their diet. Experiment to find your individual sensitivity.
A serving of protein is about the size and thickness of the palm of your hand, or around 100 grams or 4 ounces if you're weighing it on a food scale.
A serving of cooked boneless skinless chicken breast has a mere 150 calories, almost all of which are from protein, which a small amount coming from fat.
A 4 oz./100 gram serving of cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast has ~27 grams of protein and only 3 grams of fat - and you can do a million things with it.
SCORE. Are you starting to understand why chicken is an FLF menu staple?
A Blank Canvas
If you think getting leaner means eating cold rubbery chicken out of a Tupperware container several times a day, THINK AGAIN. Fat Loss Foodies are FOODIES and we refuse to eat miserable food we hate!
Chicken is a go-to protein for us because it's so versatile. You can make it dozens of different ways and the seasoning possibilities are endless, so you never have to eat the same boring thing week after week.
I make a batch of this 22-Minute Chicken every week and use it for:
Topping big salads at lunch and dinner
Making chicken salad
Filling for lettuce, collard green, and grain-free wraps
Taco Tuesday obviously!
Chop it up and add it to homemade veggie soups for a protein boost.
Adding to lunch and dinner bowls with a veggie and clean carb like rice or potatoes.
Eating out of the fridge cold when I'm hungry and/or not even close to hitting my daily protein goal.
Adding to a serving of Trader Joe's Brown Rice Penne Pasta with goat cheese and some marinara sauce. Pasta with a huge kick of protein? Yes please.