Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

Up to 6 servings

active: 
15 min

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Your dream for weeknight cooking might be simply getting a decent frozen chicken breast cooked and on a plate quickly. The Instant Pot is the best way we know to do this, period, no doubts. Better than the oven. Better than the stovetop. Better than any other way we’ve tried.

Pay careful attention to the size of the chicken breasts here: They are neither the tiny, 4-ounce ones nor the humongous, 10-ounce ones often found fresh in the meat case. The ones called for here are moderately sized (5 or 6 ounces) and often found in bags in the freezer case of supermarkets and big-box retailers.

If you’ve used any liquid besides plain water (even if you’ve used a combination of water and another liquid), consider turning the resulting stock in the pot into a sauce: Remove the rack from the pot, set the SAUTÉ setting on HIGH for 15 minutes, and boil the liquid until it is a thick glaze, stirring occasionally. Whisk in up to 3 tablespoons butter, then turn off the SAUTÉ function and remove the (hot!) insert from the pot to stop the cooking (so the butter doesn’t fall out of suspension and burn). Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Ingredients

1½ cups liquid

Choose one or several to make the total volume from water, broth of any sort, wine of any sort, beer of any sort, or unsweetened apple cider.


Up to six 5‑ to 6‑ounce frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts

Up to 1 tablespoon dried seasoning blend

Choose from Italian, Provençal, Cajun, Creole, taco seasoning, or another you prefer or create from dried spices.


Up to 1½ teaspoons table salt, optional (check to see if the seasoning blend includes salt)

Steps

Pour the liquid into a 6‑quart Instant Pot. Set the pot’s rack (with the handles up) or a large, open vegetable steamer inside the pot. Set the chicken breasts on the rack or in the steamer, stacking them in a crisscross manner (so there’s room for steam to circulate among them), sort of like horizontal planks put this way and that. Sprinkle each breast with 1⁄2 teaspoon dried seasoning blend and 1⁄4 teaspoon salt (if using). Lock the lid onto the pot.

Use the quick‑release method to bring the pot’s pressure back to normal. Unlatch the lid and open the cooker. Use kitchen tongs to transfer the chicken breasts to a serving platter. Serve hot — or cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Beyond

  • For an 8-quart Instant Pot, you must use 2 cups liquid.
  • The meat has not been browned. If you’d like a “browned” look (without any actual browning), lightly dust each breast with mild paprika before adding the dried seasoning blend.
  • Good liquid/spice pairings include dry white wine and a Provençal blend of dried herbs (sometimes called “herbes de Provence”); amber beer and taco seasoning blend; and unsweetened apple cider and poultry seasoning blend.
  • Make your own dried seasoning blend out of a mix of dried parsley, thyme, tarragon, and/or oregano, varying the amounts based on your taste. Or try a mix of equal parts dried parsley, thyme, and dill.
  • Make the warm breasts into a meal by setting them over a chopped salad of mixed greens plus crunchy vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli florets, and/or celery. (You can find most of these things pre- prepped in the supermarket’s produce section — and sometimes in smaller quantities in the salad bar.) Dress the salad with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and a little dried oregano.

Excerpted from FROM FREEZER TO INSANT POT Copyright © 2019 by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough.

Used with permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York. All rights reserved