Boneless, skinless chicken is a versatile and healthy choice for lunch or dinner. If you opt for chicken breasts, a 4-ounce serving has just 110 calories and 2.5 grams of fat, but provides you nearly half of your daily requirement for protein. The problem arises in the cooking. Using butter or oil to cook your chicken negates the meat's naturally low calories and fat. You have a couple of options, though, for cooking up your main dish without the unwanted extras.
Put about 1/4 inch of water in a Dutch oven or deep skillet. Set it on the burner and bring the water to a boil.
Add two chicken breasts, or however many will fit without piling them on top of one another, to the boiling water. The water should not completely cover the chicken.
Sprinkle the exposed chicken with the seasonings of your choice, such as salt and pepper, garlic powder, seasoned salt or cayenne pepper.
Turn the heat on the burner down slightly, but keep the water boiling. Keep an eye on the water. If it is close to all boiling away, add more, or your chicken will burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.
Watch the chicken. When the edges start to turn white but the top that you see is still pink in the middle, about 4 minutes, turn it over. Sprinkle more seasoning on this cooked side.
Cook for an additional 3 minutes or so, then make a small slit in the chicken and see if it is cooked through. All of the meat should be white. When it is done, remove it from the water with a fork and serve hot.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pound your chicken to a uniform thickness with the smooth side of the meat mallet. This will ensure that there are no uncooked spots in thicker areas when most of the chicken is done.
Spray a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray, then lay the chicken in one layer in the pan. Sprinkle the chicken with your choice of seasonings.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil to keep in moisture. Bake the chicken on the middle oven rack for 15 to 20 minutes. The total cooking time will depend on how many breasts are in the pan and how thick they are. After 15 minutes, cut a slit in the thickest part of the thickest chicken breast. If it is still pinkish, continue baking, checking every couple of minutes, until it is white throughout. Serve warm.
Things You'll Need
Dutch oven or deep skillet
Seasoning of choice
Flat-face meat mallet
Nonstick cooking spray
If you've gone to the trouble of cooking your chicken without butter or oil, don't ruin the healthful effect by covering it in a cream-, cheese- or oil-based sauce. If you prefer sauces to seasonings -- or you like both at once -- try topping it with salsa, a low-fat salad dressing or a low-calorie soup.
Wash your hands and your work surfaces thoroughly after they've been in contact with raw chicken.