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-   -   Searing Chicken Breasts? (http://www.discusscooking.com/forums/f15/searing-chicken-breasts-18668.html)

Mylegsbig 01-24-2006 04:40 PM

Searing Chicken Breasts?
Hey there quick question about searing chicken breasts.

Let's say i want to sear some chicken breasts in stove, then throw them in the oven to bake and finish.

How long and at what temp do i sear them?

These are your normal sized trimmed boneless skinless chicken breasts.

I have been searing them at MEDIUM HIGH for 1 minute on each side, and first two times came out great, but last time i did this they were tough. But also, last time i had them marinated in lemon juice for a few hours. Does this make chicken tough?

So how long and at what temp do i sear before throwing in oven? Using a teflon skillet, with a few drops of olive oil.

jennyema 01-24-2006 04:47 PM

ARe you going to make a pan sauce? If so, use a SS skillet if you have one, as nonstick inhibits the development of fond (the yummy brown stuff) that is the basis of pan sauce.

To your question, yes, it very well could have been the lemon juice that made the last batch tough.

Acidic marinades add flavor but may toughen
This is essential reading on the food science behind marinades. It's a quick and easy read.

The answer is, cook them until they are a pretty deep golden brown. That will depend on lots of things, so don't go on time. I would cook them on med high.

Mylegsbig 01-24-2006 05:09 PM

thanks jenn! If i had a penny for everytime you've helped with one of my recipes.... As for skillet, DOH! All i hae now is teflon...sucks...Im getting some new cookware soon as i feel the teflon is really limiting me.

marmalady 01-24-2006 08:06 PM


Originally Posted by Mylegsbig
thanks jenn! If i had a penny for everytime you've helped with one of my recipes.... As for skillet, DOH! All i hae now is teflon...sucks...Im getting some new cookware soon as i feel the teflon is really limiting me.

Lol, my first response to your question was going to be to lose the Teflon:smile: ; um, er, it IS really limiting you!

Robo410 01-24-2006 09:38 PM

chicken will brown in either a hot pan or a cold pan that gets hot. (the first is better) Lemmon may toughen ...also a chicken breast probably doesn't need more than 20 minutes in a lemmon marinade, unless there is oil with it too (emulsion like a dressing marinade) Teflon can do an ok job, and is helpful if trying to stay low fat (don't know if you are or aren't)
But also, chicken can vary widely...this week sweet, next week same brand same size a tad stiff?? too much exercise in the coop?? who knows

gonefishin 01-25-2006 09:35 PM

Hi MyLegsBig,

There's no need to buy an entire new set of cookware, just get one or two new pieces. Then when your ready...perhaps another. Maybe start with a nice cast-iron skillet or another that isn't a non-stick surface.

I'm not sure what kind of chicken your buying...instead of buying the steriod injected monster sized chicken breast, get some nice small (normal) sized chicken breast.

Heat your "stickable" pan good and hot with a medium to medium high heat. Cover the bottom with a thin coat of your favorite oil. Let the oil heat up and salt & pepper your breast. Throw them in the pan and let them sizzle, not moving them...let them sit in one spot. Once the breast have turned golden and have released a bit...go ahead and turn them over (again...let set and don't move them). Now cook until the second size in golden brown. If you've got a meat thermometer check to see that they're 150 degrees.

Now that they're cooked to a just underdone state place them on a (lightly heated) serving platter or cookie sheet. Tent with foil and let set. Now take 1 - 2 cups of chicken stock and deglaze the pan. Add the zest of 1/2 lemon then cut and add the juice of 1/2 lemon. Reduce until the stock is a syrup consistancy barely covering the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat off...whisk in 1-2 tablespoons of butter and your done with the sauce.

After the breast have set for a good 10 minutes or more they should hbave cooked up to 160. Slice the breast going across the grain and set on a serving platter with the juices poured on top. Then pour a line of the pan sauce over the breast...sprinkle a bit of kosher salt (if needed) and some fresh ground pepper and serve. If you want a simple vegetable to go with the slight lemon flavor...steam some fresh green beans and sprinkly with a bit of olive oil (not much) salt, pepper...then add zest 1/2 lemon and toss.

That's a quick and easy chicken breast recipe. It really doesn't take long at all>>>

take care,

AllenOK 01-25-2006 11:59 PM

IMHO, Cast Iron skillets are probably the buy for your buck, for functionality. You can heat it good and hot, brown one side of your chicken, then pop the whole pan into the oven to finish cooking the chicken. When it's done, pull out the pan, remove the chicken to a warm plate or platter, and deglaze the pan to make a quick pan sauce/gravy.

jennyema 01-26-2006 11:31 AM

I agree with cast iron, but using vinegar and lemon in them can give you an off taste, as they are not nonreactive.

I use wine and tomato in mine with no problem, but anything more acidic than that and I can sure taste it.

Constance 01-27-2006 07:55 PM

Sorry, no cast iron for me...I love the Calaphon.
Kim (my husband) made seared chicken breasts last night. He cut them in half horizontally to make them thinner, seasoned with S&P and Cajun seasoning, and seared in a little olive oil. After they were cooked, he layed a slice of provelone on each hot breast to melt.
We were craving chicken sandwhiches, and I had mine on whole wheat bread, spread generousy with Miracle whip, a little mustard, and a few pickled sweet banana pepper rings.

auntdot 01-28-2006 07:21 AM

Don't like to jump in this late in a post, but Jennyema is, as always, right.

Acid cooks, and when I saw Mylegsbig's post I immediately thought of ceviche.

Generally a Latin or South American recipe it usually calls for seafood 'cooked' in an acidic marinade, such as citrus.

The stuff so marinated is served that way, no heat necessary.

I have been told that ceviche is becoming popular in some trendy places.

Cannot verify that, we live in the toolies, and have not made a trip to the city for quite a while. Even then we do not usually try out trendy.

But I can say that seafood ceviche, particulary shrimp, is a very popular dish in many places south of the border.

Would make it ourselves but don't trust the freshness of the seafood we see in the grocery. The acid apparently does not kill all the bugs that heat does.

As tony restaurants keep searching for something 'new', watch for ceviche.

Whether one should make it at home, unless there is a fresh source of seafood, I have no idea.

But I agree that the reason the poster's chicken breasts were tough is that they were cooked twice.

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