So this isn’t the most complicated thing in the world, but I keep reading that cooking juicy chicken continues to be a struggle for a lot of people. I know it has been for me — the first time I tried it was a dry disaster. A desert wasteland. However, I’m here to tell you there’s hope! I made chicken to put in my chicken caesar salad recently, and it came out perfectly.
These are the keys:
- make sure you’ve pounded out your chicken to a nice even thickness
- own a meat thermometer to check to see if your chicken is cooked to perfection
- let your chicken rest before you cut into it
So for chicken caesar salad, you typically need: caesar dressing, romaine lettuce, and chicken.
Sometimes I buy chicken steaks. They come two per package, and you can get 2-3 portions from 1 chicken steak. But when I find them, I always buy chicken breast filets. They require no pounding preparation. Easy peasy!
- Heat your grill/pan on medium heat
- Use oil, butter, or cooking spray to lubricate the pan
- Pound out your chicken to an even flatness with a hammer so it will cook through evenly. I usually place saran wrap on my cutting board and on top of my chicken for sanitary reasons. To pound it, you can invest in a culinary hammer, like this — or you can use a regular one. Less surface area, but it gets the job done.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Once the pan is hot enough, lay the chicken down and let it cook for about 6 minutes.
- After 6 minutes, flip to the other side and let it cook for 6 more minutes.
Main things you can check here to be certain it’s done:
- If the thermometer gets to at least 165 degrees after you stick it into the middle of the chicken from the side, you’ve done perfectly. I’ve read that chicken needs to cook at 160 degrees for at least 5 seconds to kill pathogens.
- As my dad says, don’t eat pink chicken! Cut through the middle and if it’s white, it’s alright!
Now all you’ve got left to do is chop up your lettuce, get out the shredded cheese, croutons, and dressing and you’ve got yourself a party!
I work nights sometimes, so this is a perfect low-maintenance and tasty meal to pack for the day.