Easy Meal Prep: Dry-Poached Chicken Breasts
Chicken breasts. Amazing how such an expensive cut of protein can be so utterly, totally tasteless...if it's cooked improperly. Not you. No more. Batch cook your chicken breasts for healthy lunches and dinners all week with this mess-free, low-calorie and -- most importantly -- moist and delicious method!
With 15 years as a trainer, I've eaten my share of chicken breasts. "Chicken and broccoli" is kind of a fitness industry cliche, but there is one simple reason this bland cut is so popular among the healthy crowd:
110 calories. 26 grams of protein.
That's in just 4 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breast. If you want lean mass (i.e., muscles), you gotta eat protein (i.e., muscles). Boneless, skinless chicken breast is one big hunk of muscle. There's virtually no fat. All the good stuff (come on, admit it, the skin is the good stuff) has been removed. It's a blank slate. You can add your own healthy fats, condiments, sauces, and any possible combination of veggies, fruits, and grains. The possibilities are endless.
That doesn't change the fact that a juicy chicken breast can turn into particle board if it's improperly cooked. In my search for the best, healthiest, juiciest way to cook chicken breasts for the week, I've settled on this method.
Pop a batch in the oven on Sunday or Monday and be ready for anything the week throws at you. They'll last 5 days and stay surprisingly moist even when served cold.
Dry-Poached Chicken Breasts
- 4-8 chicken breasts
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- dried herbs or salt-free seasoning mix of choice
- sea salt + pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking dish with a double length (enough to cover the bottom twice) of parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Pat chicken breasts dry and season well on both sides with garlic, herbs, salt & pepper. Rub to really flavour the chicken.
- Sprinkle parchment with olive oil. Place chicken breasts on top, then sprinkle tops of chicken breasts with olive oil.
- Fold remaining parchment over, tucking it to keep steam in.
- Bake 25-35 minutes, depending on number and size of breasts, until opaque in the middle but still juicy. Rest before cutting.