The Basics Of Precooking Chicken
I always include chicken breast in clients diets, unfortunately most people cook the hell out of chicken and are left with a dry piece of meat that gets even worse when reheated. Since I want clients to precook as much food as possible to save time preparing meals I want to make sure that the chicken is cooked properly ensuring it is still juicy and tender when reheated or eaten cold.
I am going to start by either grilling or baking up a few pounds of chicken breast. I always prepare a week’s worth of foods I have to cook such as chicken, beef, brown rice, whole wheat pasta etc. When grilling chicken breast on the BBQ I will season lightly with salt a pepper (since I will be changing flavors later) and place the chicken on a Med/High grill 500 degrees. I will cook it for 10-15 minutes turning it half way. When I am baking chicken I will place lightly seasoned chicken on a baking sheet and put it in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Obviously times will vary due to thickness of chicken and how accurate your oven or grill is. If in doubt I would take the chicken off sooner than later, you can always cut into the thickest piece and if it isn’t done leave it a few more minutes. As long as the chicken is white inside and the juices are running clear it is done. You never want it pink or mushy in the middle, it should be cooked through but still very moist.
At this point I will place half the cooked chicken in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. When I start to run out of chicken in the fridge I simply remove the frozen chicken and thaw. It will be as good as it was the day it was cooked as long as you don’t overcook it to start.