How To Cook Chicken Fillets
Chicken is one of those meats, unlike beef, that needs to be cooked thoroughly to avoid food poisoning. It needs to be handled separately prior to cooking to keep it away from other foods and you should not use the same chopping board or knife to prepare the rest of your ingredients.
When we come onto how to cook chicken fillets, the timing depends on your method of cooking and the size of your fillet. If you are roasting the fillets they will need 15-20 minutes, if you are grilling they will only need 10 minutes and if you are stir frying the fillets once cut into strips they will only take 5-7 minutes. Larger fillets will take a bit longer to cook. Roasted fillets will keep their moisture better if you wrap them in a foil packet.
To test that the fillet is cooked through you need to prick the meat with a skewer and if the juices run clear it is done. Make sure you get right to the middle of the fattest part of the fillet. Alternatively you can slice the fillet in half to check the meat is white and not still pink.
Chicken fillets on their own will be a bit bland so here are a few easy recipes for you to consider.
The easiest way to dress up your chicken fillets is to cover them in breadcrumbs. First dip them in seasoned flour, then in beaten egg, then in breadcrumbs (bought or fresh), then back in the egg and back for a final coating of breadcrumbs. Roast them on a lightly oiled baking sheet and turn half way through the cooking time. You could then serve them with any number of bought dips and a salad.
Grilled Chicken With Spiced Butter
Deseed and finely chop a small green chilli. Mix it along with 4 tbsp of chopped coriander and 75g of softened butter in a bowl and season. Take four chicken fillets and make three of four 5mm deep slashes on each side. Spread half the butter on one side of the chicken and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Grill, butter side up on a moderate heat for 7 minutes. Turn the fillets over and spread with the remaining butter and another 1 tbsp of lemon juice and grill for another 7 minutes until cooked through. Serve topped with a coriander sprig and seasonal vegetables and spoon over any butter that has collected in the grill tray. If chilli is not your cup of tea, replace it with 2 crushed garlic cloves.
Baked Chicken Fillets With Pesto
Make a pocket in each chicken fillet by cutting a deep horizontal slice. For four chicken fillets, mix together 125g of low fat soft cheese with 2 tbsp of pesto and season. Divide the mixture between each chicken pocket leaving 4 tsp spare. Wrap each fillet in a slice of ham, place 1 tsp of the left over mixture on top and loosely make a foil parcel out of each one. Bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes and then serve with baked potatoes and a side salad.