For Juicier Stovetop Chicken, Allow It To Steam

Chicken, especially chicken breast, is prone to becoming tough and dry when cooked on the stovetop. Sometimes, we end up overcooking the chicken to ensure that it's safe to eat. But if you're working with a pan, steaming is a great method to cook your chicken thoroughly, while maintaining its juices. It may seem intimidating at first, but you have to trust the process and let the steam do its magic. This means keeping the lid closed and not prying the meat with a meat thermometer.

This will give you a chicken breast that cuts smoothly but remains intact. Many make the mistake of cooking the chicken on medium-high heat for a long time, which immediately dries out the protein, making it stringy and chewy. But the proven best approach for a moist chicken is going low and slow with whichever cooking method you use. 

You'll find that steamed chicken leaves you with a flavorful, browned skin and a juicy interior — and is as easy as frying with no steamer or pot of boiling water required.

How to steam chicken on stovetop

The first step to making a perfect chicken is to season it sufficiently. Brining your chicken beforehand will tenderize the meat, making for a juicier end product. Once your chicken is ready, heat a pan on medium-high heat and add olive oil for better-browned chicken; The first side of the chicken should be crispy and golden. This gorgeous layer brings texture and flavor to the breast. Leave this side to crisp up, giving your chicken anywhere from one to five minutes of frying time. If you want a homogenous white chicken breast without any browned exterior, cook this side for just one minute until it turns white.

The chicken should start to turn opaque about one-third of the way through, depending on how thick your cut is. Once you see this visual cue, flip the chicken to cook it on the other side for about another minute. Now that both sides of the chicken are evenly cooked or browned, you can begin the steaming process. Reduce the heat to low and close the lid on the pan. With the low heat, the chicken will not be overcooked on either side, and the lid will create a damp environment for the entire breast to finish cooking. Leave the lid on for at least 10 minutes, and then take it off and let it rest for 5 to 10 more minutes. 

Your chicken should be ready to eat when its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.