Putting a meal on the table for the family is always easier when you have some dependable tools in your pantry. You probably already buy chicken breasts in bulk. But what you might consider doing is grilling or baking some chicken breasts in advance, which will cut down your meal-prep time during the week.

Here are some tips to remember when cooking chicken breasts. One of the biggest fears is under cooking the breast. If you cut the pieces on the horizontal so that they are half as thick, it’ll not only take less time to cook, but it’ll be easier for marinades to penetrate the meat, too. You also can cut the breasts into strips resembling chicken tenders and use accordingly.

Once you have cooked chicken in the refrigerator, you can use the pieces for sandwiches, salads, soups, pastas and such. On the days when you barely have time to assemble a meal, just spread prepared guacamole and salsa on opposite sides of a bun, add a piece of cold chicken. Serve it with some chips and fruit, and you’re good to go. Or toss chicken cubes with a lettuce mix and your favorite dressing, then serve with cheese toasts: Sprinkle some grated cheese on sliced baguette or crusty bread and broil until the cheese melts.

You can adapt the Jamie Oliver recipe that’s pictured by tossing the cooked chicken with blanched green beans and some cherry tomato halves. Drizzle with a honey-mustard dressing.

Sticky Fingers Chicken Recipe- A Kid Favorite!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp  sugar
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp. honey
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
1-2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

Preparation: Combine all ingredients (except chicken) in a shallow baking dish and stir until sugar is totally dissolved. Add the chicken and baste. Cover the dish and chill in refrigerator for min of 10 min or up to 24 hours.

Transfer the chicken and marinade to a large heavy nonstick or cast iron skillet. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover  and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring each piece occasionally. Check the breasts for doneness (160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer). Cover and keep warm in oven.

Increase stove heat to medium and reduce the marinade remaining in skillet until syrupy, stirring occasionally at first, then stirring constantly as the mixture starts to thicken, about 5 minutes total. Return chicken to the skillet, baste with sauce, and serve immediately – with lots of hot cooked rice!

What are some of your favorite chicken recipes? Log in and share your comment or recipes below.

– Hsiao-Ching Chou

Reader Suggestions
My kids love this super simple chicken parmesan recipe. My niece (age 7) didn’t like chicken until she tried it and now my brother- and sister-in-law make it all the time also. Find it here: http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/ragu-no-frying-chicken-parmesan/Detail.aspx I use organic marinara sauce from Trader Joes. I also cook a pound of pasta and heat up another jar of sauce on the side to go with this. We usually use about 1.25 or 1.5 lbs of boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts. So good and EASY! – MonkeyGirl Seattle, Wa