A great staple meal is a grilled chicken. It can be paired with so many other things and is surprisingly easy to make well.
You can keep some frozen chicken breasts in your freezer to make a cheap meal available at any time. This also works with raw chicken too, so whichever you have available.
Grab a pan with a lid or you can also use a lid slightly smaller than the pan. It’s important to use a combination that allows you to have a seal when the lid is on. This helps cook the chicken thoroughly while making sure it doesn’t dry out.
Then drizzle some olive oil onto the center of the pan. This is to keep the chicken from sticking to the pan and also adds a little healthy fat and flavour.
Then you just set the chicken on the oil. I also drizzle just a little olive oil on the top of the chicken. This helps keep the seasoning on and a little oil for when you flip it.
Speaking of seasoning, this is also very simple. Just a little bit of salt and pepper, and the part that really makes it good, rosemary. Sprinkle a little bit of rosemary on there and it takes the chicken to the next notch.
Once you’re used to the basics, you’ll be able to experiment with other flavors you might want to try. I once added a slice of lemon to a dish with multiple servings. While I liked the flavour, it didn’t pair correctly with the rest of the elements of the meal.
After you dress your chicken, put that lid we talked about on. Turn the stove onto medium heat and don’t pick up the lid. The seal really is what keeps the chicken from drying out, so the less you lift it, the better. Just let it cook for a few minutes. You’ll probably hear the sizzling and see some steam. Basically, just listen and trust your gut, but try not to lift the lid more than once. When the first side is cooked well, flip it and replace the lid. I have found that it is easier to flip chicken by using tongs instead of a spatula.
You know it’s done when the center is cooked thoroughly. I cut into the center just a little bit before taking it off the skillet. As long as it’s not pink you’ll be ok. If you see pink, it’s not done and you could get sick by eating it. To check without cutting your chicken, use a meat thermometer. It should read at least 165°.
Find what works for you, these are more like guidelines anyway.