Culinary Arts

Gordon Ramsay's Secret to Cooking Chicken: Best Way to Cook Chicken

Written by MasterClass

Jul 27, 2018 • 2 min read

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Gordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking I

Boneless chicken breast is one of the most common meats prepared in home kitchens. Yet chicken breast is also one of the most difficult cuts of chicken to get right. That’s because unlike chicken thighs, chicken breasts contain very little fat. This makes them easy to overcook, resulting in rubbery, dry chicken.

Chef Gordon Ramsay’s advice for making the best chicken breast every time? Never cook it cold. By allowing chicken breast to come to room temperature, you’ll ensure it cooks more evenly once it hits the pan. Plus, by opting for skin-on chicken instead of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, you’ll get a more flavorful dish with more texture and moisture.

In Chef Ramsay’s recipe for Chicken Suprême, he shows you how to use his technique for cooking juicy chicken breast, as well as how to use the brown bits left in your chicken pan provide the perfect base for a delicious sauce.

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Gordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking IGordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking I

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What Is the Right Internal Temperature for Cooking Chicken?

The safest internal temperature for cooking chicken is 165 F. In order to make sure you cook chicken breasts to the safest temperature for consumption, use an instant read thermometer or dedicated meat thermometer.

How Long Does Chicken Need to Cook?

Depending on the chicken breast recipes, cooking times will vary. Regardless of total time, make sure seared, grilled, or baked chicken breasts reach an internal temperature of 165 F.

A Note on Food Safety From Chef Ramsay

Raw chicken breast may carry bacteria that can cause serious illness, including salmonella. Make sure your hands are thoroughly washed with warm, soapy water both before and after handling raw chicken. It’s also crucial that you wash knives and cutting boards after they have been in contact with raw chicken. Practicing good hygiene in the kitchen will reduce your risk of foodborne illnesses.

How to Cook Juicy Chicken Breast: Step-by-Step Guide

Raw chicken being seasoned on silver plate

1. Remove chicken breasts from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature for at least three minutes. Season well with salt and pepper and let it rest.

Gordon Ramsay chopping garlic on cutting board

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F°. Place a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet over high heat and add grapeseed oil. Add sprigs of thyme and smashed whole garlic cloves to the plate with the chicken.

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Gordon Ramsay putting raw chicken into pan

3. When the oil in the pan is hot, place chicken breasts skin-side down into the pan. Test the pan for heat first by lightly touching the chicken down—if you hear it sizzle, it’s ready. Don’t add the chicken to the pan until it’s sizzling hot.

Chicken with garlic and herbs in pan being tilted

4. Dump the garlic and thyme on top of the chicken in the pan and lower the heat to medium. Don’t move the chicken until skin releases and browns on the edges, about 4 minutes. To sear the sides, tilt the chicken to the edge of the pan, about 10 seconds per side.

Chicken being cooked in pan with herbs and garlic

5. Flip the chicken and add 6 tablespoons butter. As the butter melts, carefully and continuously spoon it over the chicken breasts, basting the skin until golden, about 3 minutes. Flip the chicken back over so that the skin side is down again, and baste that side of the chicken.

Cooked chicken breast on wood cutting board

6. Then, with the chicken skin-side down, put the entire pan into the oven. Bake chicken breasts for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown and juices run clear.

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Gordon Ramsay serving chicken on plate from pan

7. Remove from oven, transfer to a plate and let the chicken rest. Drain the excess fat from the pan to a small bowl.

Get step-by-step instructions for this dish, additional chicken recipes, and more in Chef Gordon Ramsay's MasterClass.

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