Quick, Moist Chicken Breasts the Easy Way

I first read about this method of pan frying chicken breasts on The Kitchn a few months ago, and I’ve used it many times since. They titled it How to Cook Moist & Tender Chicken Breasts Every Time, and they weren’t exaggerating.

Chicken breasts, particularly boneless, skinless breasts, are the healthiest cut of chicken, but they can also be dry and flavorless. With this incredibly easy method, I can cook up moist, flavorful breasts using just a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. It creates chicken that's perfect for chopping up or shredding to put into chicken noodle soup, pot pie, salads or anywhere I need some chicken.

Here’s how to cook up chicken breasts that you’ll love. I’ve adapted the recipe from The Kitchn a bit.


  • Chicken breasts (as many as you’ll need), pounded thin to about one inch
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Salt & pepper both sides of the chicken.
  2. Heat a skillet that has a lid over medium-high heat.
  3. Add enough olive oil to barely coat the bottom of your pan and allow to heat for a minute.
  4. Add chicken breasts in a single layer. Cook for one minute, then turn them over.
  5. Put the lid on the pan and turn the pan to low.
  6. Cook for 10 minutes. Do not take the lid off the pan. At all.
  7. Turn off the heat and leave the lid on the pan for another 10 minutes. Do not take the lid off the pan. At all.
  8. After the second 10 minutes, take the lid off, check to make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through (no pink inside), and you’re done. Use the chicken however you want.

My Notes

  • The key to this really is never taking the lid off for the entire 20 minutes.
  • When the chicken was shredded in the bowl waiting for me to use it in chicken pot pie last night, my husband and one son kept walking through the kitchen and snitching some of it because it was so good.
  • The original recipe called for dredging the chicken in flour first. I did that the first couple of times, and then I tried it without the flour. It works just fine for me.