When a recipe calls for cooked chicken (and many of mine do!), out of the main methods for cooking poultry, my preferred approach is braising – most often boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The resulting cooked chicken is moist, tender and full of flavor. Plus, it’s also customizable – you can adjust the added seasonings to your tastes and/or to fit the recipe in which you’ll use the cooked chicken.

What Does it Mean to Braise Chicken?

Braising any meat is a two-step process. It involves first searing the meat over high heat, then slow cooking it, covered, with liquid and seasonings.

Does Braising Chicken Make it More Tender?

Yes! Braising not only results in tender chicken, it also keeps it moist and makes it even more flavorful, because the slow process allows the chicken to absorb the flavors in the braising liquid.

Braising Chicken Breast Ingredients – What can I use to braise chicken?

One of the aspects of braising that I love is the ability to customize the ingredients to your tastes, and or the flavors you want to add that fit your final dish. Besides chicken, you’ll need three things:

  1. Oil to sear the chicken. I like to use olive or vegetable oil.
  2. Liquid for simmering. You can use dry white wine, dry sherry, broth, water – even tomato juice will work.
  3. Seasonings. For a mild flavor, simply add a bay leaf. To amp it up a bit, add in a few sprigs of fresh parsley, cilantro, basil, oregano, rosemary, etc. You can also add chopped vegetables – onion, garlic, carrot, celery, etc.

How to Braise Chicken Breast

Braising is an easy process; once you learn it, you’ll use it over and over. Here are the steps:

  1. Prep pan.
    Coat the bottom of heavy large skillet (preferably cast iron) with oil and heat over high heat.
  2. Sear chicken.
    Place chicken breasts in a single layer in hot skillet and cook for 1 minute or until lightly browned. Turn over and cook 1 minute.
  3. Add liquid and seasoning(s); cook.
    Add liquid of your choice (sherry, wine, broth, etc.) and seasonings. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion reads 160 to 165 degrees, around 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Cool.
    Remove chicken from pan and set aside to cool.

How to Serve Braised Chicken Breasts

The braising method shared in this post isn’t designed to result in chicken to serve. Rather, it’s for cooking chicken that will be used in another recipe. For an “all in one” braised chicken recipe that you can cook and then serve, check out Braised Chicken with Olives and Artichokes.

How long does braised chicken last?

Cooked chicken, in a sealed container, will keep 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator or up to 2 months in the freezer.

Braised Chicken Breast Recipe FAQ

How long do you braise chicken?

The initial step – searing – only takes around 1 minute per side. The second step of simmering in liquid typically takes anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of your breasts.

Should you cover chicken when braising?

For the first step of searing, no, you shouldn’t cover the pan. That will trap in moisture, which will keep the chicken from browning. For the second step, definitely cover the chicken.

Can you braise chicken from frozen?

Yes, while it’s not my preferred approach, you can partially braise frozen chicken breasts. You need to be able to separate them into individual pieces. Skip the searing step and add enough liquid to cover the breasts. They will take around twice as long to cook (around 40 minutes).

Can you braise skinless chicken?

Yes – that’s what you do in this recipe!

Can you overcook chicken when braising?

You can over cook chicken breasts when braising, so keep an eye on the temperature and don’t let it go above 165 degrees. However, you really can’t overcook chicken thighs when braising.

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How to Braise Chicken Breasts

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Braised chicken breasts are tender, moist and flavorful. You can use virtually any form of liquid – dry sherry, dry white wine, broth, water – even tomato juice will work. Similarly, you can add in seasonings to your taste. In the ingredient list below, I keep it simple and just add a bay leaf. You could also toss it sprigs of fresh parsley, thyme, cilantro, rosemary, basil, etc. And, you can add some chopped vegetables (onion, garlic, carrot, celery) too!

  • Prep Time: 1 min
  • Cook Time: 22 mins
  • Total Time: 23 minutes
  • Yield: 4 braised breasts 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale
  • Olive or vegetable oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup sherry, white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf – or sprig of parsley, cilantro, rosemary, etc.

Instructions

  1. Coat bottom of heavy large skillet (preferably cast iron) with olive oil and heat over high heat.
  2. Place chicken breasts in a single layer in hot skillet and cook for 1 minute or until lightly browned. Turn over and cook 1 minute.
  3. Add liquid and herb(s). Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion reads 160 to 165 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken from pan and set aside to cool.
  • Author: Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: cooking tip
  • Method: Braising
  • Cuisine: French

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Comments

  1. Thanks so much for all the detail on braising. Tried it last night and my chicken was so tender and flavorful!!






  2. This was so easy and turned out great. I had four 2-day lightly dry-brined chicken breasts in my fridge that I needed to cook up pronto. This is going to make fabulous shredded BBQ chicken sandwiches among other things. Thanks for the directions. This one’s a keeper.






  3. A great, quick way to serve a chicken breast!! Very versatile as you can use a variety of liquids… wine, broth, etc. and many different herbs! THANKS!






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About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I’ve provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.


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