Thursday, May 30, 2013

Easy Pan Fried Frozen Chicken Breasts with Your Favourite Seasonings

When I am feeling lazy, this is my favourite way to cook chicken breasts.  Sometimes, I buy chicken breasts on sale and freeze them individually for easy cooking.  Usually, boxes of frozen chicken breasts are on sale, so I get those instead.  

At first, I didn't plan on blogging this recipe as everyone has their own method to pan-fry chicken breasts.  Then I thought this would be good for my kiddies to see how "mommy cooks chicken breasts".   Maybe when they are older, they can make these for dinner!  

I packed McDreamy's lunch today:  seasoned herb chicken breast, red & white quinoa and spring mix/spinach salad greens topped with light marble cheddar, chopped cucumbers and red & yellow bell peppers.  Dressing:  extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  

This is not really a recipe, mainly a method that I have created for those "quick and easy" dinners and lunches.  I usually pack these leftover chicken breasts for hubby's lunch.  (And yes, my man eats salad!).  

Individually frozen chicken breasts are easy to grab and cook.

Preheat frying pan to medium-high heat.  Lightly coat the bottom of pan with your favourite cooking oil.  I use extra virgin olive oil and drizzle lightly.  It doesn't have to fully coat the pan since some water will be added later to steam/poach the chicken. 

Place frozen chicken breasts on lightly oiled, preheated frying pan.  

Sprinkle your favourite seasonings onto the frozen chicken breasts.  I used dried Italian Seasoning (I think it is a blend of oregano, basil, rosemary and other herbs).  You can use whatever like.  Herbs de Provence would be yummy too!  No amounts here, I just sprinkled until it looked good!  

Since the chicken breasts I am using are previously frozen and pre-seasoned (already has salt in it), I added a "no-salt seasoning" (a blend of dried onions, garlic, red bell pepper and other spices) and paprika.  

Again, no amounts, just sprinkled the herbs and spices! 

Add 1/2 cup water around the chicken breasts.  The excess salt from the chicken will go into the water as it cooks.  When adding water, make sure the water does not wash away the herbs and spices. 

Cover the frying pan with a lid and cook on medium heat (simmer) for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, flip over the chicken breasts.  I use a fork to loosen the chicken off the pan.  

I make 2-3 slits halfway down the chicken breast to speed up the cooking time.  Cover and cook for another 15 minutes. 

After 15 minutes, flip the chicken breasts over.   Note that most of the seasonings have stuck onto the chicken, even when immersed in water while cooking.  Ready to serve!

Pan Fried Frozen Chicken Breasts with Your Favourite Seasonings

  • Frozen chicken breasts (enough to fill your frying pan)
  • Cooking oil (I use extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup water (adjust, depending on your frying pan.  I use 1/2 cup for 10" frying pan)
  • Herb and spices of your choice: (here are some ideas... the possibilities are endless!)
    • Italian seasoning
    • no-salt seasoning
    • Herbs de Provence
    • basil, oregano
    • garlic powder
    • onion powder
    • paprika
    • Montreal steak spice (Note:  contains salt, use if your chicken breasts are unseasoned)

Preheat frying pan on medium-high heat.  Lightly coat pan with olive oil.  Place frozen chicken breasts on the pan and sprinkle with the herbs and seasonings of your choice.  Add 1/2 cup water, cover and let simmer on medium for 20 minutes. 

After 20 minutes, flip chicken breasts over and cut 2-3 slits across the chicken breast half-way.  Cover and cook another 15 minutes or until done.  Serve hot or cold.  

I reused a McDonald's salad entree container.  I'm so glad I kept it so hubby can bring a nice salad for lunch.  This will be my lunch with dried cranberries instead of cheese!  And yes, I make 4 lunches every morning for the kiddies and hubby.  I guess my mornings can get pretty hectic.  
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  1. This sounds delish ... and I LOVE that you make lunches for your family! I did and do, too! Only have one son, grown now, but I made his lunch every day for school. Still make hubby's lunch every day for work. We are a dying breed, however. None of my friends and relatives make lunches for their families, and poking fun at me for being old-fashioned is a favorite pasttime. I jab right back with, "I'm not old-fashioned. I just love my family." That shuts them up right quick :-)

    1. I love your reply! I also say that it's healthier and cheaper to make your lunch anyways. :)

    2. This very good and simple to make thank you

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  2. Useful post for new meat-eaters, too . . . thanks! I was always vegetarian before this, so I don't have methods for cooking even the simplest meats yet.

  3. Thx babe, very helpful

  4. I used it today on some frozen thin chicken breasts and it took about 20 min total. Thanks for this method!

  5. This worked out great for me; thanks for posting! The pics were very helpful as well :)

  6. Thank you, I used this tonight to make myself a quick chicken fajita style dish

  7. Sounds awesome, minus the reused Mcdonlads container.

  8. Perfect. Thank you for posting. I buy 5 pounds of chicken breast to freeze busy schedule is why I always forget to defrost. This is the best way to make yummy chicken from frozen without waiting for it to defrost.

  9. DELIC. Thank you. I did a single large frozen breast I put a generous portion of powdered bourbon maple seasoning on it and kept it at medium to higher heat for 13 minutes (to get a burnt/char taste) and added a little lime juice after that for more juice, flipped and add more seasoning...cover back for another few minutes...Really was great. Didn't ever think to cook chicken this way.

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  11. Thanks for this post Michelle! Best frozen chicken breasts I've made yet. :) ~Diana

  12. Thank you! I made this and chopped it up into some pasta. Was great!

  13. Currently making this to go with some Knorr noodles! :) It makes the best moist chicken ever. Thank you so greatly for sharing!

  14. Bookmarked! I enjoy the method you shared and have cooked it once already. I use Avocado Oil (healthy fat!) And use this to make delicious chicken (I add salt, pepper, garlic, and onion to season. I'm on a low-carb diet so this works out. Thanks again Michelle!

  15. I made this for dinner tonight. Yummy! And so easy. Thanks for a great recipe!

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