How to cope with boneless skinless chicken breast

I was not put here on earth to eat boneless, skinless chicken breast. It is sad and dry and flavorless. But we recently ended up with a large quantity of it recently. It happens. There are ways of dealing with this bounty.

Best case scenario is you have a large vat of chicken fat for poaching. Nope. Next best thing is chicken stock. Out of that, too. So I poached all that chicken in a bath of lightly salted water with thyme and rosemary. I've been storing the chicken in its poaching liquid and hoping for the osmosis best. Here's how I've used it.

  • Smothered in the sauce left over from the braised beef cheeks
  • Sliced for sandwiches for my son's lunch
  • Topped with pesto for my sandwiches
  • This lovely sweet potato salad I made last night inspired by a Bon Appetit recipe I saw a couple months ago

Roasted sweet potato and citrus salad


  • 2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 lemon thinly sliced
  • 1 orange thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups of that chicken, torn apart
  • About 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Bunch of mixed salad greens
  • 1-2 sliced green onions
  • Toasted pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a large bowl combine sweet potatoes, citrus, spices, and enough olive oil to coat everything well. Scatter over a baking sheet and salt to taste. Roast until soft and starting to caramelize, 15-20 minutes.
  3. Toss chicken in more olive oil and add to roasting sweet potatoes. Cook for another 5-10 minutes just until heated through. God forbid we dry the stuff out even more.
  4. In a large bowl (probably the same one you used for the potatoes because you believe in not creating extra work) whisk balsamic vinegar with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Toss salad greens in dressing by hand. 
  5. To serve, lay a pile of the dressed greens and top that with the sweet potatoes with chicken, and then garnish with green onions and pecans.

Someday someone is going to write an "unpopular opinion" think piece about the virtues of dry chicken breast. But not me. Not today.

Adriana Velez