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4 Ways to Cook Chicken for a Casserole

Learn how to cook chicken for a casserole with our helpful how-to guide. Meal prep has never been easier!

By: Natalie Taylor, Editor, AllFreeCasseroleRecipes.com

Chicken casseroles are popular for a reason - they're delicious! However, sometimes chicken casserole recipes simply call for "cooked chicken" with little or no explanation of how it should be cooked.

We have developed this guide, 4 Ways to Cook Chicken for a Casserole, to help you make your favorite easy chicken casserole recipe. Whether you want tips on how to prepare roasted chicken, baked chicken, boiled or poached chicken, or pan-fried chicken, our guide will help you choose the best way to cook chicken for a casserole.

With the help of these recipes for chicken, you'll be able to make chicken casseroles to your heart's content. Whether you're whipping up a weeknight dinner or preparing a Sunday dinner, cooking the chicken for your casseroles won't be stressful.

A great way to make meal prep easier is to cook the chicken ahead of time and add it to the casserole while you're cooking. Never again will a chicken casserole scare you away!

For a free, printable infographic, click the link below!

Get the Free, Printable Infographic Here

Video: Poaching a Chicken

Take a look at this video to learn some really fantastic tips for learning how to poach a chicken! 

Choosing Your Chicken

- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are a healthier option, but can be less flavorful and are more expensive than bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts.

- Bone-in chicken breasts have more flavor because of the bone, but have a higher fat content because of the skin. They are a cheaper option than boneless, skinless chicken breasts

How to Roast Chicken for a Casserole

1. Arrange bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts on a baking sheet, skin-side up. Drizzle the chicken breasts with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Rub each chicken breast to ensure even coating of oil and seasoning.

2. Roast the chicken at 350 degrees F for 35-45 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check the meat. The thickest part of the meat should read 165 degrees F.

3. Let the chicken breasts rest for 30 minutes. This helps the chicken hold on to its juices. Then, separate the meat from the skin and bones.

To get the complete infographic, click on the photo below.

How to Roast Chicken for a Casserole

How to Bake Chicken for a Casserole

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Rub the chicken with a bit of olive oil.

3. Place the chicken in a covered baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes.

To get the complete infographic, click on the photo below.

How to Bake Chicken for a Casserole

How to Boil Chicken for a Casserole

1. Place chicken in a saucepan that is large enough to fit the chicken in a single layer.

2. Add cooking liquid to the pan. There are many things that can be used as cooking liquid such as water, chicken broth, or even apple cider. You can add additional flavor by adding such ingredients as salt, onion, celery, garlic, lemon, and herbs. Just make sure the flavors don’t clash with the recipe you’ll be using the chicken for.

3. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to simmering and cover the pan with a lid. Cook the chicken until it’s no longer pink and the internal temperature is 165 degrees F. Bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts take about 30 minutes to cook. Halved boneless, skinless chicken breasts take about 15-20 minutes.

To get the complete infographic, click on the photo below.

How to Boil Chicken for a Casserole

How to Pan-Fry Chicken for a Casserole

1. Pound the chicken breast so it has a uniform thickness and will cook evenly. Use a paper towel to dry the chicken. This will help create a golden crust on the chicken.

2. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is heated, add the chicken breasts to the skillet.

3. To fully cook the chicken, sear the chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side. If the chicken will be used in recipe that will finish cooking the chicken, sear the chicken for 1 1/2-2 minutes per side.

NOTE: Partially cooking the chicken is safe only if you are making a recipe that will finish cooking the chicken, such as a slow cooker casserole.

To get the complete infographic, click on the photo below.

How to Pan-Fry Chicken for a Casserole

General Tips

- After you’ve cooked the chicken, you can shred or dice it and freeze it. That way you have cooked chicken on hand when you want to make a chicken casserole. Divide the cooked chicken into 1-2 cup packages to allow for easy use later on.

- Short on time? Use a precooked rotisserie chicken or canned chicken.

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