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101: the best oven-baked chicken breasts

Oven-baked chicken breasts – while definitely not the most sexy or exciting food around – are one of the most versatile “staples” you can have on-hand. Chopped, sliced or shredded, they form the base for so many great recipes – and the perfect do-ahead task for a week’s worth of lunches.

perfect-oven-baked-chicken-breasts

Problem is, skinless boneless breasts – when baked in the oven (by far the easiest and most efficient method) – can be dry and somewhat bland. So when I came across this technique at The Kitchn I couldn’t wait to try it myself.

They solved the problem of dry and boring chicken breasts by taking advantage of the steady, all-around heat of the oven, and improving it one step further. Just before baking, the chicken is covered with a piece of parchment paper – this protects the chicken and keeps it from drying out because it bastes in its own juices.

perfect-oven-baked-chicken-breasts

perfect-oven-baked-chicken-breasts

perfect-oven-baked-chicken-breasts

I’ve used this method several times since and I can’t tell you how moist and flavorful those plain-old chicken breasts turn out!

perfect-oven-baked-chicken-breasts

And if you’re looking for a new recipe to try, take a look at my latest “dinner irl” – super easy and so delicious chilaquiles from the gorgeous blog Healthy Seasonal Recipes. Everyone loved it and I know it will be in heavy rotation going forward.

perfect-oven-baked-chicken-breasts

What’s your favorite way to jazz up plain-old chicken breasts? Share here!

perfect-oven-baked-chicken-breasts

Oven-Baked Chicken Breasts
from the Kitchn

butter and olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (will yield 4 – 5 cups shredded chicken)
salt and pepper
a few parsley sprigs
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a pan large enough to hold the chicken with a little room between and around the breasts. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the top of the pan; butter one side of that, too.

Place the chicken in your prepared pan with a bit of space between. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the parsley sprigs and lemon wedges around the chicken. Place the parchment – buttered side down – on top of the chicken, tucking the edges under for a snug fit. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or till the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.

Serve immediately or let cool (can be refrigerated for up to one week).

Chicken Chilaquiles
lightly adapted from Healthy Seasonal Recipes

6 6-inch soft corn tortillas (or about 4 dozen tortilla chips)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing the tortillas
1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons taco seasoning (or your favorite Mexican spice blend)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 cups baby spinach
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
28 ounces crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
salt
2 cups shredded cheddar
chopped cilantro and sliced scallions, for garnish

Pre-heat oven to 350.

If making your own tortilla chips: line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the tortillas into 8 wedges (for a total of 48 chips). Arrange the wedges on your baking sheets, brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 20 minutes or till golden brown. Remove from oven; keep oven turned on.

Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.

While the chips are baking heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat till hot. Saute the onion till softened, about 5 – 6 minutes. Add the taco seasoning and stir for a minute. Add the corn, spinach and chicken and cook till heated through, about 5 minutes.

Open the tomatoes and stir in the vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt; set aside.

Spread 1/4 of the sauce in the bottom of your pan. Top evenly with 1/3 of the tortilla chips. Add 1/2 the chicken-vegetable mixture, 1/4 of the sauce, 1/3 of the shredded cheese and 1/3 of the tortilla chips. Repeat the chicken/sauce/cheese/tortilla layer. Finish with the remaining sauce, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake till cheese is melted and bubbly, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and scallions and serve immediately.

(print this recipe)


This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver
http://sherisilver.com/2016/10/18/101-the-best-oven-baked-chicken-breasts/

perfect-oven-baked-chicken-breasts

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