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.
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.
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!
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.
What’s your favorite way to jazz up plain-old chicken breasts? Share here!
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).
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
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.
This delicious recipe brought to you by Donuts, Dresses and Dirt