Saturday, February 27, 2016

Oven Baked Chicken Breast - Always Moist and Flavorful

Can you make a moist, flavorful chicken breast in the oven without some heavy sauce? Yes you can! I get this question quite frequently especially from people who are trying to watch their diets. Just follow two basic principals and you'll be making this dish by request on a regular basis. 1) Simply do a quick brine and 2) bake them for a short time at a high temperature.

Julian's Oven Baked Chicken Breast Halves
If you follow this simple recipe, you'll never serve a dry, flavorless, rubbery chicken breast again. People only think of brining when it comes to turkey, but a brine (dry or wet) will improve everything from pork to chicken. So why do it only when you make a whole turkey? Granted not every cut of meat needs to be brined to be flavorful and juicy, but many cuts will benefit from a brine, particularly the low fat cuts of meat like chicken breast.

Below I do not specify how many breasts to prepare, but I usually do 2-6 breast halves at a time, one portion per person. You don't have to be very specific with the ingredients and I never measure them. Season to taste.

Brined, Seasoned and Ready for Baking

Boneless skinless chicken breasts halves
warm water
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Brine the chicken breast halves while you prepare other side dishes. Fill a large bowl with one quart of warm tap water (not hot) and two tablespoons of salt for every breast half. Stir until the salt dissolves. Add the chicken breasts and let them soak in the brine for 15-30 minutes.

Remove the chicken breasts and pat dry with a paper towel when ready to use. Pre-heat oven to 450F degrees.

Melt the butter, using more if needed for larger quantities. Spread some of the melted butter in the bottom of your baking dish. Place the chicken breasts in a single layer into the butter dish.  Brush the remaining butter on the breasts.

Mix together the seasonings in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the chicken.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and registers 160-170F degrees on an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of breast.  Remove the baking dish from the oven and loosely cover with aluminum foil.  Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes, then serve.

1 comment:

  1. This is an amazing way to prepare chicken breasts. Ellen T