Chicken, always moist, tender, juicy, flavorful and delicious, right?
Wait, what's that you say? Dry, chewy, rubbery and flavorless? Those days are over my friends. Chicken is at the very top and bottom of my favorite food list and I bet most of you agree with me. One of the most common questions I get from friends, family and on my blog is, how the heck do you cook chicken?! There are a million great and not so great recipes that call for chicken breast, cubed, shredded, diced, ext. I have found that most people just boil chicken when a recipe generically calls for basic chicken breast. Oh people, please don't boil your chicken, for me, it is one of the worst tasting things and textures around.
I have a very simple, quick solution that will give you moist, flavorful chicken EVERY TIME. Whether you want to top it on a salad, use it in enchiladas, soup, pasta, the center of a sandwich, whatever recipe calls for plain chicken. This is the simplest way to get moist, no fail chicken. Keep in mind, this recipe is not meant to be the star of the show but should be used as a component of another recipe.
The trick is putting the tin-foil tent immediately over the chicken and letting it rest for at least 30 minutes, this allows all of the juices to settle into the chicken and also insures that the chicken is cooked all the way through.
4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (if you want to use bone-in, it will be cheaper and taste even better)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
Tin Foil (won't work without it)
Preheat oven to 350
Place the chicken breast on a non stick sheet pan. Drizzle chicken with olive oil and massage into chicken (it's about 2 teaspoons per breast but no need to measure just make sure entire breast has a nice thin coat of EVOO). Next, generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place chicken in the oven with the rack in the center and bake for exactly 33 minutes. Remove chicken from oven and immediately make a tin-foil tent over the and pan (two pieces of tin foil covering the chicken and sealing shut over the edges of the pan, making sure no steam is escaping) and let the chicken rest for at least 3o minutes, up to 1 hour. Very important- Do not pierce or "test" the chicken breast when you pull it out of the oven, leave it alone, the tin foil tent with finish cooking the chicken if it is not quite done yet. Also, make sure you wait the full 30 minutes. The longer you wait the more time your chicken has to relax and absorb all of the juices back into it.
Want to step it up? What type of dish is your chicken going into?? In addition to the salt and pepper, add the following to your chicken before baking.
Asian- Sprinkle with powdered ginger and garlic powder
Mexican- Sprinkle with cumin and garlic powder.
Italian- Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, or dried Rosemary &/or dried Basil. Garlic is great with Italian as well.
Indian- Sprinkle with your favorite curry powder.
You can also use your favorite marinade with this recipe. Marinate chicken and cook as instructed above.
Here is an example of cubed, do whatever you need to do with it, it's very versatile.