Sunday, February 27, 2011

Herb Baked Chicken

Cymone here! Ok so yesterday I tried a new recipe since I was hankering for some form of baked chicken with herbs, preferably rosemary. Plus, not to mention, I should eat something healthy once in a while. I’m on what you call the “grad student” diet: grab whatever crap they’re selling on campus, eat once maybe twice a day, and eat tons of fast and cheap (i.e. greasy and awful for you) food.
Pictured Above: Food not available in college
So here’s the list of ingredients: 

Chicken! I used two boneless, skinless breasts that came out to 2/3 lb
Sprig of fresh rosemary (about 1 ½ tablespoons)
About ½ tablespoon fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
3 cloves fresh garlic
½ of a small lemon
About ½ cup chicken broth

So first off, feel free to use dried herbs and pre-minced garlic, just remember it's a 3:1 ratio so use 1/2 tablespoon of dry rosemary and about 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme. I just love fresh stuff when I can get it. Also, if you prefer more variety in chicken parts feel free; chicken breast just happened to be BOGO! Keep in mind this was for 2 servings so adjust accordingly. Preheat the oven to 375. With the chicken, trim off all the fat, pat dry, then season with salt and pepper on both sides. Mince the garlic and give a good chop to the rosemary and thyme and spread evenly over the chicken. You could do this for both sides, but I thought it looked pretty with all the colors on the top ^_^.
So colorful and it smells good too!
Then with half a lemon drizzle lemon juice over the chicken. A little acidity always helps, it doesn’t taste sour afterwards but it adds depth! After everything is all seasoned  place your chicken in a glass dish (Pyrex, Anchor, etc.). I had to use a way too small casserole dish thanks to my former roommate stealing all but one of my Pyrex dishes. 
Oh Pyrex, I miss you. Krista, you whore!
Bake in the oven, covered, for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes add enough chicken broth to come halfway up the chicken (you don’t want to cover the chicken). By adding the broth you’ll have very moist chicken instead of dried out crap chicken.  Put the chicken back in the oven, uncovered, for another 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness. If you have a thermometer the internal temperature at the thickest point should be above 155 degrees. Viola! Eat it!
Eat it I say!
Since this was the first time making this dish I asked my best critic for suggestions (i.e. my boyfriend) and he had two suggestions: thinner meat and browning the meat prior to baking and I couldn’t agree more. They came out super juicy and yummy but these two tips would probably make it even more awesome. If you’re using thick chicken breasts like I did either split them widthwise or pound it down with a meat tenderizer. I typically prefer just cutting them in half, me and the meat tenderizer have been enemies ever since I made chicken kiev. And with the browning suggestion, this is just to give it a little more color and texture on the outside. Just set your stovetop to a medium-high temperature, put a little olive oil or veggie oil in the pan, and get a quick sear until there’s some color on the outside (do this after seasoning). Here’s the final product with some corn and leftover scalloped potatoes from a box. All together, it took about ½ hour. Quick and healthy (and yummy) meal!
It's so yummy!

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