Raise your hand if you're too familiar with dry bland cooked chicken breasts. Taking it a step further, who instantly associates "baked chicken" with "tough" or "flavorless"? I was absolutely one of those people! Even some of my chicken salads with all of the dressing and mix-ins would end up dry. That chicken would absorb any moisture in a 10 foot radius before I even had a chance to put it in the fridge!
Well, one weekend last month, I decided enough was enough. I did a little online searching, comparing different blogs and websites and came up with this method of baking my chicken breasts. It was still pretty quick prep and to my excitement, it came out of the oven so tender and juicy. Even better, it stayed fairly tender and moist the following days, whether I shredded it and incorporated it over a spinach salad, added it to tacos or a flatbread, or mixed it with a dressing and turned it into a fun chicken salad!
I love this method because it acts as a base from which you can add whatever flavors you want, from herbs and spices to a variety of vinegars, and you still have a moist, tender chicken dish. Or you can keep it simple, adding only a little salt and pepper, to incorporate in various dishes throughout the week! Keep reading for this short and simple trick to Tender, Juicy Oven - Baked Chicken!
TENDER JUICY OVEN-BAKED CHICKEN
Makes 2 Chicken Breasts
1 - 1.5 pounds raw boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 or less teaspoon salt
1/2 of a whole lemon, cut into quarters
1/2 tablespoon butter (or less) or cooking spray, to grease one side of parchment paper that goes over the chicken.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Place chicken breasts on the parchment paper and brush chicken breasts with the olive oil.
4. Sprinkle chicken with the salt.
5. Place the 4 pieces of lemon on the baking sheet with the chicken.
6. Butter or spray with vegetable spray a second piece of parchment paper that is big enough to fit over the baking sheet and seal in the chicken and lemon wedges (I usually just take a stick of butter and run it over the surface of the parchment paper until the paper is pretty coated with a thin layer) .
7. Place that second sheet of parchment paper butter / oil - side - down over the chicken and lemon wedges and seal around the sides of the baking sheet.
8. Bake the chicken in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.
9. Your final product should be super easy to slice with a knife, or shred with two forks and no longer pink in the middle. If you have a meat thermometer, the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken should read 165 degrees F.
10. Serve right away or save for meals later in the week!
Chicken provides us with protein, niacin, vitamin B6, among other nutrients.
1 ounce of cooked chicken has about 7 grams of protein.