I was putting together one our family’s favorite casseroles (Chicken Broccoli Divan) recently and decided to try this method to prepare the chicken for it. The author of this recipe has five tried and true steps to achieve perfectly baked chicken breasts — Brine – Baste – Rub – Roast – Rest. The chicken breasts are brined in salt water for a short time, rinsed and then basted with melted butter before they are rubbed with a simple spice blend. This recipe calls for you to roast the chicken at a high temperature (450 F.) for just 15 to 18 minutes. Once the chicken reaches 170F., the chicken is removed from the oven and allowed to rest for a bit before serving. Well seasoned and juicy, these are perfectly baked chicken breasts indeed.
PERFECT BAKED CHICKEN BREASTS (Serves 4)
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, that have been pounded to even thickness and brined in saltwater
- 1 Tablespoon melted butter or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- To brine your chicken breasts, simply fill a large bowl with 1 quart of warm water and 1/4 cup kosher salt. Stir to combine until most of the salt is absorbed. Add the chicken breasts and let them sit in the mixture to brine for 15 minutes. Or you can also also cover the bowl and refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Remove the chicken breasts from the brine, rinse them with cold water, then pat them dry with some paper towels.
- Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in a large baking dish. Brush on both sides (turning once) evenly with the melted butter or olive oil.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk the salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika until combined. Then sprinkle the mixture evenly over the chicken on both sides.
- Bake for 15-18* minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. If you use a cooking thermometer to measure the temperature thickest part of the breast, it should be between 160-170 degrees F.
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove the pan from the oven and loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil. Let the chicken rest for at least 5-10 minutes. Then serve immediately.
~ from GimmeSomeOven.com ~