Baked Chicken Breasts

2016-05-18 17.57.14RECIPE #240, DAY #332

FOUR STARS

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Tray-Baked Chicken” from Jamie Oliver’s Meals in Minutes*

TIMING: 45 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Fairly easy

TOOLS: A skillet as well as a baking pan, then just knives and some tongs, etc.

COOK TYPE: Stovetop and oven

HEALTH: Lean meat with olive oil, and a small amount of veggies. And just a little bit of bacon (about 1/2 piece per diner, and which I would not change since breasts have the tendency to overcook and become dry and boring). This comes in at a nice, healthy entree, especially when paired wisely.

2016-05-18 17.57.19EXPERIENCE: Well, from now on and for awhile, I will be cooking in not-my-kitchen. The kitchen I am in is large and everything works, but it is not supplied or stocked exactly the way I would have it, plus I have to follow other rules. I also will only be cooking dinner Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and the meals will be for from 4 people (rarely) to 12 (or even more). This will continue–living with my mom and stepdad–until August? September? Maybe even October.

This is my first attempt at making the sort of food I would make at home, here at the house. I was cooking for 10, so I doubled everything (and sometimes more), but I won’t write the recipe that way for you. I was reallyexcited about a cookbook that I had found at the library (mine are still packed). Basically, it’s my dream cookbook: full, simple and relatively fast meals. And British, to boot. And–so happy about this–the directions work in order encompassing the whole meal. (If you want it delivered to you that way, you’ll have to buy the book: Meals in Minutes.)

This was really good. I cooked both breasts and whole thighs for cost effeciency, and I overcooked the breasts. Yikes. But otherwise, I thought the chicken was really nice and bright and simply satisfying.

NOTES: Next time I will be moving the chicken to a platter and pouring the pan juices into a gravy boat with a ladle. You could also simmer down the sauce and finish with a tablespon of butter, like the French.

Beware: this cookbook is full of approximate measures (like “a pat” or “a glug”) and English phrases and colloquialisms.

***

  1. Pre-heat your broiler on high or medium-high. I found 400F to work well.
  2. On parchment paper or in a jelly roll pan, lay out 1-2 pounds skin-on chicken breasts. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons oregano, 2 teaspoons sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Pick up the chicken and rub the sludge all over the chicken. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter. Swirl around and immediately add the chicken, pretty side down. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it’s a lovely shade of golden brown. Flip and let the second side sit for just a minute.
  4. In a baking pan, place 1 quartered lemon and 2 ounces cherry tomatoes. Then add the chicken. To the skillet, add 1/2 cup water and swirl around–scraping bits from the bottom–with 2 sprigs rosemary. Dump the sauce and rosemary in with the chicken. Top the chicken with 4 slices thick-cut bacon. Broil about 14 minutes, watching carefully.
  5. Remove burnt bits of bacon, let sit 10 minutes, and serve with the veggies and sauce.

***

Serve, as suggested, with Smashed Potatoes and Creamed Spinach. Tea to drink.

*Recipe has been changed from the original.

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