Ok, so as my very first post, I’m going to let you in on my go-to baked chicken recipe (courtesy of my mother). I make this pretty much every week, never get tired of it, and it goes with almost everything. Meal prepping is fun to me, because I love cooking, but for those of you that despise spending more than 30 minutes in the kitchen per day, this recipe will still work for you!
I like well-seasoned baked chicken because it’s great for all my work week lunches, it’s a great source of lean protein, and I can dress it up with whatever else I want.
Now I know you’re probably thinking….’baked chicken re-heated all week??? no thanks’. There are two mistakes people make when cooking chicken, 1. they under-season (aka no flavor, bland, blah, not exciting at all) and 2. they overcook it resulting in dry chicken. Dry, under-seasoned chicken…..yeah no thanks.
Baked chicken can definitely become dry and tough, and that wouldn’t be fun to have to eat day after day. The thing that saves me every time is a meat thermometer. I’ll probably do another post about my kitchen essentials, but basically, if you’re not a vegan, you should probably get yourself a meat thermometer. Go on amazon, go to marshalls or home goods. I promise it’ll save you a lot of time and also from eating out for lunch on Wednesday with your coworkers because you really don’t wanna eat that lunch you brought with the dry chicken.
Go ahead and try this chicken recipe, I hope you enjoy it!
Go-To Baked Chicken: Serves 4-5 or makes 4-5 meals for the week depending on your protein needs
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast (May substitute any cut of meat, i.e. chicken thighs, but chicken breast will be the leanest)
- 2 tsp Garlic powder
- 2 tsp Onion powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Smoked paprika (May sub regular paprika, but I love the slight smokiness this gives)
- ½ tsp Salt (I use himalayan pink salt or kosher salt for the coarseness)
- ½ tsp Pepper
Note: If you like even more spice (it’s pretty peppery!) feel free to add a sprinkle of red cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes at the end of seasoning with the mix. Keep in mind you can always just sprinkle everything on without measuring, half the time that’s what I do.
- Mix spices in a small prep bowl (tupperware container, cereal bowl, etc. whatever you have on hand)
- Cut chicken however you like. I cut into ‘fajita’ strips, or 1 inch cubes for easy dividing for meals. You can also fillet the breast so it’s thinner and cook the whole fillet – this just takes longer. Pat dry and season one side of the chicken
- Place chicken on a foil lined baking sheet or in a ceramic/enamel baking dish, seasoned side down (by the way, this is definitely more than a pound, oops!)
- Generously sprinkle each spice over other side of the chicken. Be careful with the salt! But use all of the seasoning (we’re not using any extra fats or oils in this recipe for flavor, never under-season!)
- Bake chicken at 375 F for 20 min or until internal temp reaches 160-165. I take mine out at 160F and let rest with foil over top as it will continue to cook. This is how I get tender chicken all week without it drying out! The meat thermometer is your best friend, I highly recommend using one.
Serve as a taco bowl with ¼ cup of brown rice or adobo quinoa, lettuce, salsa, sauteed onions and extra veggies (this is my personal favorite sans grains, I’ll use 1/4 cup of cubed sweet potato and make it more of a salad)
Serve alongside roasted veggies such as zucchini and sweet potatoes
Serve over a mixed green salad with fresh cherry tomatoes, fresh veggies, and a sprinkle of feta cheese with greek yogurt or vinaigrette dressing