About twice a week I make a large batch of meat in a simple way that I can use for lunches and emergency meals. I change up the flavors and proteins to keep things interesting. Most things turn out delicious, but not particularly notable, and are easy to adapt. Other things, like this chicken, stand so well on it’s own, I find myself making up meals around the meat, instead just adding it to whatever else I’m cooking.
Three crucial points for any chicken recipe:
- Eat pastured, hormone-free chicken. There are a lot of reasons why this is better from an environmental, moral, and nutritional stand point, but most of all, it just tastes better. Anyone who says something bland and unidentifiable “tastes like chicken,” has not had good, healthy chicken.
- Use a brine or marinade. This recipe uses a marinade and it rested in the fridge for a day. Anytime you use a marinade, give the meat at least 6 hours to take in the flavors. Then when you cook it, cover it with the same marinade. For a brine, dissolve 1/4 cup salt in 4 cups of water in a big ziplock bag. Add the chicken, pop it in the fridge, and let it sit for two hours. Drain and proceed to a dry rub and cooking.
- Don’t overcook it. Chicken – even boneless, skinless breast – doesn’t have to be dry. Cook it in fat and/or liquid until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. This may mean you have to pull it out of the oven a couple times and use a meat thermometer, but that’s just what you have to do and your chicken won’t be dry. Ever.
That’s it! Go make great chicken and eat it with everything, all day long.
Mustard Thyme Chicken
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbs white wine vinegar
1/4 cup yellow mustard
2 Tbs dried thyme
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Combine all ingredients into a large ziplock bag, mix well, and put in the fridge to marinate for at least 6 hours and up to 3 days. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Pour the chicken and marinade into a 9″x13″ baking pan and distribute the breasts and sauce evenly. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven, turn the chicken breasts over and baste to cover again. Bake for an additional 10-20 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing or serving.