In a rush? This oven-backed chicken marinade is made from ingredients you already have in your pantry and only takes 15 minutes.
Nice to meat you. (Sorry.)
You know how you have a favorite pair of jeans that go with absolutely everything? The ones you can dress up or down, suffer through some weird goth phase (sorry mom) and yet somehow still manage to fit your current profesh style?
Well, think of chicken as the denim of the kitchen — it goes with everything, just like those beloved blue jeans of yours. (New slogan idea? You’re welcome, poultry peeps.)
When my grillmaster husband isn’t making perfect chicken, my preferred method of cooking is throwing it in the oven and forgetting about it letting it roast to perfection. The problem? The chicken always tastes a bit too dry. I’ve experimented with marinade after marinade, but this nifty little trick makes all the difference in flavor and makes me feel like a chef who’s cheated the system. And let’s face it: those marinades are full of weird ingredients, additives and other unmentionables.
So the secret to not-dry chicken? (I refuse to say the m-word. Y’all know what I’m talking about.) Saltwater. Listen up mermaids, this is how easy it is.
To brine the chicken, first fill a bowl with 4 quarts of water and add ¼ cup of salt and mix well (this is for 1 pound of chicken). You want it like the ocean in there. Soak the chicken breasts for at least 20 minutes.(You can leave them longer, but I wouldn’t go over 5 hours, otherwise you might end up with chicken leather.) And that’s it! Toss them in the pan, drizzle a little olive oil on them, season with salt and pepper or spices of your choice, and bake at 450 for 15 minutes.
Now for a little science: Brining hydrates the cells via the process of osmosis, ensuring tender, flavorful chicken every time. It also makes it cook faster, and the increased moisture means if you, ahem, forget about it in the oven, it can take the extra heat without drying out. (No word yet on what it will do to your jeans though.)