Friday, June 6, 2014

Guest Post Friday: The Best Chicken in the World

This is my friend Robin's recipe for the world's greatest chicken. I HATE chicken. Except this chicken. You're going to LOOOOOVE it. Welcome to the first ever guest post on Carrots and Ranch. 

The greatest chicken you’ll ever eat. Like, ever.

Nobody really likes to eat chicken. People eat chicken because it’s healthier than eating red meat, but when taking a poll of favorite foods, exactly zero people say “Ohhhh, I LOVE CHICKEN!” Chicken WINGS, maybe. But never any kind of chicken that isn’t fried.  

Until now.

I am about to change your entire attitude about chicken. This will revolutionize your menu planning. No longer will you feel the need to drown bland chicken in some type of sauce (Although who can resist a really nice marinara or cream sauce? Not me.) You can eat the chicken - are you ready for this? - PLAIN. But before I totally rock your world with the how-to part of this, let me tell you a quick story:

A few months ago, I was trying really hard to drop some pounds that I had gained during pregnancy number 2. Anyone who has had a second child really knows that you get fat real quick the weight really comes on you much sooner than it did with child number one. So, needless to say, I needed to do something quick to get myself back into my pre-baby jeans. My husband and I (because he is that supportive kind of guy) decided to try out the DASH diet. You need to check it out if you are interested in trying to drop some weight and make some dietary adjustments. It is a not a very limiting eating plan and is really easy to stick to. Read this book if you are interested in trying out this eating plan.

Anyway, when we started looking at what food we can eat, chicken kept coming up. I wanted to gag. I decided I better learn how to cook chicken if I was going to be able to stick to this diet, so I turned to…wait for it…GOOGLE to learn how to cook chicken. Honestly, I can’t remember where I found these cooking instructions. But, I’ve made my own adjustments to this to suit my palette. 

Here’s what you’ll need:
2 Chicken breasts
About 1 tbs olive oil
An oven safe skillet

The flavor that you are going for in your chicken will determine what kind of seasoning you’re going to use - but for this example, we’ll go with just regular chicken and I’ll explain your variations at the end.

Here’s how you cook the chicken:
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Season the top side of your chicken breasts. I use kosher salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
After you have coated the bottom of your skillet with the olive oil and heated your skillet (careful not to burn your oil, because YUCK), place the chicken breasts, top side down, into a hot skillet for 2-3 minutes. The chicken should be brown on the top before turning over.
While the top side is cooking in the skillet, season the bottom side with the same ingredients. 
After 2-3 minutes, flip the chicken breasts over in the skillet and put the whole skillet into your preheated oven for 15 minutes. 
After 15 minutes, take the chicken out of the oven and check internal temperature (if you have a meat thermometer). Internal temperature should be 165 degrees. 
Let the chicken rest on a cutting board for about 5 minutes before enjoying the best chicken you will ever eat.

You can serve this chicken, as is, with some type of veggies and absolutely blow peoples’ minds that you can make chicken that is moist and flavorful (and not dry and disgusting). I also like to prepare the chicken this way and then slice it up and serve on top of a salad as a “grilled chicken salad.” The trick is, after you slice the chicken put it back in your skillet, toss it in the pan drippings, and then serve. 

Barbecue Chicken: season with a dry rub and during the last 5 minutes of cook time, brush the top side of your chicken breast with your favorite barbecue sauce. Serve with slaw, baked beans, or potato salad for a healthier alternative to pulled pork barbecue.

Italian Chicken: season with italian seasoning (plus salt and pepper) and during the last 5 minutes of cook time, top with slices of mozzarella cheese. Serve topped with marinara sauce for an “unbreaded” chicken parmesan knock-off. 

Mexican Chicken: season with Adobo seasoning (found in the ethnic food section of your local supermarket). Adobo seasoning contains salt, granulated garlic, oregano, turmeric, and black pepper. After the chicken rests, I slice it into strips and put it back in the skillet to toss in the drippings and soak up all of that glorious flavor. Then, serve with cooked fajita veggies (also sprinkled with Adobo seasoning) and make the best chicken fajitas in the world. 

So there you have it. You never have to eat disgusting plain chicken that is dried out because it got left on the grill for a few extra minutes. You can actually make chicken taste good. You can leave your people asking for seconds. So get to it, and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. This is really the best chicken ever. Attempting to make it this week!