If you're a busy prepper, knowing quick and easy recipes can help you cut down on meal prep time.
Try this recipe for juicy baked chicken breast which goes great with beans or baked potatoes. (h/t to FoodStorageMoms.com)
Use a meat thermometer to check if the chicken is cooked properly
Chicken, which is naturally lean, is a great protein source that you can use if you're trying to keep your family healthy by limiting red meat. However, since chicken is lean you need to cook it the right way so it doesn't turn up dry.
This is why you need a meat thermometer. This tool will help you check if the chicken is cooked properly because it varies in size, from four ounces to a whopping 10 ounces.
With the price of meat these days, you'd want to get the most bang for your buck. It's best to buy boneless chicken breasts because they are all meat and have no bone.
Baked chicken breast recipe
While the chicken breast is baking, you have enough time to prepare coleslaw, a tossed salad or open a can or two of green beans as a side dish.
You will need:
Large baking pan
Ingredients for 6 servings:
6 Boneless chicken breasts
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1/4 to 1/2 Cup olive oil
2 Teaspoons minced garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Teaspoon onion powder
1 Teaspoon paprika
1 Teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 Teaspoon pepper
Gather all the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400 F (204 C).
Use a colander to rinse the chicken breasts in the sink. Once done, clean the sink with bleach.
Get a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, preferably with 2-1/2 to 3-inch sides. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and spray the foil with vegetable spray.
Set the chicken aside and place the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir the oil and spices until smooth. Dip the chicken in the bowl and coat the pieces with the mixture evenly.
Place the coated chicken breasts in the baking pan. Bake the chicken uncovered for 30 to 50 minutes, depending on how large the pieces are, or until done.
Use the meat thermometer. The chicken is done and safe to eat if it registers 165 F (74 C). Serve the baked chicken breast with your favorite side dishes.
Proper baking times for baked chicken breast
You can bake boneless chicken breasts at 400 F (177 C). Note that cooking them at higher temperatures will help seal the juices in the meat.
Times will vary based on the weight of each chicken breast, so using a meat thermometer is highly recommended. The internal temperature of properly baked chicken breast should be 165 F.
Bake chicken breasts at 400 F for 22 to 26 minutes, but this will vary depending on the weight of the chicken breast that you have.
Alternatively, you can cook chicken breasts at 350 F (176 C) for about 25 to 30 minutes, again depending on the weight of the chicken breast.
Food storage and safety tips
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug (FDA) both recommend storing raw chicken breasts, legs, or a whole chicken in the refrigerator for one to two days. This means regardless of the size, you should only store raw chicken for a maximum of one to two days in the fridge.
Cooked chickenshould be stored in airtight containers or food storage bags for three to four days, according to the USDA and the FDA.
1 (1 1/2 lb.) Kabocha squash, seeded and cut into 2-inch-long x 3/4-inch-wide wedges
1 Pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
2 Bunches Lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped (You will need about 12 cups.)
1 Medium Honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced (You will need about 1 1/2 cups.)
1 Ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved (You will need about 1/2 cup.)
1/2 Cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/3 Cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 Cup fresh orange juice
1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 1/2 Teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 Teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 Small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Whisk the orange juice, vinegar, maple syrup, shallots, mustard, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a small bowl.
Gradually whisk in 1/3 cup of the olive oil until the liquid is smooth and combined. Set aside.
Toss the squash, Brussels sprouts and remaining teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and two tablespoons olive oil in a large-rimmed baking sheet until combined. Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven until tender and browned, or for about 20 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through the cooking time.
Use your clean hands and massage the kale and 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette in a large bowl until the kale softens, or for one minute.
Add the apple and roasted vegetables to the kale. Toss to combine then transfer to a platter.
Sprinkle the veggies with pecans and Parmesan cheese.
Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette before serving.
Bring the quinoa and 1 1/3 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, for about 15 to 20 minutes. Set the quinoa aside to cool.
Place the kale in a steamer basket over one inch of boiling water in a saucepan. Cover saucepan with a lid and steam the kale until hot, about 45 seconds. Once done, transfer the kale to a large plate.
Top the cooked kale with quinoa, avocado, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion and feta cheese.
Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, sea salt and black pepper together in a bowl until the oil emulsifies the dressing.
Pour the dressing over the salad before serving.
Prep baked chicken breasts and serve it with a tasty side dish like a fall salad for a filling and nutritious dinner.