I used to loathe cooking chicken because I literally could kill someone with my cooking. From choking, not poison. You may be thinking “paranoid chicken?” I confess, it is me. I am paranoid about under-cooked poultry which translates to I make dry chicken that requires tons of sauce to avoid choking and therefore defeats the purpose of making a healthy baked chicken. Not anymore! I have never made dry chicken using this method. I say method, not recipe. Again with the no measuring! I know….I know. I like ideas that you can manipulate across a variety of resources and I hate measuring.
My local grocery store had a great deal on chicken leg quarters. Limit two, dag-nabbit! If only my 3 year old had a wallet…a crafting idea….I digress. Back to chicken. So it was cheap and I went for it. This method works awesome with split breast chicken as well. I already had dinner planned but I have been wanting to share this method for a while and I am smack in the middle of a 12 week weight loss challenge (I’m not winning, but this lady has not sang yet) so baked chicken is welcome in my fridge any day in any way. The more variety, the better.
This meal comes from my Aunt Jenny. After I gave birth she was so kind and brought a bag of ready-to-bake homemade meals that we could just put in the oven. All the goodness of a homemade meal without any of the work.
Tell me what to do already! Ok. Ok. Ok.
What you want to do is take whatever chicken you are using and peel back the skin on one side to make a pocket. Into that pocket you will insert sliced citrus fruit (orange, lemon, lime, etc). I have used them all and each one is delicious.
At the bottom of a baking dish I mixed a rice medley with chicken stock. I use a 1 to 1 ratio and then add liquid as needed during cooking to ensure it doesn’t end up soupy and I like the rice at the edges to get crunchy…. but whatever you like, ish factor applied. If you are using regular brown rice I recommend tossing in some dried fruit and chopped nuts for flavor, texture, and nutrients. Whatever combo you like is perfect. Place your citrus-lined chicken on top of the rice, cover with foil, and bake at 375 until done.
I would give you a time but that brings us back to “I’m paranoid” and I certainly cook it way longer than necessary. For the last 15 min or so remove the foil to crisp up your chicken skin. I don’t eat the fatty skin regularly but have tasted it and it is delicious. Crunchy and citrus flavored. The chicken takes on just a touch of the citrus as well – this chicken is SOOOO good.
Perfect chicken every single time I have made it. No lie. Thank you Aunt Jenny. 🙂 Comment and share your variations or tips and share with friends. Don’t forget to follow the blog for more great ideas to come. Have a great day!!
~Bonus tip: Toss the ends of the lemons and any leftover cooked lemon from your plate down the garbage disposer for a natural deodorizer.