Thursday, November 09, 2006

Buttery Garlic Chicken - Or, Baked Chicken Ryan Likes

I did a midstream dinner switch tonight.

I was going to make Parmesan-Crusted Chicken (a Rachael Ray special) but then I realized that I didn't have any roma tomatoes and basil for the garnish and I didn't want to eat it on spaghetti with icky Ragu since I also was too lazy to make my own marinara - so instead, I fell back to what has very recently (since I have only made it 3 times) become a quick and easy dinner standby: Buttery Garlic Chicken.

This dish is perfect because it combines 3 things that I absolutely ADORE. Mostly butter, then garlic, and then of course chicken. If I had to rank them. And, of course, three things that I have on hand. The first time I made this I didn't tell Ryan that you have to broil the chicken, because he has this issue with chicken that comes from the oven. I figured that if he didn't know that was how I cooked it that he would try it, like it, and then he could finally check his baked chicken baggage. But he found out...luckily he took a bite anyway and just as I had hoped, fell in love.

Oh and by the way, in case the title didn't clue you in - this is NOT healthy. You may have noticed a buttery theme running through this cooking blog. I don't make EVERYTHING with butter, but it probably seems that way! I am, of course, a disciple of Paula Deen. :)

from The Best of Everyday Cooking, tweaked by Kira
Serves 4

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C butter, softened but not melted
3 cloves garlic, minced *
1 teaspoon dried parsley **
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

VARIATION: Omit sage and butter and use 1/4 C lime juice for a "refreshing citrusy taste."

Preheat broiler. Trim fat from chicken. If chicken breasts are whole, split them to make them thinner. Line a broiler pan with foil. Place chicken in the prepared pan.

Combine butter, garlic, and dried herbs; mix well. ***

Place 2-3 small dollops of herb butter on each chicken breast.

Broil chicken ****, turning and smallish-dolloping frequently with with remaining butter herb mixture, until juices run clear when thickest portion of meat is pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. *****

* I'm not sure why they say "minced" here. Everyone (even me, the dangerously inexperienced cook) knows that garlic butter is best when the garlic is run through the garlic press...maybe the technical term for that IS minced, but I prefer "smooshed."
** To be honest, I have never made this recipe as directed. The first time I made it I veered from the recipe because I realized in medias res that I didn't have any of the dried herbs that it called for - oops. I was forced to substitute, so I closed my eyes, thrust my hand into my spice cabinet, and came out with a bottle of dried garlic, basil and sundried tomato pesto mix. Let's just say that works VERY well. So really, any dried herbs that you like will be delish.
*** This is my FAVORITE part, surprise surprise. I eat this mixture prior to putting it on the chicken by slathering it onto tiny wedges of fresh parmesan. Which gives me wicked garlic breath. But it is SO SO good!!! Usually I make too much (oops!) so that I can have some extra butter to, um, snack on later. Yes, I am going to die of a heart attack when I am 35.
**** Interestingly, the recipe does not remind you that when you broil things, you should always do so with the oven door ajar. You know, ajar to where it stays open, about 6 inches. I learned that THIS WEEK. From a Wikipedia entry on broiling. Aack. The first time I made this I didn't know about the whole oven door ajar thing and nothing bad happened, but the second time...let's just say my kitchen smelled like torched butter for about a week and I was exhibiting symptoms of smoke inhalation. When I made this tonight I left the oven door ajar and they were perfect, no smoke. Also, in my ancient windowless oven, that makes it easier to see them - you can watch the butter melt. And as a special bonus you can see and hear the fireworks that ensue when the splatters of butter hit the heating element. Like PopRocks!
***** The 15 minutes is total time, not broiling time. So you don't need to stop the timer every time you take them out to turn them. Especially if the breasts are on the thinner side...they might get pretty parched in there for the whole 15. Just check them before you eat them - I don't want to be responsible for you getting poisoned! :)

1 comment:

Lisa said...

mmm kirae this one sounds good! and like something mike would like! i've been looking for a good baked chicken recipe so i can't wait to try this one! thanks! :-)