I know it’s a bold statement to call something “The Best” but I’m going to go ahead and call this the best, because I feel that I’ve really nailed the recipe down! My husband said to me: “this is so much better than going out to eat!” and that says a lot!
I believe the 3 components to a successful roast chicken (in particular breasts, since they dry out so easily is): brining, preserved lemons, and fresh thyme.
- 2 bone-in, skin on chicken breasts
- Brine solution
- 1/2 preserved lemon
- fresh thyme (~10 sprigs)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Brine the chicken breasts. This is a very important step, so make sure not to skip it! Brining is a solution of water, salt and sugar, it allows the chicken to remain moist and flavorful. A typical brine is 1 gallon of water, 3/4 cup kosher salt and 1/2 cup sugar. For 2 breasts you probably only need half of this, as long as you’re covering all the exposed chicken. Place the chicken and brining mixture in glass or stainless steel container and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Remove chicken in brine from refrigerator. Rinse well and pat dry. Place chicken in a pyrex dish or roasting pan.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice preserved lemons with juice. Combine with leaves from thyme (~2 TB), minced garlic cloves, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Place lemon mixture underneath skin and then use the remaining mixture to coat outside of skin. I also add a few thyme sprigs on top.
- Cook chicken breasts for 35 minutes in oven or until juices run clear.
Preserved lemons can be bought at Whole Foods or you can make them on your own. They add such a dimension of flavor to roast chicken that cannot be replicated.
The chicken skin contains most of the fat and calories. I recommend cooking with the skin on to keep the breasts moist, however, remove it before serving to cut back on extra fat and calories.
I served this chicken with homemade mashed potatoes and kale chips. The breasts were huge (maybe ~8oz of meat), so I had about 2/3 of one breast, I served the skin but did not eat it. Check back tomorrow for a recipe on mashed potatoes, that taste super creamy and indulgent but are virtually fat free!
Filed under: Meals at Home, Nutrition News/Information, Recipes | Tagged: chicken breast, chicken brine, kale chips, mashed potatoes, moist chicken breast recipe, roast chicken breast, the best roast chicken |