One of the easiest dinners I can think of is a baked chicken. It can be a one-pot dish if you include your veggies while baking the chicken, or you can prepare your veggies on the side and serve the chicken with rice or pasta. Though not the quickest meal, there is very little hands-on time required, and the leftover chicken is wonderful for chicken salad the next day!
Preparing the perfect baked chicken is easy if you follow a few simple steps:
- Loosen the skin by sliding a knife in between the skin and the meat of the chicken.
- Insert multiple pats of butter between the skin and meat – the butter will help keep the chicken moist.
- Sprinkle salt, pepper, and the spices of your choosing onto the skin (I like to add paprika or a little cayenne both for color and a little bit of heat)
- Put some garlic cloves and white wine (or chicken stock, if you prefer to forgo the wine) into the bottom of the pan. You don’t need much wine or stock (approximately 3/4 cup to one cup – you are just adding another way for the chicken to stay moist).
- You can also add any vegetables that you’d like – potatoes, carrots, and onions are always good options – into the wine or stock. They will cook alongside the chicken, developing great flavor, and will help you have a complete meal when the chicken is done.
- Bake the chicken at 450 for 10 minutes (uncovered), and then lower the temperature of the oven to 350 and cook the chicken for an additional 45 minutes or so – until the chicken reaches 165 degrees and the juices run clear. (Baking it at the higher temperature helps the chicken develop a crispier skin.)
I’d love to hear what spices you choose to add to your chicken and what your favorite sides are to serve alongside the chicken!