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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Easy Baked Chicken Breast Recipes

 By: Dale Heil


Easy baked chicken breast recipes can be used as everyday fare or to serve guests an elegant meal.

Usually chicken breast recipes are reserved for the last meal of the day but they are just as appropriate for the mid day meal. The versatility of such dishes makes them extremely popular.

Additionally, baked chicken can be a very healthy addition to your overall healthy diet plan. There are few other recipes that are as versatile as baked chicken breast.
    Chicken As Healthy Fast Food
Fast food is usually considered to be unhealthy because of the large amounts of fat, sugar, and salt it contains. Preservatives may also be on the ingredient list, which only adds to the number of reasons to avoid such foods.

Regardless of how you look at it such fast foods are bad for you.

However, making fresh chicken in the oven can avoid all these pitfalls of fast food while being quick and easy to prepare.
    Butterfly Chicken Breast
Your chicken breasts will cook more quickly if you butterfly them.

What does it mean to butterfly a piece of meat?

It is simply cutting part way through the chicken breast (or other meat when preparing them) then flipping the cut ends open so the meat will then lie flatter.

By making the meat thinner it will cook more quickly and have more surface to absorb marinate. When a coating such as bread crumbs are applied to the meat the flavors and coating will cover a greater amount of the meat's surface offering more of these flavors per bite.
    Marinated Butterfly Chicken Breast
Butterfly boneless skinless chicken breasts then place in a bowl or plastic bag. Make sure the meat is lying flat to absorb more flavor.

Cover liberally with your favorite salad dressing.

Italian, blue cheese (or Roquefort), ranch and all olive oil based dressings work well as marinate.

Cover bowl or seal plastic bag to avoid having your chicken dry out as it sits in the refrigerator overnight. You can be creative and use other marinates but salad dressings are readily available and easy to use.

When ready to bake put the marinated breasts into an oven-safe pan or baking dish and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. The cooking time will differ depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts. Making sure the meat is lying flat will speed up the cooking time.

The meat is done when cooked through with no red blood or bloody meat visible when a cut is made in the thickest portion.
    Recipe Variety
It is easy to fall into the trap of just throwing a chunk of chicken into a pan to be oven baked until it is bland and tasteless. You will find that it is just as easy to jazz up your recipes to be tastier while making your meals healthier.

Easy guidelines to follow are to serve your entrée with a fresh salad. Offering a vegetable platter as an appetizer is another good idea. Both tactics offer foods that retain the enzymes that cooking destroys.

 Another way to add healthy foods to your meals is to stuff your entrée meat with whole grains. Try this elegant and easily prepared recipe to impress your guests.
    Wild Rice Stuffed Chicken Breast Marinara
Butterfly Cut Chicken Breasts
Cooked Wild Rice Mix
1 large jar marinara sauce
1 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese

Prepare a wild rice mix (commonly available at most supermarkets) per the supplied instructions using chicken broth in place of water.

Butterfly your chicken breasts as described above.

Place a large dollop of the wild rice mix on the meat and fold the butterfly to sandwich the hot rice inside like a sandwich. A few strategically placed wooden toothpicks may be necessary to hold the rice mix inside your folded chicken breast. Be sure to allow the toothpicks to protrude from the meat so they are easy to see to remove them after the chicken is cooked and before eating.

It is also a good practice to always use the same number of toothpicks per chicken breast. This way you can count them as they are removed to make sure all are taken out before serving.

This is a safety precaution and technique used by surgeons to assure that the same number of sponges they use in a procedure are removed afterward. The safety precautions you take in your own kitchen should not be any less stringent.

Carefully transfer the stuffed breasts to a glass baking dish.

Cover with marinara sauce and bake at 350 degress for 45-60 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts.

Breasts are done when cooked through and no red blood or bloody meat is visible when a cut is made in the thickest portion of the meat.

Place cooked chicken breasts on a serving platter and spoon additional marinara sauce over them to help retain moisture until served.

Serve with a large salad.

An olive oil based dressing is preferred because of the health benefits this healthy oil offers. Crunchy whole grain bread with an olive oil bread dip and red wine will add additional health benefits as well as elegance to your presentation.

Preparing easy baked chicken breast recipes are almost effortless and will make you look like an accomplished chef with minimal effort expended.

Have you ever wondered why some people just cannot lose weight and keep it off?

Would you like to learn how to modify your favorite recipes to be healthier table fare so you can eat what you want and stay healthy?

Visit for great recipes, cooking tips for healthy eating, and common sense weight loss.

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