Friday, May 3, 2013

Southwest Roast Chicken Breasts

The other night I was planning on making some Tandoori Chicken using this recipe I found in Cooking Light last year. However, as the afternoon began to turn to evening, I realized it was not going to happen. I had not marinated the chicken ahead of time and there was no way we were going to have the energy to grill. For some reason, grilling on a Wednesday night seems to take an extra amount of effort.

So I decided to try making roast chicken breasts with a southwest twist. Baking the chicken with the skin on gives you crispy skin and moist chicken. These were very easy to make and tasted delicious! I look forward to making them again.

To make my Southwest Roast Chicken Breasts, you will need:
  • 2 bone-in chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. chile powder (or a little more if you want extra kick)
  • 1-2 tsp. chopped cilantro
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine butter, garlic, chile powder, cilantro, a generous dash of salt, and a dash of pepper in a small bowl. Carefully spread half of butter mixture underneath skin of each chicken breast. Sprinkle salt and pepper over each chicken breast and drizzle with olive oil.

Place a layer of aluminum foil on the bottom of a broiler pan then put the broiler rack on top of it (you could also use a wire rack on top of a baking sheet). Place chicken on top of pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let chicken rest for about 5 minutes after baking.

When I made this, I only put salt and pepper on top, not in the butter mixture. I realized it needed more salt, so I think adding it to the butter mixture as I mentioned in the recipe above will help. Also, if you have limes around, squeeze some fresh lime juice on the chicken after baking.

I served ours with my favorite roasted asparagus. This time I minced some garlic and mixed it with olive oil and salt and pepper, then poured it over the asparagus. I also baked it at a higher temperature, 400 degrees, for about 10 minutes which made the asparagus and garlic nice and crisp.

This is a great meal for a busy weeknight or when you have guests. You can prepare the chicken ahead of time and stick it in the oven just before your guests arrive. This way you can visit and not have to worry about cooking when everyone arrives.

If you have any leftover chicken, it would be great for making my green chile chicken spaghetti

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