Many people shy away from cooking/baking chicken breast due to the ease that it can dry out. My safeguard to ensure that it doesn’t dry out during cooking is to brine the breasts for one hour.
Brining hydrates the breast meat and we can also infuse the meat with herb flavours with ease. I use this method for whole chicken and turkey’s as well. You can find this process here: http://www.tasteofhome.co.nz/brining-a-chicken-or-turkey-2/
You can also use small turkey breasts for this recipe.
– 4 litres (1 gallon) cold water in a large bowl
– 2 heaped tblspns sea salt
– Juice from 2 oranges
– Rind from 1 orange
– 1 large lemon sliced
– 4 cloves garlic peeled
– ¼ tspn whole pepper corns
– 1 bay leaf
– 1 large sprig fresh thyme and rosemary
– 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
– 2 tblspns olive or coconut oil
– 1½ tspn dried rosemary
– 1½ tspn dried thyme
– 1½ tspn dried oregano
– 1½ tspn dried parsley
– Fresh ground pepper
Add the salt to the water and stir until all the salt has dissolved. Add the rest of the ingredients of the brine to the salted water and stir.
Add the chicken breasts, cover and rest for 1 hour. Stir once of twice.
After 1 hour remove the chicken breasts, rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
Place the chicken breasts on a low sided roasting tray and rub the oil all over each breast. Combine the dried herbs in a small bowl and season with pepper to taste. You do not need to season with salt as the breasts have been in a salt brine.
Sprinkle the mixed herbs all over each breast. Cover and rest in the fridge for at least two hours. Overnight is fine.
Pre-heat oven to 200C (400F)
Remove the chicken from the fridge while the oven is heating up.
Once the chicken has come to room temperature place in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes. Once cooked remove from the oven and rest covered for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Serve with seasonal fresh vegetables of your choice.
Recipe provided by New Zealand Gluten-Free Chef Jimmy Boswell, food writer, chef, food stylist; author of The New Zealand Gluten-Free Cookbook, Published by Penguin New Zealand. For more info on Jimmy, visit his Facebook page.