Monday, October 22, 2012

Recipe: Seasoned Chicken

I often use Pinterest to find new recipes.  However, I have a hard time actually following the recipe exactly.  While I'm sure the original recipes are just fine, I like to use the recipes I find as inspiration or a jumping off point, not as a rulebook.  I've been cooking for over ten years now, and have tried enough recipes to guess what might work (and have learned a lot about what doesn't!).  If you are new to cooking, or trying a new style or kind of dish, then certainly follow the directions!  But after a few tries, be confident enough to make a few changes or try a shortcut.

When my daughter was born almost two years ago, I started trying out more freezer meals.  I could spend an afternoon cooking, and then not feel so rushed once I got home from work.  And for a while, I kept cooked cubed or shredded chicken in the freezer, so I was ready when I came across a casserole, pasta dish, or salad that called for cooked chicken.  But this chicken never tasted very good, so I stopped.  But when I came across a link to The Perfect Chicken, I realized that of course that chicken wouldn't taste good; I never seasoned it!  I had mistakenly thought that I shouldn't season it since I didn't know what dish I would be using it in.  But the recipe for Perfect Chicken uses spices that are common enough to most dishes and aren't overpowering, so the chicken could still be used in whatever I need it for.

The recipe makes a simple spice rub using salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder.  I quickly through together a batch.  


I had purchased a package of fresh chicken tenders earlier this week for another dinner, and after seeing this recipe, intentionally put a few of the tenders back in the refrigerator so that I could try out this recipe.  The recipe made plenty for the four tenders that I had, and probably would have been enough for another four. 


I browned the tenders on the stovetop as instructed in the recipe.  Because I was using tenders instead of full chicken breasts, I decided I could finish cooking on the stovetop, instead of baking as instructed, because the tenders were thin enough to cook through without getting dried out.  I simply lowered the heat and added a lid to keep the moisture in. 

This was a quick way to add more flavor to plain boneless, skinless chicken.  The spice rub came together in less than a minute, browning the chicken took about five minutes, and then I let the chicken sit unattended and covered on low for about ten minutes to finish cooking.  I haven't tried freezing this yet, but will soon.  The chicken looked so good, I immediately looked for a way to use it and came up with a Pesto Chicken Grilled Cheese 

Do you have an easy spice rub recipe for chicken?

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