Cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts in parchment paper and you'll always have moist, tender, juicy, wonderfully flavored chicken to use in sandwiches, salads, casseroles, and soups. This is a simple and foolproof way to cook a lot of chicken at one time. The parchment paper seals in the moisture, so the chicken steams in its own juices and retains a lot of flavor.
Add a lemon, some dried spices if you'd like, and salt and pepper to flavor the chicken. I like to cook about 10 to 12 breasts this way, then chop the meat and freeze it in 1-cup portions to use in salads and casseroles (always label the package with the frozen meat with the contents and the date it was made). Cooking chicken this way is much cheaper than buying precooked chicken (especially a rotisserie chicken!) and the meat is very good.
Let the chicken cool for about 20 minutes, then chop it into pieces or shed it as you like. Put on a couple of plates in the fridge for another hour, then pack in hard sided freezer containers, label them, seal, and freeze up to 3 months. To use the frozen cooked chicken, let it stand overnight in the fridge until it's thawed.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 lemon or orange or lime, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pinch of dried thyme or basil leaves per breast
For thawed breasts:
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Place a 12x12" sheet of parchment paper on a large cookie sheet, fold in half and cut into a heart shape. Unfold the paper.
Place one chicken breast in the center of the heart shape. (You can make as many bundles as you like and bake them at the same time as long as they are in a single layer and there's 1" of space surrounding each bundle).
Sprinkle the chicken with herbs, salt, and pepper and top with lemon or orange or lime slices, if desired.
Bring the edges of the paper together and fold together to crimp closed. Be sure to leave some room inside the bundle for heat expansion which will happen as the chicken bakes.
Place the bundles on a large baking sheet (or two) and bake at 425°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken registers 160°F on an instant read meat thermometer. You can also bake the bundles at 350 °F for 30 to 40 minutes.
For frozen chicken breasts:
Wrap the individual frozen chicken breasts in foil or parchment paper as directed above, one to a package, and bake at 400°F for 55 to 65 minutes, or bake at 425°F for 45 to 55 minutes until the meat is done as directed above.
All ovens are different, and all chicken breasts are different sizes. So the baking time will probably be different for you. Make a note of the correct time for your oven so the chicken will be cooked perfectly every time.