So many recipes call for cooked chicken, but unless you have leftovers, you’re at a loss and need to whip up chicken in a hurry. I have a secret method for producing the moistest baked chicken breasts and tips for dinner-ready chicken from the freezer. This chicken won’t win a beauty contest, but it’ll be super moist every time.
How to Oven Poach Chicken Breasts
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Spray baking dish and one side of parchment paper with cooking spray. Set aside. Place chicken in the prepared dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Turn chicken over and season the other side. Cover meat with parchment paper, tucking it in around the sides. This will help keep the moisture in while the chicken roasts.
- Place the dish on the middle rack in the oven and bake about 20–25 minutes until it is completely cooked through or until the thickest part of the breast reaches 160 degrees. For safety reasons, 165 degrees is the temperature they need reach, but pull them out early, as they will continue to cook in the dish.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest with the paper still on for 5 minutes before cutting into it—cut any sooner and the juices will escape. Serve warm or cold.
- Cooked breasts, wrapped in plastic, will keep 2 days in the refrigerator.
- If you’d like to make a large quantity in advance for the freezer, omit the pepper and let the chicken cool so that you can easily handle it without burning your hands. Individually wrap each piece in parchment paper, then cover it tightly in plastic wrap and put the wrapped pieces into a sealed zip-top bag with all the air removed.
The parchment will protect it from freezer burn and allow you to pop the chicken in the microwave with no fear that the plastic will contaminate the chicken. Label the bag with the date and make certain you use it within 3 months.