Looking for the most tender, soft, juicy chicken breast recipe? There are plenty on the internet, but none other can make you go crazy like this one. It's a recipe of common ingredients with easily found substitutes, so you don't have to think twice before giving it a try.
With everyone sick and tired of dry, rock-hard chicken breasts, the juicy and full of flavor greek souvlaki marinade comes across a wonderful change - the one we have all been waiting for. With its delicious yet healthy ingredients, there is a treat waiting. Get your oven preheated and plates ready because I'm pretty sure it's going to be finger-licking good.
Why You'll Love this Baked Chicken Breast?
Most chicken breast recipes are boring and do not kill the dryness of the meat at all. Even most restaurants fail to make a chicken breast interesting, and they serve the usual boring stuff. So why is this recipe unique? You may ask, answer; there are a lot of reasons.
One, its lemon-flavored goodness filled with nutrients and only the most convenient ingredients ever make it the tastiest and the most impressive chicken breast recipe.
Two, if you are on a diet, it's perfect for you with a high protein and low carb profile.
Lastly, it is an easy-on-the-pocket and very quick-cooking recipe, getting ready in no time and costing you nothing out of the pantry.
Equipment Needed to Make Easy Chicken Bake
Obviously, how can one make something without the right equipment? Fish around your kitchen and look for the following stuff:
- Lemon zester
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- A mixing bowl
- Oven safe baking dish - make sure the dish is oven friendly because you won't like a melted dish with your chicken breast now, would you?
- Meat thermometer - to check when the chicken becomes tender
Now that you have gathered all the necessary equipment, these are the ingredients you need to bring it to life. I bet most of these you already have in your kitchen.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil - any oil can be used, but olive is the ideal choice
- Lemon juice from half a lemon
- Lemon zest (you picked the lemon zester for a reason)
- 2 cloves of garlic, either pressed or minced
- Olives - kalamata olives are ideal
- Cherry or grape tomatoes (use regular tomatoes if you don't have these)
- 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of dried mint (or dill)
- 1 teaspoon of paprika (this one is optional, it adds more flavor and color)
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of grounded black pepper
- Feta cheese
- Red onions or white sweet onions
- 2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, thighs, or drumsticks (depends on whatever you prefer, but the cooking time will differ)
In the mixing bowl, put olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, oregano, dill, paprika, salt, and pepper and mix them thoroughly.
Place the chicken breasts in a large shallow bowl and pour the marinade you just made on the top. Rub the sauce all over the chicken, and toss 'em all around to make sure they are fully coated.
Cover the bowl with a plastic cling wrap and leave the chicken in the refrigerator for approximately an hour so that it is marinated in the sauce evenly. (you can even marinate the chicken overnight if you have enough time)
Preheat your oven to 450°F. (put the chicken on your kitchen counter for 30 minutes so that it can be at room temperature) Place the chicken on a quarter sheet baking pan and bake it for 20 to 25 minutes or until the chicken is tender enough and no longer pink from the inside.
The internal temperature reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the chicken breast. (as read on the meat thermometer)
Lastly, remove the chicken from the oven and let it sit for 5 to 6 minutes before serving.
Chop it up or serve it as it is, however you like, but if you want to do something special, here we go:
How to Serve?
There must be a special way to serve this dish because it's pretty special. You can eat it and serve it however you want, but if you want our advice, we will make sure it's something extraordinary.
The best way to serve this dish is to chop the chicken into 4 or 5 pieces and top it with feta cheese, tomatoes, and olives (toppings that you prefer) - a pleasure to the eyes, treat for your buds!
Here are a few tips to up the game for you with simple and small professional-like touches.
- Don't reuse the marinade left from the raw poultry because there is a chance of bacteria; the wise choice would be to boil the sauce first before reusing it.
- Add acids such as lemon or lime juice, vinegar, or wine to tenderize the meat
- Choose the right type of oil to add more flavor, for instance, olive oil is ideal for greek, Italian, and Mediterranean dishes. Sesame oil if you are in the mood for an Asian dish
- Canola or vegetable oil for Mexican and American dishes
- Yogurt can be used as a good meat tenderizer as well, as it can add extra flavor to the chicken too.
- You can grill the chicken or fry it in the pan if you feel it's not tender enough to your liking as well.
A Few Benefits
The best-baked chicken breast with Greek Souvlaki marinade that you are drooling over is not just a matter of empty calories: this juicy treat is full of amazing health benefits.
Chicken = Lean Protein
Lean protein in chicken breast is the single best thing for all those trying to lose weight and build more muscle. Besides building and Maintaining muscle with its high amino acid profile, lean protein is a great help in weight loss because it keeps you full for longer. No hunger pangs, no unnecessary snacks.
Olive oil is a miracle oil that's packed with health benefits. When losing weight and building muscle, you may be skeptical about fats and oils, but olive oil is not on the enemy list. Want to know why?
Olive oil is packed with monounsaturated fatty acids that keep your heart healthy and your blood sugar levels under control. In addition, olive oil induces a feeling of satiety, working much like a natural hunger suppressant. You are less likely to binge on junk and carbs while having olive oil on the table.
Feta is a special fat-burning and muscle-building cheese with CLA- conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid that helps build lean mass and favors body composition for less fat and more muscle.
Feta is a great dairy source of protein and good fats. It keeps you full with its high protein and fat content, and for that reason, it is loved by all in the fitness world.
Feta is packed with calcium which is essential for muscle and nerve connection as well as bone health. You can help build strong and dense bones just like your muscles, so eating foods that contain more calcium is a great start.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, this recipe is a great idea for many reasons. It is a treat to your buds and nourishes your body with the healthiest ingredients. It's light on the pocket with common, everyday ingredients and doesn't demand hours in the kitchen. At the same time, it doesn't lack anything in the taste department. If done right, it might well be your go-to dish that you keep coming back to because it's just that awesome.
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- Bradlee, M. Loring, et al. ‘High-Protein Foods and Physical Activity Protect Against Age-Related Muscle Loss and Functional Decline’. The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, vol. 73, no. 1, Dec. 2017, pp. 88–94. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glx070.