Oven roasted chicken breast sounds easy enough right? But how many times did you get ready to sit down to enjoy this somewhat easy recipe only to cut into a dry chicken breast? Too many time for me! Three things you must have to enjoy a juicy and flavorful chicken breast right out of your oven are, a brine, a timer and a thermometer. Sounds easy enough, right? Too many times we want to just set it and forget it when it comes to preparing meals. And for those who work outside the home, that is what works best most times. If you break down this recipe, the brine, salsa and rice are all very easy to prepare with minimal ingredients. That easy salsa verde! So once the chicken has had to soak up all those flavors of the brine for 1-2 days, the meal comes together fairly quickly.
Oven Roasted Chicken Breast with Rice
My main goal for this recipe was to cook a juicy and flavorful chicken breast! I was very happy with the end result!
For The Brine
- 4 cups water
- 2 TBS salt
- 2 TBS sugar
- 1/4 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp whole peppercorns
- 2 large boneless chicken breast 1 1/4 pounds
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 1/4 onion large pieces
- 1-2 cloves garlic smashed
- 2 cups chicken broth warmed slightly
- 2 sprigs of cilantro
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1/3 tsp cumin
- Pinch of oregano
- Pinch of black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1/3 cup frozen peas and carrots
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- In a saucepan, combine all of the ingredients for the brine, minus the chicken. Bring to a quick boil. Taste for salt and let cool at room temperature. Once cooled, pour over chicken, cover and chill for at least 24 hours. 48 hours would be even better!
- When ready to cook the chicken, remove it from the brine, place onto a plate at let it sit at room temperature for 25-30 minutes.
For the rice, add 2-3 tablespoons of oil to a skillet and heat to medium. Add the rice, onion, garlic and serrano whole. Saute until the rice begins to toast and onion and garlic become aromatic. Pour in the warm chicken broth. Add cilantro, lime zest, cumin, oregano, black pepper and salt to taste.
- Once it comes to a boil, reduce to low, cover and cook for 7-9 minutes. Remove lid after and spread out peas and carrots on top. Continue cooking until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit.
- To finish chicken, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a cast iron skillet, add 3 tablespoons of oil and preheat once oven comes up to temperature.
- When ready, heat skillet until oil is hot. Lightly season the brined chicken breast with fresh cracked pepper and a pinch of salt. Sear the chicken for 5 minutes per side. Transfer to the oven and cook for an additional 13-16 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reads 165 degrees F.
Warm your tomatillo salsa on low while the chicken cooks. Fluff the rice with a fork and mix in the peas and carrots, then cover once again.
- Remove from oven, transfer to plate, tent loosely with foil paper and let rest for 5 minutes.
- To plate, add some salsa to the plate, then some rice and top with chicken, lime and cilantro!
Brining works well with both chicken and pork! The time does not reflect the brining time, so plan ahead when you prepare this recipe. It's worth the wait!
The tomatillo salsa consist of 1 pound of tomatillos, 2-3 serranos, 1/3 onion, cilantro and salt! Simply poach the washed tomatillos with the onion and serranos in simmering water for 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to the blender. Add cilantro(to taste), a splash of the cooking water and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth! Done! The picture above shows a double batch of salsa ingredients.