It takes a tough woman
to make a tender chicken.
- Frank Perdue
Yikes, what a week! Time for a long bath, a good movie, and comfort food. Get out the cast iron pan, my pretty ones. It's time for some Chump Chicken.
I'd love to tell you this recipe has been in my family for 40 grandmas. It hasn't. Truth is, most of the women in my family have always done one of three things with white meat chicken: fry it, stir it into dumplings, or bake it into casseroles. And it's always scrumptious. Always. It's just that by Friday, I appreciate the I've-had-a-long-week-can't-you-just-make-yourself? kind of dinner. This ridiculously easy recipe was born one Friday evening for the simple reason that I could stick it in the oven and take a long soak while it cooked itself. Lazy, easy, and utterly delicious, this recipe has become a favorite among family and friends. Everyone is blissfully clueless how little effort I expend on this popular dish. (So much so that I sometimes feel like a total chump. Therefore the name.)
Anyway, here it is. My answer to long weeks, tired feet, and a rumbling tummy. I promise you'll love it.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 onions (white or yellow), thickly sliced
8 cloves garlic, separated, with skins on
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T. dried rosemary
2 T. dried thyme
2 T. butter, cut into 8 pieces
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 425 F. Generously season one side of chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place, seasoned side down, in cast iron skillet*. Season remaining side with salt and pepper.
Add onions and garlic to pan, arranging on top of and beside chicken. Top with pats of butter, rosemary, and thyme. Drizzle olive oil over all.
Bake, uncovered, at 425F for 45-55 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking time.
Let chicken rest 10 minutes before serving (with roasted garlic and onions, if desired). Slice, garnish with additional herbs, and serve over pasta, rice, or a bed of greens. Or, as I did this week, plop it all over a mound of baby spinach and plop yourself on the front porch. Either way.
*I've always made this in cast iron and am convinced that's one reason it turns out so effortlessly perfect. If, however, you want to try this before you get a cast iron pan, use a heavy-bottomed baking dish. But do get the cast iron. They're worth more than gold, in my book!
Well, there you have it. Hope your weekend is full of comfort and joy! -Brin