Friday, June 22, 2007

Chump Chicken

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.

Chump Chicken
Serves 4

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
Olive oil
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


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe. I'm a vegetarian, but enjoy making things I know my husband will enjoy eating. I enjoy reading your blog!

BellaColle said...

Oh my word! sounds yummy! I will definatly try it, thanks for sharing your recipe!

Adrienne said...

Yumm-O! That sounds scrumptious. Thanks for sharing. I'm going to make it -- maybe this weekend. I love your blog.

Anonymous said...

Love the quote "it takes a tough woman to make a tender chicken"...too funny!
I love my cast iron pan too..I got one from my Mom when I got married and it has been in use many times.
The chicken looks scrumptious and easy to make.
What a wonderful way to celebrate a relaxing evening, Brin..wish I could join you on the porch!

Alison said...

Cast iron is the way to go....I also agree it makes all the difference.Chicken recipe looks great...especially after a long weeek.
Love the quote.

Seawashed said...

Brin~ This looks so yummy, I can't wait to try it. I need a new cast iron skillet and this will be just the reason to rush out and purchase one! I love chicken drizzles in lots of garlic & thyme.

Anonymous said...

This recipe sounds wonderful! I wonder if I can make it in a confection oven in a vinyl/plastic container? What do you think? I live in a RV - no such item allow as iron fry pan.

Unknown said...

Love that quote too!! And I'll have to try that recipe soon, looks so good! Thanks Brin!

Anonymous said...

This recipe looks wonderful. I will definitely try it! I found your site a few weeks ago... and enjoy it very much!

Anonymous said...

Can you guess what we had for dinner tonight? That's right...Chump Chicken! I got out my Momma's large iron skillet and just followed the recipe. I served it over rice-a-roni with a salad on the side...mmmmmgood!

Peter & Abby Hansen said...

Hi! I made Chump Chicken last night, served it with Daffodil Pasta... soooo yummy! The chicken actually stayed moist, and very flavorful. I had herbes de provence, so used that in place of the other dried herbs. I will definitely be making this again, what a great way to cook a healthy chicken breast with very little effort! I have quite a few of your recipes printed out & ready to try :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made it last night and it was amazing. It received a thumbs up from my crew.