As a 25 year old male with a speedy metabolism, when it comes to chicken I'm usually gonna buy it with the skin-on. Because let's be honest, perfectly crisped chicken skin is not only glorious, it helps keep that chicken juicy!
Of course, sometimes you might feel like going the healthier route with the always popular, lean, skinless chicken breast. Don't get me wrong, I love them. But boy, have I had some terrible ones (thanks to their extended visits in the oven)!
So what's a person to do if they want an easy, delicious, yet moist chicken breast? There are a few options! You could marinate or brine it for a few hours, adding flavor and tenderizing the meat. Or you could bake it in parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Or do both – brine or marinate the chicken and then cook it in a pouch! Here's a video that shows you how to use this combined method:
The great thing about cooking in parchment is it's easy to add flavor. Along with using your favorite spices, you could even toss some vegetables in with the chicken and create a tasty all-in-one meal! In the video I added salt, pepper, garlic powder, and thyme along with a tablespoon of broth to help keep things moist, and some butter to help boost the flavor.
Alternatively, you can substitute butter for a different fat, whether it be olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, or whatever the latest heart-healthy oil is on the market.
Prepare the chicken by cutting a rectangle of parchment paper. Place the chicken on one end of the parchment, add your seasoning, broth and butter or oil. To create the pouch, fold the parchment paper in half, then starting from the edge, create small tight folds along the parchment paper until you have created a half circle pouch around your chicken.
If you're having trouble getting a good crease in your folds, take the flat end of a butter knife and run it along the edge of the parchment paper as you create each fold. Once you have created a tightly sealed pouch, bake it in the oven at 400°F for 20-25 minutes until the chicken reaches 165°F.
That's it! Once your chicken is cooked take it out of the oven, cut the parchment paper open and serve. If there are extra juices in the pouch, pour them over your chicken, vegetables, or a side dish (perhaps rice or potatoes?).
Feel free to experiment with the flavors you add in your pouch, as well as the meat you put in! I would skip meats like beef or pork, but fish works really well using this method.