What in the Dickens?

This isn’t exactly a recipe, but more a spotlight piece on some incredible poultry from a butcher in Syracuse, Indiana.  My family has a lake home in this small town, and summers are filled with amazing fresh produce and incredible barbecue.  Bale’s Butcher Shop has these pre-marinated chicken breasts that are IMPOSSIBLE to dry out when cooking.

Chicken can be kind of a beast to master – it is so easy to dry out, and you need to work some magic to really inject it with flavor.  The chicken breasts that Bale’s are absolutely packed with delicious favor, and no matter how you make them – grill, oven, or stove – they will NOT dry out.  My sister once said “what in the dickens do they feed these chickens?!”, and it has since been a running joke in the family.  So, below are my tips for cooking chicken breasts:

  1. Marinate, marinate, marinate!  Add a little olive oil, some citrus, some herbs, and seasoning, and let your chicken bathe in this for an hour.  I’ve also used salad dressings!
  2. Brown before baking: I use an oven safe skillet, and always brown my chicken before baking.  This way you get the crispy outer skin, and the moisture locks in.
  3. Bake to finish: in a 425º oven, place the skillet with the browned chicken, and bake until when you poke it, the juices run clear.  The baking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken.
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