Food & Drink Magazine

Country Baked Chicken

By Mariealicerayner @MarieRynr

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We do eat rather a lot of chicken in this house.   We quite like it and I like the breast meat most of all, but it can be rather tasteless sometimes and has a tendancy to dry out more than the rest I suppose . . . that is why it lends itself well to sauces and such.  A good chicken breast is rather like a canvas waiting to be painted upon . . .
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I prefer my chicken breasts with parts of the bone still attached, which helps to keep them moist I think, but the other day I decided I was going to try brining them in a simple salt and water brine, only for a short time . . . just to see if it made a difference and . . . guess what?
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It worked beautifully . . . these chicken breasts were deliciously moist and tender.  I covered them with a tasty herbed crumb and baked them in a mix of chicken stock and butter until the juices ran clear . . .
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Then I turned those pan juices into a delicious gravy which was absolutely wonderful spooned over mounds of mashed potatoes, and of course with that tender flavourful chicken.  It was quite a delicious meal actually.  I will do this again!  It's amazing what a little salt bath can do.
I wonder if it would work on me?  ☺
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*Country Baked Chicken*Serves 4 Printable Recipe  
Not sure how it works, but this is the moistest chicken you could ever want to eat.  A crisp, well seasoned crust, and moist tender chicken.  What more could a person ask for?  Oh yes . . . a delicious gravy too!  
4 partialy boned, but skinless chicken breasts2 tsp saltcold water to cover  4 TBS fine dry bread crumbs1/4 tsp salt1/2 tsp black pepper1/4 tsp dried thyme1/4 tsp dried parsley1/4 tsp dried sage6 TBS melted butter1 cup chicken stockTo finish:2 TBS flour, shaken with 1/2 cup milk  
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Place the chicken into a bowl and cover it with cold water.   Stir in the 2 tsp of salt and swiish it around.  Let the chicken sit in the salted water for half an hour  or so.  At the end of that time, drain the chicken very well and dry with some paper towels.
Preheat the 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  
Place 4 TBS of the melted butter in a baking dish large enough to hold all the chicken pieces.  Add the chicken breasts and stir them around to coat the chicken.  Arrange bone side down in the dish.  Mix together the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, thyme, parsley, and sage.  Sprinkle this mixture over top of the chicken pieces.  Dot with the remaining butter.  Pour the cup of chicken stock into the baking dish from the edge of the dish so that the stock fills the bottom without touching the crumbs.   Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken juices run clear when pierced with a fork.  Remove the chicken pieces to a heated platter and tent lightly to keep warm, without steaming.Pour the pan juices into a saucepan.  Whisk in the flour and milk mixture.  Bring to the boil, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens.  If it is too thick, thin with a bit more milk until you get your desired consistency.   Taste and adjust seasoning with some salt and pepper.  
Serve the chicken and pass the gravy on the side.  Mashed potatoes go very well with this, as well as some veg and or salad on the side.

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