Chicken has long been the staple of “healthy” diets for years. Deservedly so, since it’s almost 100 percent protein with minimal fat and zero carbs. Protein helps us build muscle and keeps us full when we’re trying to lose fat, so chicken fits the bill nicely.
But have you ever tried to choke down bland, dry boneless skinless chicken breast? I have. I can tell you, from experience, that it’s terrible. So if you’ve fallen for the myth that the only way to get ripped and shredded is to eat nothing but plain chicken and broccoli for every meal, there’s hope for you.
Every Sunday I cook up a bunch of food for the week so I have convenient grab-and-go meals that are full of protein, carbs and healthy fats to keep me going. Setting aside a few hours one to two days per week for food preparation is a fantastic habit that makes eating well much easier. But how do you make chicken taste good without adding tons of calories or cooking time?
Well, here’s my secret. This is what I do every single Sunday (and usually Wednesday evening too) to make sure I’ve got tons of protein ready to go at a moment’s notice. It’s super fast, super simple and tastes delicious.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Boneless skinless chicken breast (the big family packs work best)
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil (to grease the pan)
- Any other dry seasonings you like (I use garlic powder, dill and red pepper flakes)
- Cutting board (plastic is best for raw meat)
- Sharp kitchen knife
- Large mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Baking sheet (at least 11×17 inches)
Hands-on prep time: 5 minutes
Hands-off cooking time: 25 minutes
We’re going to bake our chicken in the oven because grilling takes too much damn time and pan frying on the stove top dries out the chicken way too fast. This way, you literally only spend 5 minutes prepping and then sit on your butt til it’s done.
STEP 1: CHOP THE CHICKEN
Place each chicken breast on the cutting board one at time and trim off any globs of fat. Then, slice each breast in half lengthwise. This makes for long strips, which are easy to chop up into chunks later to be thrown in salads or omelets. Throw each chopped piece into the mixing bowl.
STEP 2: SEASON THE CHICKEN
Start with a few glugs of olive oil to keep the chicken moist. Measure it out if you want – I never do. Same with your seasonings. I eyeball everything. Once you’ve added everything, mix it all together with your wooden spoon. I always season a second time to make sure I cover all the chicken that was at the bottom of the bowl. You don’t want half a batch of yummy chicken and half a batch of plain, boring chicken.
STEP 3: GREASE THE PAN
Set the oven for 375 degrees and grab your baking sheet. Scoop out a big spoonful of coconut oil and smoosh it all over the baking sheet, using the back of the spoon to smear it til the entire surface is covered. The coconut oil will melt as the chicken cooks, keeping the chicken from sticking to pan (plus it doesn’t smoke when heated like most vegetable oils). Arrange the chicken evenly on the pan without overlapping or crowding, which will cause the chicken to cook unevenly.
STEP 4: PUT CHICKEN IN THE OVEN
Throw the pan in the oven and set your timer for 25 minutes. Everyone’s oven is different but I’ve found that 25 minutes at 375 is the sweet spot for fully-cooked-but-still-juicy chicken.
That’s it! Super simple and tasty, and takes literally 5 minutes of hands-on time to prepare all your chicken for the week. You could easily double the amount of chicken, use a bigger baking sheet and keep all the other steps the same to cook enough chicken for your entire family.
Give this a try and let me know what you think! Hit any of the social media buttons below to share.