I barely have time to breathe this week. I’ve instituted a No TV policy, I’m watching the clock and timing nearly every move (out of work at 5, out of Walmart by 6, on to studying by 7), and I feel generally stressed, frazzled, and panicky. I certainly don’t have time to be baking for fun. (Come to think of it, I don’t have the fall wardrobe for it, either. I digress.)
I do have time, however, to bake for sustenance, and I managed to throw two pans of this chicken in the oven a mere 20 minutes ago. I could eat this for just about every meal, and with this week’s work and school demands, I just might. I plan to at least lean heavily on these chickies until Wednesday night when at least my immediate art historical concerns are taken care of. I may arrive to Wednesday dinner disheveled and permanently inked with ballpoint pen on every finger, but at least I’ll arrive sated on chickeny goodness.
Are you just barely getting by? Go forth and bake (chicken).
Barely-Getting-By Baked Chicken
The details aren’t that specific here. Just wing it.
Oven at 400º.
One big baker (9×13 works well), lightly Pammed
1 package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3-4, depending on the package)
1 package dry salad dressing mix, ranch or Italian (both are delicious)
1/4 – 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the cheap stuff, the kind you sprinkle on spaghetti and keep in a shaker in the fridge)
In a gallon-size Ziploc, mix the dressing mix and Parmesan. It won’t look like much, but resist the urge to add more cheese. Trust me.
Do whatever you like to prep your boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I tend to pat them dry with a paper towel just to make sure the final product isn’t slimy. That’s it.
Put the chickens in the Ziploc, seal, and shake. There should be plenty of dry mix to coat the chicken breasts.
Put the coated chickens in the baker. Resist the urge to add more of the dry mix to the chickens. It just makes them dusty, and nobody likes dusty chickens.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until the chicken’s done. In my experience, the dry mix doesn’t turn particularly golden or anything. Just make sure your chicken’s cooked. (If you’re just barely getting by, you’re going to be dead in the water if you’ve got food poisoning.)
Eat! These chickens are great on their own, with a side of steamed broccoli, chopped up in a salad or a Lean Cuisine mac & cheese…you get the picture. I love to make a big batch – sometimes one ranch, one Italian – and package them individually for work-week lunches (or breakfasts, who am I kidding?).