My go-to, stand-by, tried and true emergency protein is roasted chicken breasts that I have already cooked and ready to go in the fridge. I actually love chicken cold better than hot, but what I can’t stand is chicken that has no flavor and is pale and flabby looking. Ick.
But having delicious chicken in my fridge at all times has become part of my secret to making sure I always have something healthy for me and my husband to eat. More often than not it ends up being the protein in our salads I pack for our lunches everyday, but it is also great as just a snack straight out of the fridge with some mustard. In a pinch it can even become a quick dinner, although we usually eat fish for dinner these days in an effort to stay lean.
The key to this recipe is my House Rub. It’s delicious, and I have had many of my friends tell me they love it too. It’s awesome on a lot of things, but it is REALLY good on chicken, and I make it in bulk so that I always have it. With the rub already made in my pantry, this takes me all of 10 minutes hands on time, and while the chicken cooks for 45 minutes I usually have time to clean my house, do some laundry, or whatever else is on my to-do list.
Here’s what I do:
- Twice a week I buy a few packages of the best quality chicken breast I can afford – usually free-range, organic chicken breasts.
- I set the oven to 375, and spread the chicken breasts out on a sheet tray (cookie sheet), season both sides of all the chicken evenly and pretty heavily with my House Rub. Sometimes I hit the top with a little extra smoked paprika because I think it makes them taste like BBQ chicken.
- I drizzle the tops of the chicken breasts with either melted coconut oil or avocado oil, then using a silicone basting brush (which you can find at the dollar store!) I baste the tops of the breast with the oil to make sure that the tops of all the seasoned chicken breasts are coated with a little oil. Don’t brush so hard that you brush off the spices.
- Then bake for 45 minutes, cool the cooked chicken and store in the fridge. If you want, you can even cut the breasts into slices to make salad assembly even easier.
Look, I get it. You’re busy and you have stuff you have to do. But if you get in the habit of cooking a few recipes over and over so that you always have them available, eating healthy will be so much easier. All worthwhile habits take a little time and effort to become part of your natural routine.