How to Make the Easiest Chicken Ever

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This is a post from Rebel Chef Noel.

Imagine this: You come home from a rough day at work. You’re tired, a little bit grumpy, and definitely hungry.

But alas! It’s the end of the week and you’ve managed to eat ALL the food you prepared…except one tupperware of leftover veggies. Uhf.

But you’re a warrior! Vegetables will not stave your hunger. Not this day night…Just then it hits you: Your roomate has a frozen pizza in the freezer, a half a pint of ice cream, and…an uncooked chicken breast. What to do? What to do? The couch is looking awfully comfortable. And you haven’t had pizza in a while…

Fear not, friend! Help is on the way!

This is the lowest maintenance, easiest way to make a tasty chicken meal in about 20 minutes. Less time than it takes to cook a frozen pizza.

Take that, Pizza Demons!

The easiest chicken ever

finished kale

We’re going to go over step by step how to cook chicken, and I promise it’s a super-duper easy-peasy (and delicious) meal. But I must warn you, the chicken can get on the dry/crispy side if you’re not careful. So watch it closely!

Okay, so, here’s what you’ll need:

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1 chicken breast – Hopefully the chicken is already defrosted. If not, stick it in the microwave on low for a few seconds, then run it under water until it’s thawed. When you put it in the microwave, it will likely cook a little bit of the outside edges of the chicken. That’s okay.

Once your chicken is defrosted, COOK IT RIGHT AWAY or put it back in the fridge. Only two things could happen if you leave it on the counter: 1) Your dog or cat will eat it. 2) It will start growing bacteria and when you cook it later, you will get a mad case of the heeby jeebies. Not pretty, folks.

Sauces (optional) – I like Coconut Aminos (The Paleo version of Soy Sauce. Soy sauce also works, but  isn’t 100% Paleo) and Worcestershire sauce. Not all Worcestershire sauces are created equal. I was lucky enough to find one in my grocery store that is all organic, gluten free, and contains minimal sugar. Read the labels! This combo tastes like one of my favorite dishes at a japanese restaurant: Yakitori (or, chicken on a stick). Not your thing? Try one of these.

Spices and Oil (optional)- If you have no acceptable sauces at your disposal, some simple olive oil, salt and pepper will do in a pinch. 

Equipment: All you need is a baking pan and, if you want a super easy cleanup, line the pan with aluminum foil.

Instructions:

1. Line your pan with aluminum foil, place the rack in the middle of the oven, and set your oven on the “broil” setting. Broil is a method in which food is cooked directly under high heat. So, the little heat coils in your oven that look like bendy neon lights will stay on and be very hot. This will make the inside of your oven look like the inside of a space ship. Awesome.

*If you use your oven as a storage space, be sure to take out any stuff before turning it on to broil.

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2. Cut yo’ chicken. I often buy pre-cut chicken at the grocery store to save time. Sometimes this costs more, but if it doesn’t, I buy the pre-cut stuff. If your chicken breast is whole, cut it into slices – about the size of the “chicken fingers” your younger sibling always orders at restaurants. (Even though you’ve told them a hundred times that chickens don’t have fingers. Come on!)

3. Put the chicken in the foil lined pan. Easy peasy.

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4. Pour your sauces/spices on! You’re going to want to put sauce/spice on both sides of the chicken. Pour olive oil or your sauce on one side, shake on your spices of choice, then turn the chicken over with a fork and do the same to the other side.

If you want, you can marinade your chicken for 20-30 minutes. This will help give your chicken a little more flavor.

But I promise it will be okay if you are too hungry to wait that extra 20 minutes. I usually can’t wait.

A quick note:You are probably not using barbecue sauce, because although delicious, that stuff has a lot of sugar in it. BUT, on the occasion that you are…might I suggest that you wait until AFTER the chicken is cooked to dip your chicken strips in the sauce instead of cooking it with the sauce already on? The sugar in barbecue sauce (and other like sauces) will burn in the oven. Then you’ll be so angry that you ruined dinner that you’ll eat that half pint of ice cream in the fridge. And that’s what we want to avoid!

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5. Put your chicken in the oven. Set a timer to 20 minutes. And wait…Yeah! (Note: Depending on the thickness, cook time may vary. Feel free to check on it sooner!)

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While you’re waiting, warm up those frozen veggies or make yourself a big salad to go on the side.

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And when those 20 minutes are up? Make sure that when you cut into the chicken none of it is pink, and voilà!

Easiest chicken dinner ever.

Enjoy, rebel friend! You’ve defeated the hunger beast yet again, conquered temptation, and kept your momentum going! You’ve inspired us all!

finished kale

No Excuses, play like a champion!

Finger point

One of the most challenging things about eating healthy is meal planning, and it’s hard to plan your meals perfectly every time. This is a great dish to make in a pinch (serve with a salad, quick and easy microwaved sweet potato, or some steamed veggies and you’ve got yourself a real meal).

We want you to succeed in both the gym and kitchen. In the kitchen this means coming to your rescue so that you have NO EXCUSES when it comes to leveling up your life!

But this doesn’t just have to be a cooking method you use in an emergency! If you like this recipe, you can jazz it up with different sauces and spices to batch cook chicken for your meals throughout the week! So get cookin’!

Do you have any super easy meals you like to make when you’re tired or running short on time?

Do you have any questions about cooking chicken?

Let us know in the comments!

-Noel

PS: A lot of excitement (and new campers!) from last week’s updated Camp Nerd Fitness announcement. Early Bird Pricing ends on SUNDAY, May 18th – so if you’re a procrastinator, jump on it Tonto!

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Photos: kennymatic: lego chef, Sudhamshu Hebbar: You’re It

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77 thoughts on “How to Make the Easiest Chicken Ever

  1. I’ll have to try the soy sauce/Worcestershire mix!

    And it’s voilà, not viola, by the way. Unless you’re talking about the musical instrument.

  2. This so isn’t as easy as “Place chicken in crock pot, even if frozen. Add salt/pepper. Turn on low for 6-8 hours. Eat chicken.”

  3. When broiling chicken, the time varies by the thickness. Most cuts wouldn’t require anywhere near 20 minutes. Thighs usually only take 12 or 13 minutes to broil, breasts 15. That is, unless you like your chicken dry and chewy…

  4. i hate cooking so i usually just buy like 5 pounds of assorted veggies, 3 pounds of chicken breast, throw it in a crockpot and fill all the remaining space with chicken broth. boom. dinner for the week.

  5. It is if you’re hungry now. I would have eaten the pizza and the ice cream if I had to wait 6-8 hours 🙂

  6. Yeah, but if you do it once, you have dinner for the week available at microwave speed!

  7. Love it. Everyone’s talking about crock pot chicken! Now I’ve gotta try it.

  8. Alright, alright. You’ve convinced me. I’ll have to try some crock pot chicken.

    Though, I also really like the texture and flavor of chicken that’s broiled. I wonder if I can make an asian sauce to cook the crock pot chicken in? Hmmm…

  9. Meal planning is essential for me, especially for lunch. I eat chicken 90% of the time, thank goodness there are spices and marinades! I still prefer putting chicken in a slow cooker then shredding it.

  10. I so hope the day comes when you guys share recipes that don’t make me cringe. I realize cooking can get overwhelming if it’s too much at once but come on rebels- let’s step up the game!! “throw it in the microwave- it’s ok if it cooks the edges” – yeah. If you don’t like food to taste good this is fine. 🙁

  11. Here’s a Pepper Chicken you will love.

    Take chicken, I like mine with bone. Marinade it with lime juice, salt and crushed black/white pepper.

    After ten minutes, heat a pressure cooker, put in a little olive oil and throw in your chicken. Add very little watee, a cup maybe, and boil till tender.

    Open tge cooker and add a little more oil and dry up your chicken.

    Enjoy with a salad. 🙂

  12. Well done, Noel! An easy go to meal for me is an omelet! I just throw in some eggs (cheap protein), any leftover veggies or even steamed frozen veggies or canned veggies, any leftover meat and herbs! And if I don’t have any of those, then just some scrambled eggs!

  13. Awesome.
    You can do the same thing with salsa!
    Just pour a jar over the chicken, cover with foil, and cook in a 350+ degree oven for at least 45 minutes. Even if you way over cook it, it is still perfect.

  14. Nope, I needed this. This is as sophisticated as my cooking gets, and anything more complicated would’ve been too much to bother with. There are plenty of paleo recipes out there for foodies. Help those of us who don’t like spending a ton of time in the kitchen, too!

  15. I have got to learn how to use the broiler on my gas oven. It’s this weird, pull-out drawer thing and I just don’t have a clue (it’s the first place I’ve lived to have gas rather than electric). I usually just crock pot it or I use a casserole dish with chicken broth on the bottom and tin foil over the top of it and cooks pretty well that way. It doesn’t get all nice and brown like in these pictures, though.

  16. Not a chicken meal, but a great, quick meal nonetheless. grease a pan with olive oil and throw in 5-7 frozen asparagus sticks. At the same time crack two eggs. A little salt on the asparagus and a little pepper on the eggs. The asparagus will be thawed by the time the eggs are done (sunny side up or over easy). done in less than 10 minutes.

  17. Do you have any super easy meals you like to make when you’re tired or running short on time?

    For an easy, healthy, reliable go-to breakfast, I make a big ol’ pot of what we like to call….well…Breakfast Stuff.

    Brown up some ground beef (and/or other meat(s) of your choice, draining if you so choose), throw in all sorts of frozen veggies (picked and frozen at the height of their freshness AND pretty damn cheap) like chopped spinach, peppers, onions, lima beans, and so on and so forth. Drain, because un-frozen veggies (spinach especially) will give you all kinds of wetness in your food that you otherwise probably don’t want. Crack a couple of eggs into it as well, if your spouse happens to not have a wicked unpleasant egg intolerance. Maybe add some hashbrowns if you’re not 100% Paleo. Just make sure you season and fry them up separately on their own, so they’re good and crispy. Same holds true with cheese. Add Tabasco, because this is breakfast. Some good, chunky salsa if that’s your thing, too.

    Keep the heat going, keep that wooden spoon stirring, and when everything’s the way you want it to be, throw it into some Tupperware containers and toss them into the freezer, keeping the batch you’re going to nosh on over the next couple of days in the fridge.

    Tasty, healthy, and super fast in the mornings all on its own. Made all the better with buffalo sauce and tortillas (or not, if you’re too Paleowesome for them).

    Like Noel mentioned above, keep an eye on the sauces you use. There are a TON of awesome ones out there that are completely without sugar, and most of them go great on something like this. A good batch of this Stuff can last a week or longer (rationing it in the freezer to keep it from getting funky as the days go on), and feed you and yours for like twenty bucks or so.

    There you go. Enjoy mealing on your Stuff.

  18. Me too. I mean, I cook, I even make things like Indian food, but I’ve never used the broiler. It kind of scares me. I know it’s ridiculous but part of me is sure the house will catch fire if I try it. Mines a little drawer too.

  19. Excellent article, but I will get rid of the aluminium foil and be more creative regarding the sauce, maybe something that I made myself at home.
    @JessyDiamond:disqus Soy/Worchestershire sauce mix isn’t full of sodium?

  20. I put sliced lemons on top of the chicken while it’s baking. Seems to keep it moist. Plus its yummy.

  21. Glad this will help you out Ladell! I try to make recipes as easy and straight forward as possible. New cooks need love too!

  22. Awesome. This sounds super tasty. Definitely going to try out some of these slow cooker chicken recipes in the coming weeks.

  23. Thanks Hannah! Yes! I agree with you. Scrambles and omelets are totally a life saver!

  24. I can’t say I’ve ever used a broiler that is a little drawer. :/ that does sound kind of intimidating. I’ve only ever had electric stoves where I live. Baking the chicken as you suggested it definitely works as an alternative to broiling.

  25. Soy sauce is full of sodium and totally not paleo, but if you don’t have a problem with that, I say go for it.

    The soy sauce alternative suggested in the post is Coconut Aminos, which has far less sodium than soy sauce. Plus it works for those of is who have sensitivities to soy (like me).

  26. Yeah! Lemons, olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil are great combined together.

  27. Spices make all the difference in the world, don’t they! What are some of your favorite flavor combos?

  28. I have a gas oven and the broiler is below the main oven compartment. (To bake or roast, i.e. cook from the bottom up: use the oven. To cook from the top down: use the broiler.)
    I have never cooked anything in the broiler that took longer than 7 minutes per side. In my experience, a boneless duck or chicken breast, pork tenderloin, or bone-in steak of less than 1.25″ thickness will cook to well-done in 6 minutes per side under the broiler.
    The best way to get a sear (browning) on any kind of meat is to put it on direct heat, aka a grill or heat-adjacent pan on the cooktop.
    I usually cook a boneless chicken breast in a nonstick grill pan on the cooktop. Fifteen minutes start to finish and you don’t have to heat up the whole house. 🙂

  29. I’m in grilling mode right now. Dinners consist of “some sort of meat/fish thrown on the grill and maybe veggies too” or a salad. Lovin’ it!

  30. This recipe is for someone who has no time, doesn’t cook that much, and is starving. It’s realistic! If you want a fancy dinner then I wouldn’t go to a recipe that has “easiest chicken ever” in the title.

  31. I do this every Sunday for meal prep. Love marinating it overnight with mandarin oranges (it’s in season in Australia!) and a little bit of honey!

    Anyway love this. As long as you don’t eat the ice cream in that 20 minutes it’s great! (You never know…)

  32. Yup. It’s a little drawer with fire in it! Your tip on thawing chicken quickly is very useful, though. I’ve never really thawed anything other than in the refrigerator and I hate waiting for it, so thank you!

  33. This was worth reading just for the Aragorn-at-the-Black-Gate reference. The recipe was a bonus. (Upvote chicken in the crockpot. Lots of ridiculously easy recipes for that.)

  34. Thanks for the clarification, Has no time! Glad you got the point of this one. 🙂

    Likes good food, If you want a fancy dinner, I don’t blame you. I love food too. Please seek it out at paleomg.com, nomnompaleo.com, civilizedcavemancooking.com, or even check out our paleo taco recipe! Hope one of those amazing paleo chefs can help you find a dinner that will satisfy your taste buds and hunger!

  35. PJ, I was a vegetarian/vegan marathoner for years. After some experimentation, I learned that my body just needs a little more protein than I could get from a plant based diet. If you can sustain your warrior ways on veggies, more power to ya! I admire your efforts! Veggies also work great broiled, roasted, or grilled!

  36. Awesome. Orange chicken is one of my favorites too!

    Oy vey. Ain’t that the truth. Its probably best to not keep ice cream in the house at all.

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