Strolling through the Tasty Kitchen recipes a few weeks ago, I ran across this recipe titled Lazy Chicken. Of course I had to take a peek. Not that I have a tendency to be lazy or anything. Nah. Not me. Okay, maybe my pile of clean laundry is taller than I’d like to admit, but it’s clean, right?
Anyway, the recipe caught my eye and I thought I’d give it the good ole lazy try. Sweepea, the Tasty Kitchen member who authored this recipe, speaks so highly of the ease of “Lazy Chicken,” I just couldn’t pass it up. And to be able start with frozen chicken?!? How many evenings have I been faced with no dinner plans in the works? Yes, I have good intentions. I do. But we all have those days where time gets away from us, or you’re just too worn out to mess with anything complicated.
Not-to-mention the kazillion times I’ve forgotten to take meat out early enough to thaw for dinner that night. But thanks to Sweepea, now there’s no excuse. “Lazy Chicken” has come to save the day. Or at least dinner.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Your favorite dry herbs and seasonings …
And chicken pieces (frozen or thawed). I started with frozen, and for the record I halved the original recipe since I only had about a pound of chicken on hand and I didn’t feel like driving to the grocery store for more, because, you guessed it, I was being lazy.
So let’s get to it. Or not. If you’re too lazy, get your children to handle it for you—it’s that easy. Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F.
Next line a broiling pan with aluminum foil. Cut slits through the foil and boiler pan.
Now you’re ready to prep the food. Start by mixing up your favorite dry herbs and seasonings to total 6 tablespoons (or 3 tablespoons if you’re halving it like me) in a small bowl or measuring cup.
Add a little of this.
And a little of that. It’s like science class all over again, without the Bunsen burners.
Or if you have plenty of your favorite seasoning, like Lawry’s or Old Bay (sweepea’s favorite), use that by itself. I made a spicy blend using curry powder, ginger, chili powder, garlic salt, celery salt, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. I had no plan in mind. I just grabbed what looked good and went with it. I’ll list the combination and proportions I used below, but be forewarned, it was spicy—good ‘n spicy!
Mix all the seasonings together.
Next, place the frozen chicken (or thawed if you’re not being too lazy), directly on the broiler pan.
Using about 1/2 of the seasonings, coat the top side of each piece of chicken well. Place broiler pan in the oven on the middle rack and set timer for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove broiler pan from oven. Yum! It should be smelling tasty about now.
Gently turn over each piece of chicken.
Coat the other side with the remaining seasoning mixture.
Return chicken to oven, and continue cooking for 30 minutes.
Please note, sweepea’s preparation instructions didn’t include flipping the chicken over halfway through cooking to coat the other side, so if you don’t feel like messing with it (it is “Lazy Chicken” after all), use all seasonings when coating the first side and let cook for the full hour without turning the chicken pieces.
When chicken has cooked for a total of an hour, check it for doneness. Chicken will be done when center is not pink.
I gotta say, I was little skeptical of starting with frozen chicken. I was. But it worked quite well. The chicken was done, tasty and not dry. And, believe me, I’m a dark meat girl. I don’t like dry meat.
And guess what? I rolled on with the lazy theme and added it to a plain bun (not even toasted or warmed), with a side of chips, and called it a spicy chicken sandwich. The kids need not know that I was being lazy. They never knew.
So give the “Lazy Chicken” a try the next time you’re not up for thinking about dinner. And send a note to sweepea to thank her for looking out for all of us.
Here’s the combination of dry seasonings that I used. Again, this mixture totals about 3 tablespoons as was used for approximately 1 pound of boneless chicken breasts.
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Thinking NOT required.
This is the easiest chicken recipe, EVER. It uses what you have on hand and is fool proof. Try it on a night when thinking is no longer possible!
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Yawn …
2. Line the top of your oven’s broiler pan with foil, and cut slits in the foil to allow fat to drain. This can be cathartic, depending upon your day.
3. Place fresh OR frozen chicken pieces on top of the foil, with all parts tucked inside the broiler edges, so that fat doesn’t spill onto the oven floor. That would make more work, and this is LAZY chicken.
4. Grab handfuls of spice mixtures or herbs from the shelf and toss a tablespoon on each piece of whatever satisfies your whims. Or is closest to you at that moment. Or which will incite the least amount of complaints. Whatever. (See note below.)
5. Pop the broiler pan in the oven, and chicken will be cooked through in approximately an hour. Long enough to make side dishes, or: take a nap, sit on the porch swing, or briefly daydream about having the time to do any of the above.
6. After an hour, chicken should have a golden skin. Take a knife and fork and test the middle of the largest piece for doneness. Pink is TOO lazy. Food poisoning takes more energy, so cook a wee bit longer.
Note: rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, or favorite spice blends or flavored salts, like garlic salt, work well. I tend to make one piece of each spice or blend I choose. My favorite seasoning is Old Bay. And feel free to pack that pan full of pieces for even LAZIER leftover chicken!
- 2 pounds Chicken, Fresh OR Frozen Raw Pieces, Chef's Choice
- 6 Tablespoons Spices On Hand
Amy Johnson is a blogger who writes about food, travel, the home (both inside and out), and various observations and random musings about anything and everything. Visit her blog She Wears Many Hats for a dose of deliciousness, practicality, hilarity, or just plain fun. She lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children.