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10 ingredients to spice up your baked chicken breast

If you are looking for a quick, delicious and less guilty source of protein to make for your dinner, look no further than baked chicken breast.

Chicken breast is a great source of lean protein. It is perfect for those who are looking to build their muscle mass since it contains low fat.

Additionally, it is easy to cook, especially if you buy it skinless and boneless from the supermarket.

You can reduce the oil in your cooking by making baked chicken breast with simple seasoning such as salt, pepper and olive oil.

But what if you get bored with your own cooking, especially if you are not even close to Gordan Ramsay’s skills?

Here are 10 ingredients to put some varieties in your usual baked chicken breast:

How do you like your baked chicken breast? Credits: Pixabay

1.Pesto sauce

Pesto sauce

Do you know that pesto is the past participle of the verb ‘pesta’ which means ‘to pound’ or ‘to crush’ in the Genoese dialect in northern Italy?

This term refers to the original method of making a pesto whereby the ingredients are crushed or ground in a mortar.

Traditionally, it consists of garlic, European pine nuts, coarse salt, basil leaves, hard cheese such as Parmesan cheese and blended with olive oil.

While it is commonly used on pasta, pesto is also good with baked chicken breasts.

There are plenty of cooking blogs publishing 2-ingredient or 4-ingredient pesto chicken recipes.

Basically, these recipes are all the same. It is made with skinless and boneless chicken breast fillets covered with pesto sauce as well as salt and pepper to taste.

The dish is then baked in the oven for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, Tasty of Buzzfeed upgrades their version of pesto chicken by topping them with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

2.Barbecue sauce

Besides pesto sauce, you can also make baked chicken breast with barbecue sauce.

Just cover your chicken with your favourite BBQ sauce along with a little salt, pepper and oil then oven-bake it.

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However, if you want to grill the chicken, do not brush it with barbecue sauce. Instead, grill the chicken on greased grill over medium heat for seven to eight minutes on each side. Then turn and brush the chicken on both side with the sauce for the last few minutes.

Check out this recipe!

3.Teriyaki sauce

The four main components of a teriyaki sauce are soy sauce, sake or mirin, sugar and ginger.

To use it for you cooking, soak the meat, vegetables, fish or tofu for at least half an hour before cooking.

If you want to make baked chicken breast in teriyaki sauce, you can start by arranging your chicken breasts on a lightly greased baking dish.

Cover your chicken with teriyaki sauce before covering the baking dish with foil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in a preheated or until the chicken is cooked.

Once it is cooked, do not waste any excess liquid. Drain the pan and pour the remaining teriyaki sauce over the chicken before serving.

4.Mustard

Have you ever wondered why there are different colours of mustard out there?

This condiment is basically made from the seeds of a mustard plant. Then, these seeds are either ground, cracked or bruised before mixing them with water, vinegar, lemon juice and salts.

The colour ranges from bright yellow to dark brown depending on the added flavourings or spices such as turmeric or green juice of unripe grapes.

The most common ingredient that goes along with mustard when preparing baked chicken breast is honey.

Other common ingredients are olive oil, apple cider vinegar and of course salt and pepper to taste.

Since there are many types of mustard out there from dijon mustard to French mustard, you can always try which type suits your taste the best.

5.Honey

Honey

Speaking of honey, a honey garlic baked chicken breast is another common dish. The marinade is made by whisking together soy sauce, honey, garlic, lime juice, Sriracha, sesame oil and cornstarch.

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If you are not a fan of garlic, The Spruce Eats has a recipe for honey baked chicken breast.

The ingredients are honey, brown sugar, red wine, light soy sauce, flour, salt, dried leaf thyme, paprika, ground black pepper, butter and canola oil.

6.Italian dressing

If you have a bottle of Italian dressing in your fridge, you can opt not to just use it on your salad but also to marinate your chicken breast too.

Commonly found in American and Canadian cuisine, Italian dressing is a vinaigrette-type consisting of water, vinegar or lemon juice, vegetable oil, chopped bell peppers, usually sugar or corn syrup.

The best part of making baked chicken breast using this ingredient is that you do not need any other ingredient – not even salt and pepper.

All Recipes came up with a recipe by combining six skinless, boneless chicken breast with one bottle of Italian-style salad dressing.

Seal them in a zip lock bag and place it in the refrigerator for one hour, or even overnight.

Then bake the chicken in an oven for at least one hour.

You can check out the recipe here.

7.Yogurt

To make yogurt baked chicken breast, you need at least two other ingredients; garlic and panko bread crumbs.

Firstly, marinate your chicken with plain yogurt, crushed garlic for one to six hours.

Then transfer the chicken to a baking pan. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the chicken before baking.

If you need that extra taste of herbs, add in thyme in your yogurt mixture.

8.Gochujang

If you are not familiar with gochujang, it is basically Korean red chilli paste. It is a fermented condiment made from chilli powder, glutinous rice, fermented soybean powder, barley malt powder and salt.

Gochujang is an essential ingredient in making Korean cuisine such as Korean braised chicken.

Korean food blogger Jin Joo from Kimchimari reinvented Korean spicy chicken by oven baking them.

The key step in making this recipe is to make gochujang marinade. She combines chopped garlic, grated ginger, soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, sesame oil, Korean red chilli pepper, black pepper and not forgetting gochujang.

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Then she marinates the chicken breasts overnight in the fridge.

Finally, she bakes the breasts in the oven for 17 to 18 minutes. Jin Joo also suggests broiling the chicken for one extra minute to caramelise it.

9.Alfredo sauce

If you have Alfredo sauce laying around the house, you can use it to bake your chicken breast. Or you can make one from scratch if you don’t have one.

Add cream and butter to a saucepan over medium heat and bring it to simmer. Then whisk in the garlic and simmer for 30 seconds.

Turn off the heat and whisk in the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. To make the sauce smooth and creamy, continue to whisk it until the cheese has fully melted.

As for your baked chicken breast with Alfredo sauce, spread a layer of the sauce on the baking dish. Place the chicken breast over sauce before season the meat with salt and pepper.

Add some chopped broccoli over the chicken. Before the chicken make it to the oven, pour the remaining sauce over the chicken and broccoli.

You can top it with Parmesan cheese if you want to. Finally, bake it for 40 minutes.

10.Balsamic vinegar

Here is another ingredient from Italy that makes the list. Balsamic vinegar is a very dark, intensely flavoured vinegar, made wholly or partially from grape must.

It is used sparingly to enhance the flavour of steaks, eggs or fish.

Make a marinade using balsamic vinegar, then you can make another version baked chicken breast.

Mix together balsamic vinegar, olive oil and other flavouring such as salt, black pepper and garlic to make the marinade.

Remember, you can always tenderise your chicken breast before baking using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Check out baked balsamic chicken recipe here.

Patricia Hului
Patricia Hului is a Kayan who wants to live in a world where you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight. She grew up in Bintulu, Sarawak and graduated from the University Malaysia Sabah with a degree in Marine Science. She worked for The Borneo Post SEEDS, which is now defunct. When she's not writing, you can find her in a studio taking belly dance classes, hiking up a hill or browsing through Pinterest. Follow her on Instagram at @patriciahului, Facebook at Patricia Hului at Kajomag.com or Twitter at @patriciahului.
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