I have found over the past few years that cooking meat "low and slow" in the oven is the way to get the most tender meat. Mother has a lot of issues with her teeth, so cooking meat that is very easy for her to chew is a priority around here.
So tonight I had baked chicken. I knew you're thinking well that sounds BLAH, but it wasn't. It was very easy and very tasty.
Take several chicken breasts -- or an entire chicken, if you like, which is what I did -- and find a dish with a lid. Or use a baking dish and cover it with foil. Wash your chicken carefully and pat it dry.
[Do I need to tell you to be careful when washing chicken and washing your hands?!? Hope not.]
Cover the chicken with liberally sprinkled salt [I like Sea Salt] and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before doing anything else.
If you don't salt the chicken it's 50% less flavorful. Not good.
Take Hidden Vally Ranch dressing -- the original, not the low fat -- and cover that chicken with it. Yes, it's messy. You can wash your hands.
Next, take Italian breadcrumbs and liberally pour those breadcrumbs -- or you can use panko but it's not as tasty -- all over that chicken. Place it carefully in your pan, and pour some water in the bottom of the pan, just so it won't stick.
Cover the pan with the lid or with foil.
Turn the oven on 250 and put the chicken in there and cook it for HOURS. If you're doing chicken breasts, maybe 3 hours? If you've got an entire chicken, 4-6 hours should do it.
If you want to have a complete easy meal, get a Stouffer's Spinach Souffle and throw it in the microwave for 5-8 minutes. A pan of Sister Schubert's rolls can be cooked after you bring out the chicken. Just leave the chicken covered, on the counter.
If you're a working Mom this is a great meal because as long as you have enough liquid in the dish, you will be fine -- the chicken won't dry out. You can put the chicken in the oven overnight, then throw it in the fridge the next morning.
NOTE: I am not a Food Stylist. My food photos tend to be blurry and look like Science Projects, but so be it. The chicken was DELICIOUS. I have a great local place to buy free-range chicken that is wonderful.