It's a rainy Tuesday. As I start my drive to work, rain gently tapping on the windshield, I catch a glimpse of the train on the near-by tracks. As my drive continues, traffic comes to a stop for what would be nearly an hour. It's generally during those times that a mix of frustration and desperation give way to daydreaming.
I think about the train I'd passed earlier...
When I was living in Romania we didn't have a car. No one in my family owned one as there was really no point. Living in a big city, you have everything you need at your finger tips and if you want to travel, you hop on a train.
It was the day we were leaving for our beach vacation. I distinctly remember standing in the train station, holding my parents hands, squinting into the rising sun as train grew larger and larger in my field of vision. As it came to a halt with the usual train fanfare, I closed my eyes, taking in the sound and smell. Heart pounding with anticipation, I climb on. Large brown leather seats and a big window...our own private cabin! I always liked to face in the direction the train traveled and my parents never argued.
As the train starts moving, everything up close becomes a blur but out in the distance and the world is crystal clear, slowly gliding by. Life moves just a bit slower when you zoom out a little bit.
It was a relatively long train ride - maybe 3.5-4 hours. My mom packed lunch since she didn't want a famished child on her hands. One of the things she most often made for our travels were chicken sandwiches on freshly baked bread with loads of vegetables on the side. The chicken was always moist and perfectly seasoned.
In my adult years I've made her baked chicken a bazillion times. It's one that's a staple part of my meal prep. In the summer time, I generally throw it on the grill but in the colder months when I don't feel like going outside, I simply use the oven. While this recipe calls for herbs and spices, turmeric and ginger are new arrivals and were implemented when we moved to the US.
The key to moist chicken is to let the chicken marinate at least 2 hours. I promise it makes all the difference.
meal prep chicken
prep time: 5 minutes
marinating time: 2-12 hours
cooking time: 35-40 minutes
makes: 6 servings
1.5 lbs small organic chicken breasts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp dry thyme
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp water or chicken broth
either a ziplock bag or a container with a lid
Combine all ingredients aside from chicken and broth in container or bag and mix well. Add chicken and let marinade for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add broth and chicken along with marinade to baking dish and cover with foil.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken breast. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting.
Make sure you save the juices as they will keep the chicken from getting dry. Store chicken and juices in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.