Saturday, June 15, 2013

Parmesan Ranch Chicken

I was born and raised in the South and have been surrounded by AMAZING cooks all of my life.  My mom was an amazing cook.  My grandmother was better than my mom and that's saying a lot!  All of my Aunts are amazing cooks, my sisters are phenomenal in the kitchen and then there's me.   They all made cooking seem effortless.  My mom NEVER had "bloopers or blunders."   She worked all day, then would have a fantastic meal on the table and she never seemed to think too much about it.   Now, my Mom grew up during the depression and was married and cooking for a family in the 1940's.   Food during WWII, was not always plentiful and certain items like sugar and flour was even rationed.   Maybe that's how she got to be so creative in the kitchen.  It's like that old saying, "Necessity is the mother of invention."  Anyway, the one thing that I remember most about my mom's cooking, is that she was never afraid to try something new in the kitchen.  She would just "throw" stuff together and it would turn out like something from a 5 star restaurant.  As I have started being more adventurous with recipes, I am learning to take more chances.  This recipe is something that I came up with based on a garlic bread recipe that I make that is melt in your mouth delicious.  So, I decided to take a walk on the wild side and my family said it was THE BEST chicken they had ever eaten.  Since I have a VERY PICKY teenage daughter, that was the highest praise.  It is very flavorful and very moist, which can be a problem with boneless/skinless breasts.  It's sure to be a winner in your family too!  Hope you enjoy it!

Parmesan Ranch Chicken

Parmesan Ranch Chicken
*This recipe will make enough for 4 chicken breasts

Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breasts 
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon dry Ranch dressing mix (If you are using bottled ranch dressing, decrease mayonnaise to 1/4 cup and 1/4 cup bottled ranch dressing)
Grated Parmesan Cheese to sprinkle on top of mayonnaise mixture (about 2 Tablespoons)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place chicken breasts in baking dish.  (I lined mine with aluminum foil for easy clean up).   Mix mayonnaise and ranch dressing together.  Brush on chicken breast with pastry brush coating really  well.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top of mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken breasts).  Cook until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork or if using a meat/poultry thermometer (like the one below), until internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.