When I was about six years old, my parents divorced. I lived with my mom and visited my dad on the weekends. Like most children of divorce, my mom had to work two jobs to make ends meet. That meant that when we got home from school, mom was at her first job but would have to go straight to her second job afterward. My brothers and I were latchkey kids and ate a lot of frozen dinners and prepackaged stuff. However, on those occasions that my mom was home, she would make baked chicken. Nothing fancy, just skin-on bone-in breasts slathered in butter then doused with salt and pepper and baked to juicy perfection. Each time I make it I think of her.
If you’ve been reading this blog for even a few months, you may remember my birthday cake post that I dedicated to the memory of my mother. I promise to keep the tears out of this one, but just know that whenever I make this dish it reminds me of her. Mine is a little different as I add fresh herbs from my garden and use freshly ground black pepper in mine. Lemon thyme is a perfect compliment for chicken dishes.
I’ve actually tweaked it even further now that I’ve found this new Olive Oil & Sea Salt Butter from Land O’ Lakes. Land O’ Lakes asked if I would like to try it out and I thought of this recipe immediately, it’s perfect for it! The butter itself has olive oil and sea salt in it, so I was able to eliminate the additional salt I normally add.
This is such a great comfort food for me. The memories of my mom and my life with her while she graced this earth all come pouring back every time I make it. God how I miss you momma. I still struggle with the “why”.
I make potatoes with this too. I have a double oven, but if you don’t, you can certainly roast them together on separate racks, or even in the same pan. Just note that you may have to adjust the cooking time and you may want to put the potatoes in about 10-15 minutes after the chicken.
Be sure to melt the butter and mix it with your herbs first. This will allow time for the butter to soak up some of the lemon flavor from the fresh thyme while your are readying the chicken. While the flavors are melding, rinse and dry the chicken breasts and place them in a roasting pan. Brush the skins with the melted butter and bake uncovered 45-55 minutes.
If you use very large chicken breasts, use a roasting pan with a wire rack to allow the meat to sit above the bottom of the pan. Because it will require a bit longer to cook, your butter and any fat drippings from the chicken skin could begin to smoke, so add about a cup of water to the bottom of the pan before placing in the oven.
For the potatoes, simply melt some of the Olive Oil & Sea Salt butter in the microwave, toss it with your cut up potatoes, then spread on them on a cookie sheet skin side down. Sprinkle with pepper and any herbs you might like and bake at 450 F for 30-40 minutes, or until golden and tender.
I’m not the only one cooking with this! Please be sure to visit Betty Crocker for more fabulous blogger recipes using this delicious butter!
Land O’ Lakes compensated me for this post, but al opinions on their product are 100% sincere and my own.