I don’t know about you, but my attempts at baking chicken have always been disappointing, to say the least.
Chicken seems to be the world’s favorite protein, but for all its popularity, any chicken dish has to rely pretty heavily on what it’s cooked or seasoned with to give it any flavor.
Although seemingly everything can taste like chicken (including people, according to some weird accounts from cannibals that I definitely should not have read or mentioned on my cooking blog), chicken can be that most heinous of five letter B words…no, not that one, the other, worse one: BLAND.
Over the 2020 holidays, I went home and learned how my mom makes her chicken the exact opposite of bland–she seasons it well and bakes it with lots of aromatic vegetables.
The recipe below is my take on my mom’s chicken. It is not exactly like hers, but it borrows heavily from her method of cooking baked chicken.
If you decide to enjoy watching me make the recipe (you should totally check out the video and subscribe to my channel while you’re on YouTube), you will see that I was without the second most important ingredient (or so I thought) for this recipe: an onion (with chicken being the most important, of course).
But, I made the recipe without an onion and it was still very, very tender, juicy, delicious. I think my mom would be proud.
The recipe below is just a guide. Use whatever aromatic vegetables you have. Use whatever starchy vegetables you have. What’s listed below is what I had on hand.
MOM STYLE BAKED CHICKEN
Ingredients (makes 2-3 servings):
- 2 leg quarters (thigh and leg connected)
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 whole medium onion, chopped
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1 potato, peeled and chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic, chopped or minced
- 1 small carton mushrooms
- 1-2 tablespoons of avocado oil
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- Salt, pepper, and Tony Chachere for seasoning (about 2 -3 teaspoons each)
- 1 cup water
- 8×8 or other sized cooking dish
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Assemble the potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery in a layer at the bottom of a glass cooking dish. Make sure to put the “dry and heavy” vegetables on the bottom layer.
- Season with salt and pepper. Pour over approximately 1 tablespoon of oil. Toss to coat.
- Assemble the mushrooms, tomato, and garlic on top of the first layer. Season with salt and pepper. Add a bit more oil and toss to coat.
- In a separate bowl, *generously* season the chicken with the Tony Chachere or cajun seasoning. The chicken should be the color of the seasoning!
- Arrange the chicken on top of the vegetables.
- Add approximately 1 cup of water along the sides of the dish. The water will help the “heavy” vegetables cook and create a nice sauce from the chicken drippings and butter.
- Tightly cover the dish with aluminum foil.
- Cook for approximately 60 minutes or until the juices of the chicken run clear. Use a small paring knife to insert into the chicken and check for doneness.
Watch me make this recipe here: