Chicken and salsa bake

July 05, 1998|By Annette Gooch | Annette Gooch,UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE

Any good repertoire of main-dish recipes ought to include a variety of quick, delicious ideas for baked chicken breasts.

The recipe below is ready for the oven in minutes; there's no marinating, no prebrowning. The chicken bakes unattended for around half an hour, freeing the cook to put together the rest of the meal; there's no basting, no turning. The key to keeping the tender breast meat flavorful and succulent as it bakes is a simple cooking sauce.

Tips:

* To reduce the risk of food-borne illness from raw poultry products, do not let juices from the poultry or the packaging in which it was sold touch other foods or work surfaces.

* Before and after handling raw poultry, wash hands, counters, cutting boards and utensils in hot, soapy water.

* The USDA's Meat and Poultry Hot Line (800-535-4555) recommends cooking chicken breasts until they reach an internal temperature of 170 degrees. When the flesh is pierced with a fork, the juices should run clear, with no red or pink color.

Choose a bottled salsa that suits your taste and your tolerance for heat. Served hot or cold with a crisp salad, this dish makes a fine supper or picnic lunch.

Baked Chicken Salsa

Serves 4

4 chicken breast halves, boned and skinned

1 cup salsa

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon minced cilantro

lemon slices or chilies, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place in a medium-sized baking dish. Mix salsa, vinegar and cilantro. Spoon over chicken. Bake chicken, uncovered, until juices run clear, with no trace of red or pink color (about 20 to 25 minutes). Serve hot or cold, garnished with lemon slices or chilies

Cole Publishing Group

Pub Date: 7/05/98

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