Baked chicken has a reputation for being bland and tough. No matter how much sauce you pour on top of it, it’s still chewy and dry, right? Wrong! It’s a challenge to get succulent results when baking chicken breasts, especially if they are boneless and skinless. Bones and skin add flavor and fat to the meat, which is what makes it juicy. But many people choose bare chicken breast because it is a good source of lean protein.
It’s true that white meat has less fat and calories than dark. Per three ounces, chicken breast contains only 142 calories, .9 grams of saturated fat and 3 grams of fat. Compare that to dark meat’s 170 calories, 9 grams of fat and 3 grams of saturated fat. It might seem like you have to choose between flavor and health. Sadly, sometimes we do. But remember, the recommended amount of fat for a 1000-calorie per day diet is around 25 grams. If you’re eating sensibly, a single chicken thigh for lunch or dinner won’t put you out of that range. Consider serving this dish with a hearty salad full of fresh vegetables and a light dressing to make up for the few extra calories.
Our baked chicken with coconut oil basting sauce uses bone-in chicken thighs to ensure the meat comes out tender and moist every time. If you maintain a healthy, balanced diet with lean or vegetable proteins most of the time, an occasional chicken thigh is not going to raise your cholesterol. But if you’re trying to lose weight or have special dietary restrictions, feel free to substitute the thighs for breasts or use dark-meat turkey instead. Either way, this baked chicken with coconut oil basting sauce will be delicious.
Using coconut nectar syrup adds a touch of sweetness to the sauce without being too much. And it gives the chicken an amazing mahogany color that looks like you slow-roasted it all day.
- Place all the ingredients, except for the chicken, in a jar with a tight lid, and shake vigorously to mix.
- Place chicken thighs on a foil-lined baking sheet. Baste lightly with the coconut oil mixture, and place in a preheated 425-degree oven.
Bake for 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees. Cover the thighs lightly with the basting mixture every ten minutes while cooking. Try to use it all.
- Serve hot.