Baked chicken breast provides a healthy source of protein. Preparing a chicken breast by baking saves on calories in comparison to frying chicken breasts. However, the time spent in the oven can dry out the meat, especially if the bone is removed prior to cooking. Breadcrumbs serve as a protective coating that seals in flavours and juices as the chicken breast bakes. Spice and herb combinations give the otherwise bland breadcrumbs necessary flavour, which is then absorbed by the baked chicken breast.
Remove the skin from the chicken breasts, and lay the breasts down with the smooth surface facing up. Slice the breasts in half lengthwise. Place the breast halves in the shallow glass baking dish.
Pour 3 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice over the chicken. Cover the dish tightly with cling film or a tight-fitting lid. Place the covered dish in the refrigerator and let marinate for approximately one hour.
Remove the chicken breasts from the dish and place on a clean dish. Pat both sides of the breasts dry with clean paper towels to remove excess lemon juice. Wash and dry the glass dish for later use.
Preheat your oven to 232 degrees Celsius. Heat the tbsp of butter in the microwave for approximately 20 seconds, or until melted. Add the olive oil to the melted butter and stir.
Add 3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs to the glass baking dish. Sprinkle 3 tbsp chopped basil, 1 1/2 tbsp chopped parsley, 3/4 tbsp chopped rosemary, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper over the breadcrumbs. Mix gently so the herbs distribute through the breadcrumbs but do not settle to the bottom of the dish.
Line a baking tray with a silicone baking mat or spray the surface lightly with cooking spray. Use a brush or a folded paper towel to apply the butter and oil mixture to both sides of the chicken breasts. Dredge the chicken on both sides in the seasoned breadcrumbs, and press the breadcrumbs onto the breasts.
Gently place the coated breasts onto the prepared baking tray. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the outside is golden brown. Continue to cook the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 71.1 degrees Celsius, which is measured by inserting a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the largest breast.
Let chicken rest for approximately five minutes covered with a piece of foil to allow the juices to settle in the chicken. Serve with a garnish of lemon wedges added to the side.
Another way to make sure the chicken is cooked if you do not have a meat thermometer is to make a cut in the thickest part of the breast; if the meat is white and the juices run clear it is ready.
Wash your hands and cutting surface well with hot soapy water after you finish working with raw chicken breast to prevent salmonella contamination.