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Peppery Chicken Breasts



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Use poultry shears to cut each breast in half (poultry shears will easily cut through the bones).
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat, spray with nonstick cooking spray, and brown chicken pieces briefly (not to cook all the way through).
Place browned chicken pieces into a 9x13" casserole sprayed with nonstick spray.
Combine water, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, pepper, and celery seed with a whisk until blended.
Pour sauce over chicken, add bay leaf to the pan, and bake uncovered at 350 F for 30 minutes.
Baste chicken with some of the pan drippings and continue cooking until the chicken is fully cooked, approximately another 30 minutes (time will vary based on the weight of your chicken pieces) Once chicken is fully cooked, remove to a platter and if desired, pour any remaining pan drippings/liquid into a gravy dish to use as a dipping sauce.
Or pour any remaining sauce into a saucepan and heat until reduced (you can thicken this by adding a little flour that has been whisked with a small amount of water first and whisking this mixture into the heateed drippings and cooking until thickened).
*If you prefer, you may substitute bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks in place of the breasts.
Just be sure to end up with 8 small pieces of chicken with bones.