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EASY BAKED BARBECUE CHICKEN BREASTS

A flash adobo panko breadcrumbs give barbecue chicken kick crunch. |  Matthew Mead~AP

A flash of adobo and panko breadcrumbs give barbecue chicken a kick and crunch. | Matthew Mead~AP

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MAKES 4 SERVINGS

This barbecue sauce can be as flavorful as you like. For the adobo sauce and garlic, start with the lower amounts, then taste and adjust to your preference.

1/2 cup ketchup

1 to 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)

2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar, or to taste

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced

Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts without the filet (a total of 2 to 3 breasts, each about

3/4 - to 1-inch thick)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl combine the ketchup, adobo sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Line a shallow baking dish with foil, leaving enough excess to generously overhang the sides. Spread half of the sauce on the foil in an area just the size of the chicken breasts. Arrange the breasts on top of the sauce and spoon the remaining sauce over them. Bring the edges of the foil up and over the chicken and fold it to enclose them. Bake the breasts on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium, heat the oil. Add the breadcrumbs, thyme, a pinch of salt and some pepper. Saute until light golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

After the chicken has baked for 20 minutes, open up the foil and spoon any sauce that has fallen off the chicken back on top of it. Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the chicken. Continue baking, uncovered, until the chicken is just cooked through, another 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Carefully slice the chicken, then divide between 4 serving plates, spooning any sauce and crumbs that have fallen off over the chicken slices.

Sara Moulton, AP



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