What’s the best way to cook bone-in chicken breasts? In the oven! Here’s how to do it so you have tender, tasty chicken breasts with crispy skin every time.
It’s actually pretty rare to find bone-in skin-on chicken breasts at the grocery store these days. That makes me sad because they are so much tastier than their boneless skinless counterparts. If you manage to get your hands on some though, here you’ll learn the best way to cook them. It’s in the oven with a little bit of oil and seasoning. The skin gets nice and crispy while the chicken is helped to stay moist from having the bone in there.
If you can’t get your hands on bone-in chicken breasts but are looking for the best boneless skinless chicken breasts, I’ve figured that out for you too. Head over here for the techniques that don’t take very long but result in the juiciest and most delicious baked boneless skinless chicken breasts ever. O.K., let’s get back to those bone-in breasts…
Where To Get Bone-In Skin-On Chicken Breasts
I rarely find bone-in chicken breasts at my grocery store any more. However, when I’ve asked the people at the meat department there, they often do have some. Also, my local butcher always has them, so if I really want them I know that I can find them at a shop that specializes in selling meat.
The other way to get bone-in skin-on breasts is to buy a whole chicken and cut them from there. Here are instructions for how to cut up a whole chicken. This might seem like a lot of extra work, but it’s actually not that time-consuming.
And actually, it saves money as well because the cost per pound for whole chickens is a lot less than for breasts alone. Breasts alone can cost as much as 4 times per pound what the whole chicken costs. If you get a large chicken, there is enough breast meat for 2-4 people, and a whole meal of dark meat there too from the drumsticks, thighs, and wings. And then, you can use the rest to make really fantastic soup. One chicken can go a really long way for not a lot of money, and you get some wonderful bone-in skin-on chicken breasts from the deal!
Tips For Cooking Bone-In Chicken Breasts
A few small details will make all the difference with this super simple way of cooking chicken breasts. One is to bake the chicken in an oven hot enough that the chicken gets browned and the skin gets crispy before the meat gets overcooked and dry on the inside. I’ve discovered that’s about 400°F.
Another detail is to brush the chicken with oil. Why? Because it’s conducive to browning. It’ll also help keep the chicken from sticking to the pan.
In addition to salt and pepper, I also add garlic powder and paprika. Both add flavor, and paprika also adds nice color.
How To Cook Bone-In Chicken Breasts
You’ll start by pre-heating the oven to 400F. As mentioned, that’s the perfect temperature to get the chicken nice and brown without drying out the inside.
Optional Step: You can definitely brine the chicken breasts, if you’d like. I’ve done a thorough experiment on brining chicken breasts and have found that as little as 15 minutes in a salt water brine makes a difference to the flavor. If you put the chicken breasts in the brine for 30 to 60 minutes, they actually start to get much more tender and juicy as well. Note: If you use a salt brine, you will skip the salt when it comes time to add seasoning. Just use the pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
Next you’ll brush the chicken all over with cooking oil. I typically use olive oil or grape seed oil. Then arrange them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the seasonings.
Make sure that all of the breasts are skin-side-up so that the skin is the most exposed to the heat. This will help it crisp up, and the skin also protects the meat below it from getting as dry. And then they go into the oven just until they’re at 165F as read on an instant-read thermometer inserted right into the middle, being careful to not let it touch the bone. It will take about 25-30 minutes to get the chicken to temperature.
Let them rest for 5 minutes after baking them, and then they’re ready to serve.
Enjoy! – Christine :)Print
This method for baking chicken breasts yields crispy skin without overcooking the breast meat.
- 4 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts (7 to 8 oz. each)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- On a rimmed baking sheet, brush both sides of the chicken with the olive oil. Sprinkle all over with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
- Arrange chicken breasts skin side up on the baking sheet.
- Bake until cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.