Baked Chicken Breasts

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What’s the easiest way to cook chicken breasts? In the oven! Here’s how to do it so you have tender, tasty chicken every time.

What’s the easiest way to cook chicken breasts? In the oven! Here’s how to do it so you have tender, tasty chicken every time.

I like grilled chicken, pan-roasted chicken, and fried chicken as much as anyone, but when it comes to making chicken as easy as possible, nothing beats the oven. Why? Because after just a little preparation, you put your chicken in there and the oven does the rest.

Easy peasy!

A few small details will make all the difference with this super simple way of cooking chicken. One is to bake the chicken hot enough that it gets browned on the outside before it gets overcooked on the inside. I’ve discovered that’s about 400°F.

Why do we want to avoid overcooking? Because it can make lean chicken breasts tough and dry.

And why do we want browning? Because browning = flavor!

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.

Finally, and I realize I’m going out on a bit of a limb here, I like to use bone-in skin-on chicken breasts. Why? Because skin and bones add, you guessed it, flavor. The skin adds juiciness, too.

It can be hard to find bone-in skin-on breasts—sometimes my store has them and sometimes not—but a good butcher will either carry them or be able to make them for you. And you can of course also buy whole chickens and cut them up yourself.

That said, I know how popular boneless skinless chicken breasts are—I love them myself!—and you can totally make my recipe using them if you prefer.

Simply cooked baked chicken breasts go great with everything from a simple green salad to something more involved, like scalloped potatoes. You can even cook them right on top of a sheet pan of roasted vegetables. And it can also be nice to make a couple more than you need, to use the leftovers in tacos, salads, sandwiches, etc. (But in both cases, you might have to add a little extra cooking time because there’ll be more in the oven all at once.)

Convinced that baked chicken breasts are a good thing? Here’s how to do it. Enjoy!

Christine :)

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Baked Chicken Breasts


  • Author: Allie McDonald
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

What’s the easiest way to cook chicken breasts? In the oven! Here’s how to do it so you have tender, tasty chicken every time.


Ingredients

  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts, 7 to 8 oz. each (see note)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. On a rimmed baking sheet, brush both sides of the chicken with the olive oil. Put the skin side up and sprinkle with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
  3. Bake until cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Note: It’s increasingly difficult to find bone-in skin-on chicken breasts, but they help this simple recipe have sooooo much more flavor! I recommend either asking your butcher to prepare them for you or buying whole chickens and cutting them up yourself. If you must, use boneless skinless breasts—the cooking times will be similar.
What’s the easiest way to cook chicken breasts? In the oven! Here’s how to do it so you have tender, tasty chicken every time. #chicken #ovenbaked #easyrecipe #chickendinner

2 Responses to “Baked Chicken Breasts”

  1. Angelica — November 30, 2019 @ 5:29 pm (#)

    That gorgeous crust! My baked chicken breasts always end up dry, I’ve taken to just throwing them in the instant pot. It makes for luxuriously moist and flavorful chicken but there is definitely no delicious browning. I’m going to give baking them one more try following your recipe to the T. Wish me luck. :)

    • Christine Pittman — December 2, 2019 @ 1:38 pm (#)

      Good luck, Angelica! You can do it!

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