This simple recipe for baked chicken breast is juicy, flavorful, and so easy!
Baking chicken in the oven allows the flavors to come together beautifully. The result is tender, moist, delicious meat.
The oven does the heavy lifting with this simple recipe, so it’s easy enough for beginners! Baked chicken was one of the first things I ever learned to cook, and for good reason.
Get ready to make the juiciest, most irresistible chicken you’ve ever had.
Baked Chicken Breast
Everyone wants two things from baked chicken breasts: flavor and juiciness. Luckily, this recipe ensures you deliver on both of those. IN SPADES!
The seasoning blend for this chicken is spot-on. And I’ve included several tips to help you retain the chicken’s juiciness.
If you want something tasty, healthy, and filling for dinner tonight, look no further. This delicious baked chicken breast is just the thing for you.
Plus, it pairs well with whatever sides you feel like making.
You won’t need much for this recipe. Here’s the ingredients list:
- Chicken breasts – I always stick to boneless, skinless chicken breasts. However, you can use this same seasoning blend on thighs, legs, wings, etc. Just adjust your cooking times/temps accordingly.
- Butter or Olive oil – I personally prefer using butter. It adds a rich and savory flavor to the chicken. But you can also use olive oil if you prefer.
- Seasonings – The seasoning mix includes salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. It gives the chicken a phenomenal flavor. Use smoked paprika for a smokier taste. You can also add cayenne or red pepper flakes for heat.
How to Make Baked Chicken Breast
Baked chicken is one of the easiest types of chicken to make. You don’t have to bread and batter it or worry about scalding it in the skillet. It’s a quick and effortless process.
Here’s how you do it:
1. Prep your meal. Line a baking dish with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Make the seasoning mixture. Combine all the seasonings in a small bowl. (Salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.) Mix them well.
3. Season the chicken. Drizzle your chicken breasts in olive oil and rub the seasoning on both sides. Be generous. The more seasoning you use, the more flavor you’ll have.
4. Place the breasts on the prepared baking sheet. Bake them for 20 to 25 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temp of 160 degrees. (See the “best internal temp” section below for why you should remove chicken at 160 degrees.)
5. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes (and until it hits 165 degrees). Then, serve and enjoy!
How Long to Bake Chicken Breast
How long you should bake chicken depends on several factors. These include:
- How large the chicken breasts are
- How thick the chicken breasts are
- How many you’re cooking at once
- Your oven’s temperature
- Whether you’re cooking them alone or with other ingredients
However, generally, you should cook chicken breasts for 22 to 26 minutes at 400 degrees. If you want to cook them at a lower temp, try 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Just be sure you don’t overcook your chicken. Otherwise, it’ll be super dry.
What’s the Best Internal Temperature?
The simple answer is that the best internal temp for chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Chicken needs to rest for about 5 minutes before you cut into it. Unfortunately, it continues to cook during those 5 minutes.
So, chicken that comes out of the oven at 165 degrees will be up to 170 degrees or higher after resting. Sometimes, that’s not such a big deal. At other times, it can dry the chicken out.
Your best bet is to remove the chicken from the oven at 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, after it rests, it should be at the perfect temp for you to eat it.
Tips for the Best Baked Chicken Breast
Baked chicken is a super simple recipe to perfect. But here are a few tips to help you make the process even more foolproof:
- Pound it! For an even bake, pound the chicken breasts to a 1/2-inch thickness. You can use a meat mallet, rolling pin, or the bottom of a heavy pan.
- Dry it out. Use a paper towel to pat the chicken dry. The seasonings will stick better if you do.
- Butterflying is best. Slice the breast horizontally through the middle. Stop about 1/2 inch from the opposite end. Open it like a book to create two thinner cutlets. This will help it cook faster.
- Soak in the goodness. Let the breasts soak in the seasoning blend for 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking.
- Add an herby twist. Rosemary, thyme, and oregano all make excellent additions to the seasoning blend. They also make your chicken extremely aromatic.
- Spice it up. Don’t be afraid to add a dash of cayenne or red pepper flakes to the chicken. You can also vary the seasoning, selecting a Louisiana- or Cajun-style mix instead.
- Drizzle the juices on top. After your chicken rests, drizzle any juices from the baking dish over it. It’ll make it juicier and more flavorful.
Baked chicken tastes great on its own. However, a few sides to make it a complete meal. Pair any of these recipes with your chicken for a treat:
- Velveeta Mac and Cheese
- Paula Deen Baked Beans
- Red Beans and Rice
- Panda Express Super Greens
- Grandma’s Macaroni Salad
- Sweet Potato Fries
How to Store
One of the great things about baked chicken is that the leftovers taste just as good as the fresh chicken.
To Store: Place the chicken in an airtight container in the fridge, where it should last for up to 4 days.
To Freeze: You can freeze your leftovers for up to 3 months. To make reheating frozen chicken easier, slice or dice it before freezing it.
To Reheat: Let frozen chicken thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, follow these instructions to reheat chilled chicken:
- Place the chicken in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Add a tablespoon or two of water on top of the chicken.
- Cover the chicken with a microwave-safe lid.
- Reheat for 2-4 minutes, depending on your microwave’s power.
The water will cause the chicken to steam, rehydrating it so it doesn’t taste dry. You can also cover it with a damp paper towel to achieve the same effect.
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