There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a juicy oven baked chicken breast. The tender white flesh, steam pouring out of it after you make the first cut… your mouth starts to water just writing about it!
Chicken Breast Recipes
Chicken is an awesome protein. There’s a reason chicken is eaten in virtually every culture all over the world. Whether you’re sipping wine in Southern Europe, putting together a platter in the middle east, making chicken curry in India or adding it to a classic roast, you’ll find countless ways of making chicken no matter where you are in the world.
One of the reasons chicken is so popular is that chicken breast is one of the cleanest, healthiest proteins you can eat. Of course, depending on how you cook it, that can change. Battered, deep-fried chicken isn’t as healthy as, say, a simply seasoned chicken salad. But compared to many red meats, and even to other parts of the chicken, the breast is high in protein and often has very little fat content.
Baked Chicken Breast
One way to enjoy the awesome flavor and texture of chicken breast without succumbing to the temptation of frying is to bake your breasts. Baked chicken breast can have the crisp, distinctive flavor of a perfectly cooked piece of chicken without the oils or fats necessary for pan-frying.
Some people struggle with making baked chicken breast because the chicken can dry out. Well, we’re here to help! Let’s take a look at the best way to make baked chicken breast that’s juicy, tender, and delicious.
If you cook your chicken breast the wrong way, you won’t enjoy its newfound rubbery texture much. But the right way? That’s an awesome dinner just waiting to be devoured.
The trick is to closely monitor your heat levels, cooking time, and seasoning.
What You’ll Need
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can use fresh or frozen, but fresh will be better. Plus you don’t need to thaw fresh meat before cooking.
- Either butter or olive oil. You’ll need a fat or oil to lubricate the chicken before it goes in the oven. Olive oil, particularly extra virgin olive oil, is a healthier option.
- Salt. Regular salt will do well.
- Seasoning. This is a little more personal. What flavors do you like? Some seasonings that work great with chicken are paprika, salt, black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. If you like it spicy, try some chili powder or cayenne pepper. If you want a hit of citrus, try using lemon zest and cumin.
A cooking thermometer is a great tool for making a baked dinner. It allows you to precisely know when your chicken is cooked through and ready to eat. Buy a decent meat thermometer and you’ll never have over (or under) cooked chicken again!
How To Make Oven Baked Chicken Breast
All you need to remember is exactly what you do in the winter… go BBRRR!
- Pound your chicken breast to 1-inch| 2.5 cm at the thickest part, this guarantees even cooking.
- After pounding you’ll drizzle your chicken with olive oil. This makes sure that you get a nice seared crust on the outside of your baked chicken breast. The sear helps lock in the juice and flavor through the cooking process.
- Rub your chicken with your choice of spices and seasonings. Chicken responds well to many different seasonings, and don’t be afraid to be generous with the rub. Massage your chicken liberally with the seasoning. A simple rub of salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika is a great place to start, but you can take the seasoning any way you want it. We like to add a few drops of liquid smoke to our seasoning.
- Roast your chicken on high heat. This helps sear the chicken, reduces your cooking time, and provides a crispier crust. If you have a meat thermometer, definitely use it after the roasting process to be sure your chicken is perfectly cooked. The high heat cooking really helps lock in and enhance the chicken’s natural flavor without drying it out.
One note for your food thermometer is that the generally accepted safe temperature of cooked chicken is 165°F. The other great thing about using a thermometer, as opposed to cutting into the chicken, is that you’ll be able to check its temperature without letting the juices run out. The juice is where all the chicken’s flavor is and you don’t want to waste a drop of it sitting on your plate or chopping board. Which brings us to…
- Rest your chicken! This critical stage allows your juices to settle and permeate the chicken breast. If you cut into it and liquid comes out, your chicken will dry out faster than you can say “Sahara desert”. To keep the chicken hot while it rests, cover your roasting pan with a foil and let it sit for 5-6 minutes.
Optionally, you can male garlic butter sauce while your chicken is resting.
How to Store The Leftover Baked Chicken Breast
You can store your cooked chicken breasts in the fridge for up to three days. You can freeze it for up to three months, but you should shred, slice, or dice your chicken before freezing because that will make it easier to reheat.
More Delicious Chicken Breast Recipes
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