Read on to find out more about: The best way to cook chicken breast in the oven, with easy recipes that need few ingredients. Healthy baked chicken breast
You know what’s great with oven cooked food?
They are often evenly cooked and what’s better; they are always tender and ever delicious.
With chicken breast, this is no exception.
Aside from being finger licking good, it’s so easy to cook chicken breast in the oven; and to make it even more interesting, the cooking is hands-off. You’ll just need to check on how the chicken is cooking and maybe during the preparations stage.
1. The best way to cook chicken breast in the oven.
By “best” presumably what you’re after is tender, juicy but also crispy and crunchy chicken.
This is what an ideal chicken breast cooked in the oven should turn out like. At least, according to most people. Best of both worlds, you might say; where the chicken breast is tender and juicy, but it still has that lovely golden crust that gives the chicken the extra crunchiness.
So, if this is what you’re after, dig in.
- First off, you’ll need to marinate your chicken breast in brine. In case you don’t know what brine is, or you’re just a little bit rusty on your chemistry classes; with this, you’ll need to dissolve a handful of salt (or a ¼ cup) in a bowl full of lukewarm water.
- Let the chicken breast soak in the brine for 15-30 minutes. However, if you have more time, or can prepare this in advance, let the chicken breast soak in the brine longer, but for not more than 6 hours.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 450oF.
- The next step is seasoning the chicken breast. But before this, coat or brush the chicken breast with olive oil or melted butter.
- As with the seasoning, you can go with a blend of your choice. In this instance, we’ll work with kosher salt (1 teaspoon), freshly ground pepper (1/2 a teaspoon), paprika (1/2 a teaspoon), garlic powder (1/2 a teaspoon) and onion powder (1/2 a teaspoon). Mix all these spices in a large bowl, ensuring you stir until the spices are properly combined.
- Dredge the chicken breasts in the seasoning blend, taking care to ensure it is evenly coated in the seasoning. Even better, rub in the seasoning blend into the chicken breast. Shake off any excess seasoning from the chicken.
- Spray a little cooking spray on the baking tray before you put the chicken breasts on them.
- Place the baking tray back in the oven, in the middle rack. Let the chicken breasts bake for 14-18 minutes at 450oF.
- Once the time is up remove the chicken breasts from the oven and put them in a serving bowl or plate. Cover the chicken breasts with aluminum foil, and let them rest for 10 minutes before you proceed to serve.
So how do you know the chicken breast is properly cooked?
The safest and surest way to know if the chicken is properly cooked is to check the internal temperature of the meat. To do this, you’ll to insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken breast. A reading of 165oF indicates that the chicken is properly cooked and safe to it.
Another way to ascertain this is by poking at the chicken with a fork. Having juices that run clear, is sign that the meat is properly cooked. However, if the juices in the chicken have a pink, slightly reddish color to them, you should allow the chicken to cook some more.
Why do you need to have the chicken breasts rest before serving?
Letting the cooked chicken rest before serving allows the juices in the meat to redistribute; making the baked chicken tender and juicy.
Check out my article on Grilling sides for chicken.
2. Healthy baked chicken breast.
With this recipe, you’ll no longer have to worry about your waistline.
And no, this healthy recipe isn’t in any way boring or bland. If it’s anything it’s even more delicious than most fried chicken.
And the best part is, this chicken breast recipe is very simple and easy to follow; requiring even fewer ingredients.
- First off, start by preheating your oven to 450oF.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and add 2 tablespoons canola oil, or any other vegetable oil.
- Put the chicken breasts on the baking dish, coating them in oil. Ensure all the chicken pieces are evenly coated with oil.
- In a mixing bowl, combine garlic powder (1 teaspoon), salt (1 teaspoon), freshly ground pepper (1 teaspoon), paprika (1 teaspoon). Stir well.
- Sprinkle this seasoning blend on the chicken breasts. Rub in the seasoning with your hands for better results.
- Place a couple of lemon wedges around the chicken breasts on the baking dish.
- Return the baking dish to the oven.
- Let the chicken bake for 18-24 minutes. (Uncovered)
- Once the chicken is properly cooked, remove the baking dish from the oven and place it on the counter-top.
- Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving.
This recipe uses boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The skin on the chicken adds more calories, and you’re better off without it.
Depending on how you like your spices, you can add more pepper, and even other herbs and spices.
That sums it up for how to cook chicken breast in the oven.
Here are a few points to note
- In the above recipes, the chicken breasts are cooked in the oven at 450oF. The reason for this is, when cooked at high temperatures, the chicken breasts develops a crust around it, sealing in the juices. This provides for a tender, juicy yet crispy finish for the chicken breasts.
- In all recipes, it’s presumed that the chicken breasts are at room temperature/ freshly bought. However, if they are frozen, thaw the chicken in a refrigerator, before letting it attain room temperature in lukewarm water. This is to prevent any case of food poisoning and is recommended by the USDA.
Lastly, the key to crispy, tender and juicy chicken is cooking at high temperature (450 degrees) for a short period of time and letting the cooked chicken rest for a while before serving.
Read my Simple recipe for Baked chicken.