As part of my “back-to-basics” series, I’m sharing my baked chicken breast recipe. I had a long-time aversion to chicken breast because it’s often overcooked, dry and tasteless. Then, after much trial and error, I finally figured out how to bake chicken breast and still keep it flavorful and juicy.
The beauty of cooking chicken breast in the oven is that:
- It’s easier than standing over a frying pan
- It’s less messy than frying
- It’s more reliable than cooking on the stovetop
- See reasons 1, 2 and 3
It’s a habit of mine to cook chicken breast on the weekends so we have it for our lunches during the week. It’s low in calories, healthy and delicious if you cook it right. I cook it for other dishes too, obviously, but here’s how I cook just a simple, baked chicken breast in the oven.
This works best with a big baking sheet or pan and only 3-4 chicken breasts. If you overcrowd them, they will steam instead of roasting and you’ll miss out on the beautiful, delicious golden crust that comes with baking only a few of them at a time.
Also, once again, I highly recommend a probe thermometer, as this is really the only way to be able to gauge when the chicken breasts have reached their ideal temperature.
baked chicken breast recipe
- 3-4 chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1//2 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 450º
Line a baking sheet or pan with aluminum foil. Place chicken breast on pan, leaving at least a few inches in between each of them. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Rub all over the chicken breasts and then flip and rub again.
Place probe of the thermometer into the thickest part of the thickest piece of chicken. Place pan in oven, with the thickest piece of chicken in the back of the oven.
Bake until the internal temperature of the thickest part of chicken has reached 140º, remove probe, flip chicken breasts, re-insert probe and bake until temperature reaches 160º. Remove from oven, wrap foil around breasts and let rest at least 20 minutes.
Slice and serve with pan juices.
Now, for the record, a little bit of butter in place of olive oil adds a wonderful (buttery!) flavor. You can also rub the breasts down with the spices of your choice or smother them in the sauce of your choice, it’s all up to your preference.
That’s it. Not overly exciting but the best way to cook chicken breast in the oven without ending up with dry bookends.
I use my baked chicken breasts in salads, tacos, enchiladas…the possibilities are seriously endless.
Stop spending so much time in the kitchen and get out there and enjoy life. 🙂 Ciao!