Though I always stand firm that brown meat is better than white – more flavour, more juiciness – lean chicken breast is a regular in my shopping trolley, week after week.
So today, I’m sharing my recipe for how I make Oven Baked Chicken Breast.
“We can never have too many really great quick chicken breast recipes!”
As simple as it sounds, if you wack a seasoned breast in the oven without thought, the chances are you’ll be chewing your way through dry chicken, furiously squirting over copious amounts of ketchup to try to salvage it.
It doesn’t need to be that way. Enter – a fabulous simple, magic chicken seasoning for baked chicken breast:
This is one of those recipes that you’ll find yourself using again and again. It produces an all purpose chicken breast that can be added to recipes, served in a sandwich or prepared ahead of time for meal prep. Of course we also love to serve it right of the pan as is with a side of Baked Zucchini and a salad.
Baked chicken breasts are naturally lean, packed full of protein, and easy to make. They are as simple as adding some herbs and oil, and throwing them in the oven!
BAKED CHICKEN BREAST INGREDIENTS:
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness and brined in saltwater (*see easy instructions below)
- 1 Tablespoon melted butter or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika (I prefer smoked paprika)
- Brine: To brine your chicken breasts, fill a large bowl with 1 quart of warm water and 1/4 cup kosher salt. Stir to combine until most of the salt is absorbed. Add the chicken breasts and let them sit in the mixture to brine for 15 minutes. Or you can also also cover the bowl and refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Remove the chicken breasts from the brine, rinse them with cold water, then pat them dry with some paper towels. (However, if the chicken breasts you purchased have already been pre-brined in a sodium solution, skip this step.)
- Cook: Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in a large baking dish or roasting pan*. Brush on both sides (turning once) evenly with the melted butter or olive oil.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk the salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika until combined. Then sprinkle the mixture evenly over the chicken on both sides.
- Bake for 15-18* minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. I recommend using a cooking thermometer to know exactly when it is fully cooked; in the thickest part of the breast, it should be 165°F. (Or, if you want the chicken to be a little bit browned and crispier on top, you can turn the broiler on high for the final 3-5 minutes and broil the chicken until it is cooked through and golden on top. Keep a close eye on the chicken so that it does not overcook and/or burn.)
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove the pan from the oven, transfer the chicken to a clean plate, and loosely tent the plate with aluminum foil. Let the chicken rest for at least 5-10 minutes.
- Serve warm. Or, refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.