Perfect Baked Chicken Breast

Baked chicken is great for busy nights or when you have guests and don’t want to be spending the whole evening in the kitchen babysitting your meal. It’s also one of my shortest method recipes, because the oven does all the work on this one.

Starting with the chicken breast – thicker breasts work better here, with something at least 1 inch in thickness. A smaller/thinner piece will work too, but you will need to take it out of the oven sooner.

I like to trim away any excess skin before seasoning.

You’ll need to coat each side evenly with spices and herbs, or if you prefer, you can marinate your chicken for a few hours.

For this method demonstration, I am using store bought peri-peri spice mix, but you can literally use whatever you want for this recipe.

Place the chicken evenly in a baking dish large enough so that you do not have any overlap. If you’ve used a marinade, pour the rest of the liquid over the top of the chicken, making sure that at least half of the chicken remains unsubmerged. If you’ve used spices and/or herbs, mix 1 tablespoon of these with 1/4 cup of olive oil or melted butter and pour into the bottom of the tray.

I’m just cooking for two tonight, so I am using a pie dish, but for more pieces, a casserole dish works great.

Cooking at 200C (400F), place the chicken on the rack furthest away from the heat coil (for me this is the bottom shelf), and set a timer for 20 minutes. Turn your chicken breast over after the 20 minutes is up, and return it to the oven for 10-15 more minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken.

Placing it away from the heat source allows it to cook more evenly.

When this time is up, remove from the oven and cover with tinfoil or a baking sheet for about 5 minutes – the point here is to trap the steam and heat in while the chicken rests, keeping the chicken juicy and tender. If you have a meat thermometer and want to check the doneness, it should be at 75C (165F) to be safe for consumption.

The sauce that is left in the bottom of the pan is full of flavor and tastes great on rice or pasta, or you can pour it over your chicken when you serve it.

And there you have it, a delicious and quality meal ready to serve for dinner with barely any time actually spent in the kitchen.

Enjoyed this recipe? Check out our Perfect Pan-Seared Chicken method and keep you eye out for our next installment on cooking fried chicken two ways.

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