Simple Baked Chicken Breast- the formula for the easiest, best, fastest, juiciest, most flavorful chicken breast that turns out amazing, every single time! Healthy and easy, this takes just 10 minutes of hands on time!
Smoky Spanish Style:
Middle Eastern Style:
Preheat oven to 450F
Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Cut to similar size if needed- or in half at a diagonal if very large.
Pick your marinade, mixing ingredients together in a small bowl to create a paste. Place chicken on a parchment-lined sheet pan and brush all sides generously with the paste, pouring any remaining marinade over the breasts. (You can also bake in a baking dish, only if there is ample room for heat to circulate. A rimmed sheet pan will make cooking faster and more even. ) Let chicken rest on the counter and come to room temp while oven preheats. Make sure oven is HOT!
Bake on the middle rack for roughly 18- 20 minutes. Smaller breasts, check at 15 minutes, medium breasts at check 20, larger breasts may take up to 25-30 minutes. Check for doneness at the thickest part of the biggest breast, using a thermometer (165F). Or see post above for how to tell if chicken is cooked without a thermometer.
Let chicken rest for 8-10 minutes, tenting with foil if you like.
Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 days for midweek meals.
To serve: serve whole, or cut slices across the grain, or cube. Feel free to shred using two forks. If while shredding, the middle of the breast seems difficult to shred, this is an indication chicken is not completely done. Just plop back into the oven for a few minutes.
Chicken will keep up to 4 days in the fridge. Or feel free to freeze – sliced, diced or shredded in portion-sized zip lock bags in the freezer, dropping them into soups and stews as needed.
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be prepared the same way, but lower heat to 400F and cooking times will change slightly.
Remember, if baking chicken with skin-on, you can always use the formula of the dry ingredients in the marinade to make a rub. You will not need the oil. Coat all sides with the rub, bake until 165F and skin is crispy.
Brining is also a great way to impart flavor into the chicken, but for the fastest prep I intentionally left out this step. If you would like to brine your chicken breasts, ¼ cup salt per quart of water is a good ratio. Some people add an equal amount of sugar. Brine for 1-6 hours. Rinse, pat dry and continue with recipe, reducing salt in marinade by half.
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