This oven baked chicken breasts recipe will still remains one of my all-time favourites. Judge or join, it’s all yours. But five minutes prepping and 20 minutes into the oven have never failed me once.
So, there’s much hope that this luscious dish can also be an ally of yours on the family table.
An absolute versatile, lean and protein-rich source
Did you know that a couple of servings of chicken breasts a day can most likely supply you with all the fundamental proteins for your body? Science-approved nutrition facts have shown just how lean, protein-rich and super low-fat this white meat is – and even all the better when they’re skinless or boneless breasts.
Not to mention how versatile and adaptable chicken breasts could be to possibly every meal. For example, having a shrimp salad on hands? Rip your cooked chicken in thin strips and toss them all together, there you go another wholesome, ultra satisfying spin-off!
I mean, what omnivorous dieters on earth could not find chicken breasts too tempting a chance to resist anyway?
Also, there are barely worries about fridging or zip-lock bags storing, as you can put the meat to defrost whenever you like in three days time.
As the nutritious nature of white meat is no more at dispute right off the bat, the key to a so-called well-baked chicken breasts is actually how juicy it can be. In short, juiciness is just everything. Not too much, not too little, but enough.
Like, it doesn’t even take a connoisseur to speak about that.
Juiciness is everything?
(Well not that everything, but still.)
The reason for easily dry-and-rubbery-gone baked chicken breasts is pretty simple. Being naturally lean and protein-rich is also, contrastingly, the exact trait that makes it harder for baked chicken breasts to be just tender and juicy.
Now, a little bit scientific here:
When heated, the protein coils’ bonds that exist in raw meat will break, causing the coils to straighten out and link together in a loose mesh. So during cooking time, the mesh will keep on tightening more, leading to more liquid being squeezed out. In the end, it’s only you and your dry, tough, rubbery disaster left. A true well-told sad story.
Yuck, then how to do it mushy?
And brining? Is it a must?
Yes, it is – and all supports for the stated juiciness.
Brining is simply marinating your chicken breasts in salt water. This very first step should take maximum 3 hours in your freezer for the meat to draw water in. The more liquid within, the more moisture it will be in cooking.
As you may (or possibly may not) know, some store-bought chicken breasts are already brined before displayed at the counter of your nearby groceries. So check the packaging to see whether you could skip this step or not.
Remember to pat your brined chicken breasts with paper towel instead of rinsing them in running water. This is to prevent spreading germs from the raw meat onto other kitchen utensils. Washing other prepping equipments and your own hands is also a need afterwards.
How To Bake Chicken Breast
Oven Baked Chicken Breast Recipe
Yield 4 servings
It is no secret that chicken is a popular go-to protein choice for many home cooks. The lean protein is quick to cook, affordable, versatile, and is really easy to incorporate into a diversity of family favourites.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 5 - 6 oz each.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 11/2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 3-4 lemon slices
How to Make
- Preheat the oven to approximately 350-400oF
- Using either a rolling pin, a meat tenderizer or your own fist to pound the chicken breasts to the thickness of 0.5” - 0.6”.
- Mix brown sugar, paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, some splashes of salt and pepper together.
- Place the chicken breasts upside down on the baking tray lined with baking paper. Use your fingers to rub the olive oil over the breasts. Drizzle 1 tsp oil and sprinkle some seasoning based on your preference. Flip your chicken and repeat the above steps with the other side.The aim of adding olive oil is to give the meat a bit of extra moisture during cooking, thus preventing the outcome from being too stringy and dry. Proper seasoning can liven up the natural bland taste of chicken breasts.
- Put the tray in the oven at moderate temperature in 20 minutes. If you have trust issues with exact timing things, simply pay attention to the chicken’s color: Remove them from the oven as soon as the surface turns golden.If it's still a thorn in your side, feel free to pause halfway and check the meat whenever you want. Use the tip of a knife or anything pointed and pierce the breasts to see if they're tender enough. According to the USDA, you can also check if a poultry is well-cooked or not by testing its internal temperature (160F is the ideal one). Thus, a food thermometer would help in this case. No more burned or undercooked poultry.
- Let it sit for about 2 minutes so the juice could settle back in. Serve your well-baked chicken breasts on plates. Garnish them with some splashes of freshly chopped cilantro. Some slices of lemon as toppings could totally worth another sapid dash of flavor.
- I bet you have been through, at least once, the meat that is blackened/overcooked on the outside but still looks a bit red on the inside. I myself consider the best way to prevent this is to let the meat come to room temperature pre-cook.
- The breasts should not be too thick (says no thicker than 0.6”). Pounding might be required in certain cases when the breasts are too large.
- Simultaneously, cooking time should be adjusted based on the breast's thickness, not the total amount of them. For example, if you double up the servings (which will be an 8-breasts batch with the same thickness of 0.6"), the cooking time will still remain the same, not double.
- If you prefer thigh fillets to breasts, simply increase the cooking time to 25 minutes or so with fillets that are at the approximately same size as the breasts used in this recipe. Larger ones will come with longer time in the oven. As said, paying attention to their color is merely the best way to go.
Serving Size 1 chicken breast
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 6.4 g
Saturated Fat 2.1 g
Unsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 185 mg
Sodium 396 mg
Total Carbohydrates 5.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.2 g
Sugars 3.2 g
Protein 60 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.