How to make the perfect baked chicken breast every time

Chicken breasts are an excellent staple for the perfect, cozy home cooked meal. They are juicy, flavorful, and delicious, making them the perfect entrée. Unfortunately, baking the perfect chicken breast can be challenging. All too often, the breasts come out dry and tasteless.

If you’ve been struggling to master that mouthwatering baked chicken breast dinner, don’t worry. We’ll be covering the best methods for ensuring your chicken breast comes out perfect every single time.

Set the right temperature

One of the greatest setbacks during cooking chicken breasts to perfection is the wrong temperature. If you set the temperature too low, you end up with flavorless, raw chicken. Set it too high, and you miss out on the caramelization of your rub along with that browned skin texture.

We’ve found that 375 degrees is the perfect temperature for baking chicken. It allows the tops to form a beautiful golden color and perfectly sears the rub to ensure your chicken comes out well-flavored.

raw chicken breast on cutting board with spices
alleksana/Pexels

Make a spice rub

If you want perfect chicken every time, you need to opt for a tasty spice rub. Spice rubs are easy to make, and you don’t need several ingredients to create the perfect combination. Opt for garlic powder, paprika, and brown sugar if you want a sweet and savory flavor.

These spices are likely already in your pantry, and they can elevate your chicken from bland to delicious. Paprika offers a smokey flavor that you can’t match with ordinary salt and pepper. Brown sugar provides the perfect caramelization. And garlic powder adds a mouthwatering kick to any chicken breast.

Don’t just stop at these spices, though! Chili powder, cumin, and onion powder can add the right amount of heat to your meal if you’re feeling like changing things up. Fresh lemon and lime juice also add amazing flavors that transform your chicken into a zesty entrée. Experiment with several unique spice combinations for the best results!

Know the best cook time

Many people are curious about how long you should cook your chicken to ensure it is cooked fully but not burned. For larger chicken breasts, 20 to 25 minutes typically does the trick. Although, for beginners, we recommend using a meat thermometer to ensure your chicken is fully cooked through. The internal temperature of your chicken should reach 165 degrees to ensure it is safe for eating.

Let your chicken rest

One thing many new cooks do is cut the chicken too early. When you cut the chicken without allowing it the proper time to rest, the juices will escape, and you’ll be left with dry chicken. Our advice is to allow your chicken breast five minutes to rest once taken out of the oven. This will keep your chicken juicy and packed with flavor.

Our favorite chicken breast recipes

Now that you know some of our best tips on making baked chicken, we’ve gathered two of our best baked chicken recipes to help you create a delicious dinner.

Savory baked chicken breast

Savory chicken breasts are a perfect entrée for any meal and work perfectly with several different side dishes.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon, cut into thin slices
  • Freshly chopped parsley for garnish

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. While your oven is warming up, combine your spices (brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper) into a bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over your chicken and generously coat the breasts with the spice mixture.

Lay your lemon slices at the bottom of your baking dish and place your chicken breasts on top. Place your chicken dish in the oven and cook until they reach the internal temperature of 165 degrees. This should take approximately 25 minutes.

When they’re ready, pull them out of the oven and wrap them in foil to rest for about five minutes before serving.

raw chicken breast with spices
alleksana/Pexels

Sous-vide baked chicken breast

Sous-vide, or precision cookers as they are sometimes called, are a hot trend in many kitchens.

To makes sous-vide baked chicken, you’ll need:

  • Sous-vide cooker (here are our recommendations)
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • Any additional seasonings and herbs you prefer
  • Gallon storage bags
  • 4 tbsp. Butter

First, fill a pot with water so that ⅓ of the pot is filled. Add your sous-vide cooker and set the temperature to 146.5 degrees. While the water heats, brush or drizzle olive oil over your chicken breasts. Season the breast with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and any additional seasonings or herbs that you prefer.

Place the chicken breasts in a gallon-sized storage bag and seal it halfway. If you can vacuum seal your bag, this works as well. You don’t want any trapped air in the bag.

If you’re using the first sealing method, slowly lower your chicken breast into the water until the bag clings to the chicken. Once this suction process is complete and the chicken sinks, seal the bag the rest of the way.

Leave your bags in the pot for one hour. Be sure to ensure the internal temperature meets 165 degrees. Then, serve with whatever sides you like!

Baking the perfect chicken breast is a simple process if you know all of the best practices. Always make sure your chicken reaches the proper internal temperature before serving to prevent illness, and have fun playing around with different spices and flavors.

Spice rubs have several combinations, and the only limit is your imagination. Be generous with the rub to create mouthwatering baked chicken breasts, and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. If you haven’t already, sous-vide cooking is a fantastic way to change up your cooking routine and create meals that truly stun your tastebuds. Have fun with it, and you’ll be able to create the perfect baked chicken breast every time!

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