prep time: 20 MINUTES cook time: 15 MINUTES total time: 35 MINUTES yield: 4 SERVINGS
Learn how to make juicy, tender, delicious baked chicken breasts with this simple 5-step method.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
- 1 tablespoon melted butter or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Brine the chicken. (Check the label of your chicken breasts. If they have already been pre-brined in a sodium solution, please skip this step.) 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 paper towels.
- Heat the oven. Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Season the chicken. Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in a large baking dish*. 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. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture evenly over the chicken on both sides.
- Bake. Bake for 15-18* minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken breasts, so I recommend using a cooking thermometer to know exactly when the chicken is fully cooked. The thickest part of the breast should measure 165°F. (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 of the cooking time and broil the chicken until it is cooked through and golden on top. Keep a close eye on the chicken, however, so that it does not overcook and/or burn.)
- Rest the chicken. 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. Serve warm and enjoy!
Baking Dish: Please double-check the maximum temperature of your baking dish for this recipe. Glass dishes (such as Pyrex) usually have a maximum recommended temperature of 425°F, so we do not recommend using a glass dish for this recipe. You can also cook this recipe on a thick metal baking sheet.
Storage instructions: Cooked chicken can be stored in a sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.