Learn how to gauge the correct chicken breast bake time for juicy and tender results, plus tips for testing the internal temperature of the finished dish.
Chicken breasts are versatile, making them great for a wide variety of dishes and cooking methods. Unfortunately, it is too easy to overcook chicken breasts, especially when baking them. As we have all discovered at some point, overcooked chicken is dry, tough, rubbery and lacking in flavor!
You can bake chicken breasts low and slow at 350 deg F for 30 minutes or much quicker and at a higher temperate -15 minutes at 450 deg F.
We prefer the latter as it creates a beautifully crisp crust on the outside of the chicken breast, trapping in those scrumptious juices that help keep your chicken breasts tender and moist.
The thickness of your chicken breasts will mean you may need to adjust the cooking times slightly.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises that the internal temperature of a properly cooked chicken breast is 165 deg F.
The only way to know the internal temperature of your chicken is to use a meat thermometer. Not only are meat thermometers great for ensuring your food is cooked adequately to prevent food borne illnesses, but also for ensuring you don’t lose any of those lovely juices, which normally happens if you cut into the breast with a knife.
Now you know the cooking times for baked chicken breast, here's how to bake them to perfection.
The secret weapon to perfectly baked chicken breasts is brining!
Brining your chicken breasts will leave them super succulent and it can be achieved in just 15 minutes.
To do this, fill a large bowl with lukewarm water and stir in a handful of salt until it has mostly dissolved. Add in the chicken breasts and allow them to sit in the brine for a minimum of 15 minutes, or a maximum of 6 hours.
Rinse the breasts in cold water and pat dry with paper towel.
After brining, always brush both sides of your chicken breasts with melted butter to help create that crisp, golden crust ; you can also use olive oil if you wish.
Then place the breasts into a roasting pan and season them. Salt and pepper are the basics, but add more flavor with paprika, garlic powder or cayenne pepper for some heat.
Now you can bake your chicken breasts; again, we recommend 15 minutes at 450 deg F.
Once you have confirmed that the internal temperature of your chicken breasts is 165 deg F, allow them to rest prior to slicing into them. If you slice them without resting, all of the juices run out - boo!
Resting your chicken for about 5-10 minutes will lock the juices into the breast, making them tender and succulent. Rest your chicken by tenting aluminium foil on the roasting pan you are using.
Voila! You now have delicious baked chicken breasts that are full of flavor and are juicy - best of all, dinner is ready in just 30 minutes!
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Cyd is a native of Upstate New York, born to a family of women who love to cook and host parties. She shares her love of all things food, home and entertaining on her blog, The Sweetest Occasion and on Instagram.Tags: Baking, Chicken