For chicken lovers like me, baked chicken breast is like a healthy treat for the body and bliss for the taste buds. Chicken breast pieces are soft and tender, and if cooked properly, yummy and juicy. The low-calorie content makes it perfect for health conscious people. You can use baked chicken breasts as stuffing for sandwiches, skillet dinners, casseroles, pasta, salads, etc. All you just need to know is how to bake it and how to enhance the taste to optimal extents.
Tips on Baking Chicken Breasts
Following are some of the tips on how to prepare baked chicken breasts perfectly.
- While baking chicken breasts, cook the chicken under high heat but only for a short period of time. This will cook the chicken completely and will also keep it juicy.
- Cut the chicken pieces evenly. This will facilitate the equal cooking of all the chicken pieces in the same time duration.
- The baking dish used should be big enough to accommodate all the pieces, and should be shallow so that the chicken is cooked in the given time.
- Never stack the chicken pieces on top of each other or let them overlap in a haphazard manner. Space each piece out properly in order for them to get baked evenly, properly, quickly.
- The chicken needs an internal temperature of 160º F to get cooked completely. However, some experts recommend a temperature of 165º F to avoid the presence of microorganisms. Hence 20 to 30 minutes is the minimum time to bake chicken breasts at the oven temperature of 375º F.
- If you want to store the chicken then as soon as it gets cooked, cool it down by placing it in a container kept in an ice water bath. After that, put it in the refrigerator. You can store baked chicken for 3 days.
- Get a meat thermometer as it will help you in maintaining the required temperature which in turn will keep your chicken juicy and safe from burning.
- To check whether the chicken is done, poke it with a fork. If pink-colored juice runs out, the chicken needs some more time and if the juice is colorless, it is done perfectly. If you do not observe any juice, it is bad news as you have overcooked the chicken.
- As there is very little fat in chicken breasts, ensure the juiciness and softness of the chicken by brining the chicken. For that, you just have to put the chicken pieces in a water and salt solution for about 1 hour in the refrigerator. The pieces will absorb the water and will remain moist even after baking.
To Go for Skin or Skinless, that is the Question...
Many people get confused about whether to opt for skin or skinless chicken pieces. The skin of a chicken contains most of the fat content and once the skin is removed, you are left with a very low-calorie chicken. Chicken pieces with the skin are very juicy and soft after baking, whereas when they are skinless, there is a very thin line between a well cooked chicken and overcooked chicken. But the major problem with chicken with skin is the amount of calories it contains. You can also remove the skin after baking, but then you lose all the flavor of herbs, juices, and spices with the skin. The following table will help you to understand the nutrition facts of chicken breasts with skin and without skin.
|Nutrition||Baked Chicken Breast
|Baked Chicken Breast
|Fat||6.48 g||2.66 g|
|Protein||24.82 g||23.07 g|
|Cholesterol||70 mg||63 mg|
|Sodium||330 mg||297 mg|
|Potassium||204 mg||191 mg|
Baked Boneless Chicken Breast Recipes
The most basic and simple way to bake chicken breasts (with and without skin) requires only olive oil, pepper, and salt. Brush the chicken breast with olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Place it in a greased baking dish and keep it inside a preheated oven at 360 ºF for 30 minutes. Voila! you are ready to serve this yummy and soft oven-baked chicken breast. But apart from this simple method, you can experiment a lot with many other ingredients.
Honey Baked Chicken Breast (Skinless)
- 12 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup mustard
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- Pepper and salt to taste
- Clean the chicken breast pieces properly and remove all the dirt and blood.
- While you clean the chicken, preheat the oven to about 350º F (175º C).
- Sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken pieces. Now shift the chicken to a slightly greased baking dish.
- Take the rest of the ingredients like honey, mustard, paprika, dried basil, and dried parsley in a bowl and mix them well. Now take half of the mixture and rub it on the chicken pieces properly.
- Keep the baking dish inside the oven for about 30 minutes at the same temperature. After the mentioned time, turn the chickens pieces and rub the rest of the mixture on the pieces.
- Bake for another 15 minutes till the chicken is no longer pink in color.
- Once it is cooked, remove it from the oven and keep it outside to cool down for 10 minutes and serve.
Pineapple Baked Chicken Breasts (with Skin)
- 4 boneless chicken breasts with skin
- 8¾ ounces drained and crushed pineapples
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons mustard paste
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375º F.
- Clean the chicken breast pieces properly, brush them with melted butter, and sprinkle some pepper and salt.
- Now place the pieces (skin side up) in a slightly greased baking dish.
- Bake the chicken for 30 minutes at the same temperature.
- In that time, prepare the glaze. Take the pineapple, brown sugar, lemon juice, mustard paste, and soya sauce in a sauce pan and warm it over low heat.
- One the glaze is done and the chicken is baked, pour the glaze over the chicken evenly and again place the dish in the over for 30 minutes.
- Baste 2 to 3 times in between. Once the chicken is a deep golden-brown, poke it with a fork to check if the chicken is done. Let it cool down for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Combinations to Try...
Here are some of the combinations which you can try with your boneless chicken breast. Usually the baking time is similar to all the methods, but it may vary according to the size of the breast pieces.
- White wine, Parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, olive oil, tarragon, and button mushroom.
- Bell pepper, olive oil, parsley flakes, cheese, and paprika.
- Olive oil, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, basil, and minced garlic.
- Cream of chicken soup, sour cream, cooking sherry, and paprika.
- Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic clove, butter, bread crumbs, and chicken bouillon cubes.
Now you can invite your health-conscious friends with no fear and can serve baked chicken in any form. Enjoy!