There’s a secret to baking perfect chicken breasts, and I bet you aren’t currently aren’t using these steps for preparing your chicken. Once you follow these steps, you will always bake your chicken using this method.
2 lbs. chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
2 gallon ziplock bag
Large baking pan
Large mixing bowl
1 gallon lukewarm water
1 1/4 cup of kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar (you can also use honey or molasses)
1/4 cup olive oil
Optional: Add fresh herbs, lemon or orange slices.
Large Ziplock bag, marinating brush, measuring spoons, large roasting pan, measuring cups, instant-read thermometer, sharp carving knife Prep: 2 hours, 10 minutes to prep Cook: 18-20 minutes Ready: 2 hours, 30 minutes Before you handle any food, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Clean your kitchen work area and pull back your hair or wear a cap. You want to avoid contaminating your meal with harmful bacteria that could cause food illness. To make Perfectly Baked Chicken Breasts:
To make perfectly baked chicken breasts, follow these five steps:
Step 1: Brine Brining is an absolute must for anytime you want to bake chicken breasts in the oven. Brining chicken is easy and it makes chicken extra juicy. To brine chicken, simply fill a large Ziplock bag with 1 quart of lukewarm water. Do not try to submerge raw chicken into hot or warm water as it will raise the temperature of the meat and could cause bad bacteria. Pour salt, sugar, and olive oil into the water. Stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. You can also add herbs or lemon and orange slices to add even more flavor, if you wish.
Securely close the bag, place in a large baking pan, and refrigerate. Refrigerate brine for two hours so that the mixture can cool. Don’t let the chicken brine for much longer than two hours. When you’re ready to go, remove the chicken from the brine. Rinse meat with cold water, not warm. Pat dry with paper towels and prepare for baking. Remove meat from the bag and dispose the leftover brine mixture. Do not reuse or save brine mixture.
Step 2: Brush Use a marinating brush to brush your chicken breasts with melted butter. It adds great flavor and helps give a nice golden crust on the outside. But if you’d rather use olive oil (or another favorite cooking oil), that works too. Brush the breasts liberally on both sides to prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan, and also to help the seasonings stick. Step 3: Rub Chicken will pick up the flavor of whatever seasonings you add. Even if you’re making a simple dish that calls for “plain” chicken breasts, I recommend using a rub to give your chicken extra flavor. I use a simple seasoning of salt and pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Once they are coated, lay them on a single layer in a large roasting pan.
Step 4: Roast Chicken breasts roast best at a high temperature around 425-450 F. This allows the chicken breast to cook quickly and retain a lot of moisture. Lower temps result in a longer cooking time and a higher chance of dry chicken, which is not something anyone wants! Depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts, roasting chicken at 450°F should require a cooking time of about 15-18 minutes (depending on the thickness/size of your chicken breasts). It’s speedy and it’s easy. But mostly I love it because cooking at high heat quickly develops a nice crispier “crust” on the outside of the breasts, which also helps to lock in those juices and keep the oven roasted chicken perfectly tender on the inside. Use a small cooking thermometer to measure the cooked chicken temp in order to tell if it is ready to go (the safe cooked chicken temp is 165°F), versus cutting into it with a fork, which lets those good juices seep out. Step 5: Rest Once the chicken breasts are removed from the oven, let them rest before cutting into them. Resting allows the juices to redistribute through the chicken breast and gives you a tender, juicy piece of meat every time. If you cut in right away, you will lose all of the amazing juices and some of the tenderness that we’re going for. But if you give your freshly baked chicken breasts a brief rest, it will finish cooking and lock in all of those delicious juices, resulting in the most tender and juicy and delicious baked chicken. Cover your chicken breasts with a sheet of aluminum foil to keep the heat in while the chicken rests. And then after 5-10 minutes, you can finally serve and enjoy your perfectly-cooked chicken breasts. Serve warm or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
TO STORE/FREEZE BAKED CHICKEN BREASTS: Once the chicken has been baked, it can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
Chicken carries plentiful amounts of protein and a variety of beneficial vitamins and nutrients. Chicken is a great source of vitamin B, which consumed regularly can prevent stress, anxiety, memory-loss syndrome, and can balance cortisol hormones in your body. Moreover, it can improve concentration in children and adults alike. Many studies have revealed that vitamin B also maintains psychological health. Chicken has a high content of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin K which contribute to producing red blood cells. When your body obtains the required amount of iron and vitamins, it can produce and balance red blood cells that will eventually deal with anemia. They also help to protect your eyes from weak vision as it is a powerhouse of, retinol, lycopene, alpha, and beta-carotene. The nutrients are essential to maintaining the overall health of your eyes. They regularly promote the growth of damaged cells and tissues effectively because they have a high content of riboflavin which is essential for normal healing of skin tissue. Your immune system requires adequate levels of protein; iron, magnesium, and potassium to function properly that are abundant in Chicken. These nutrients strengthen cells in your immune system, as well as your teeth and gums due to the high content of phosphorus. When you consume phosphorus regularly, it can alleviate factors that weaken your teeth and prevent gums bleeding as well. Chicken is a powerhouse of magnesium and phosphorus which are known to maintain cardiovascular health. They also contain plenty of nutrients that help relieve common cold and other illnesses associated with it such as a sore throat and congested nose.