These simple baked bone-in split chicken breasts make a delicious everyday meal. Chicken on the bone is less expensive and more flavorful than boneless, and the skin keeps it moister. The chicken breasts bake to perfection with garlic, herbs, and a little olive oil.
With very little prep and only 35 to 45 minutes of cooking time, this oven-baked chicken is perfect for any night of the week. The chicken makes a great Sunday dinner as well. Or, bake the chicken and add it to salads or use in casseroles, soups, or sandwiches.
Feel free to change the ingredients to suit your family's tastes. For butter and garlic chicken breasts, replace the olive oil with melted butter and omit the oregano and cayenne pepper. Or replace the dried oregano with about one tablespoon of fresh chopped oregano. There are several herb choices complementary to chicken. Consider replacing the oregano with fresh snipped chives, dried thyme, sage, or basil. Use the flavors you love.
If you prefer juicier chicken thighs or whole legs, by all means, use them instead of chicken breasts. Chicken thighs contain more fat, so they tend to be moister -- and they're much more forgiving if overcooked.
The minimum safe temperature for chicken is 165 F (73.9 C). For best flavor, aim for around 170 F (76.7 C) for chicken breasts and about 180 F (82.2 C) for dark meat, such as thighs, wings, and legs.
- 4 1/2-5 pounds split chicken breast halves (4 chicken breast halves with bone and skin)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 cloves garlic (crushed and finely minced
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oven to 450 F (230 C/Gas 8).
- Spray a rimmed baking pan or jelly roll pan with nonstick cooking oil spray or lightly grease the pan with oil.
- Blot excess moisture from the chicken breasts with paper towels.
- Combine the olive oil, oregano, mashed minced garlic, salt, and cayenne and black peppers. Stir to make a paste; spread a little of the mixture under the skin of the chicken and the rest over the skin.
- Arrange the chicken pieces in the prepared baking pan, skin side up.
- Bake the chicken for 35 minutes, or until they register at least 165 F (73.9 C) in the thickest part of the meat, not touching bone.
- Serve these flavorful chicken breasts with baked, roasted, or mashed potatoes and broccoli, Brussels sprouts, greens, or your family's favorite vegetable side dishes.
Tips and Variations
- A reliable food thermometer is an essential tool in any kitchen. A food thermometer will prevent undercooking and overcooking. Use a food thermometer designed for meat or poultry, and insert it into the thickest part of a piece of chicken, but not touching bone or thigh. If the chicken pieces are irregular in size, check a few of the chicken pieces to ensure that all of them have reached a safe temperature.