On The Table

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The Best Baked Chicken Recipe & Techniques

Baking chicken is a simple way to eat healthy, but how do can you keep your chicken from being dry and bland? Our chefs and dietitians have created this list of 5 ways to prepare a juicy, flavorful meal.

The Best Baked Chicken Recipe & Techniques

Baking a chicken in the oven is a simple way to bypass frying oils and limit fat. But the low fat content of chicken may have individuals avoiding the oven to prevent a dry, bland end-product. So how can baking a chicken into a juicy, flavorful protein source coexist? bistroMD has the answer!

How to Cook Chicken in the Oven

1. Prepare the Pan and Oven
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with a nonstick spray. Position a middle rack in the oven and heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Brine the Chicken
Brining is essentially filling a pot of warm (not hot) water and dissolving in a small handful of salt, a solution the meat can absorb for a juicier product. Let the chicken soak in the brine for at least 15 minutes. After time, take out the chicken, rinse under cold water, and pat dry.

3. Season the Chicken
Place brined, dried chicken onto lined baking pan. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and rub chicken with favorite seasonings. For a simpler product, lightly season with salt and pepper to taste. But since chicken takes on any flavor, feel free to be creative and accommodate your personal taste buds!

4. Bake Chicken Breast
Baking the chicken at a high temperature for a shortened time period locks in the natural juices and reduces the risk of a dry product. Bake the chicken (in a 400-degree oven) for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperate has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid a foodborne illness.

5. Rest the Chicken
Most people have the urge to cut into the chicken right after its out of the oven, which is completely understandable as the tempting smells linger throughout the kitchen! However, let the chicken rest for five to 10 minutes before cutting into it. Doing so sustains its juiciness and tenderness that was initially sought out after.

Last But Not Least... Serve the Chicken

Chicken is one of the most versatile protein sources for meat eaters. Resorting to plain chicken each night is not always necessary with these different ways to use chicken:

1. Salad
Keep cubed chicken breast or shredded chicken on hand to protein-pack your next bowl of salad greens and veggies. Additionally, create a bulk chicken salad using plain Greek yogurt, chopped walnuts, grapes or apples, and other additions and seasonings to tailor to your preferences!

2. Soup
Though standard chicken noodle soup is a traditional staple to beat a cold or flu, chicken also takes on the flavors of other creations. For instance, create a southwest soup or white chicken chili!

3. Tacos
Tacos can absolutely fit into a well-balanced diet! But instead of reaching for the fried tacos, use baked tortillas and load up with fresh peppers, onions, tomatoes, lettuce and of course, the tasty chicken.

4. Pasta
Like tacos, pasta can also be fit as a nightly meal. Top a bed of whole grain noodles or spaghetti squash with that perfect chicken breast. Use fresh tomato or pesto sauce and add basil, oregano, and parsley to amplify the flavor profile.

5. Main Entrée
When baked chicken tastes this good, allow it be the main star on the plate! Transform flavors utilizing various seasonings and herbs and alternate between favorite veggies such as roasted carrots, zucchini, and cauliflower.