Easy Oven Baked Chicken

Easy Oven Baked Chicken Recipe

Oven baked chicken is a simple, delicious, and healthy way to prepare a flavorful meal with minimal effort. This recipe focuses on achieving tender, juicy chicken with a crispy, seasoned coating. Perfect for weeknight dinners or meal prep, this oven baked chicken is sure to become a favorite.

Ingredients

For the Chicken:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)

Optional Marinade (for extra flavor and moisture):

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  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Preheat the Oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup.

2. Prepare the Chicken:

  • Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels to ensure they roast properly.
  • If using the marinade, mix all marinade ingredients in a large resealable plastic bag or a bowl. Add the chicken breasts, seal or cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours for best results. Remove from marinade and discard excess marinade before baking.

3. Season the Chicken:

  • Place the chicken breasts on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Drizzle both sides with olive oil.
  • In a small bowl, mix together salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried thyme, and dried oregano.
  • Sprinkle the seasoning mixture evenly over both sides of the chicken breasts, rubbing it in gently to ensure even coverage.
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4. Bake the Chicken:

  • Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (75°C) and the juices run clear.
  • For a nice golden color and slightly crispy edges, you can broil the chicken for an additional 2-3 minutes at the end of the baking time.

5. Rest and Serve:

  • Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. This helps the juices redistribute throughout the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful.
  • Serve the oven baked chicken with your favorite sides, such as roasted vegetables, a fresh salad, or rice.

Tips for Perfect Oven Baked Chicken

  1. Even Cooking: If the chicken breasts are very thick, consider pounding them to an even thickness to ensure even cooking and prevent drying out.
  2. Thermometer: Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check for doneness. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C).
  3. Resting: Always let the chicken rest after baking to allow the juices to redistribute, ensuring moist and tender meat.
  4. Seasoning Variations: Feel free to customize the seasoning blend to your taste. Add smoked paprika for a smoky flavor, or a touch of cayenne pepper for some heat.
  5. Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Oven baked chicken can also be sliced and used for salads, sandwiches, or wraps.

Enjoy this easy and flavorful oven baked chicken as a versatile main dish that’s perfect for any meal!

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