Roasted Chicken Breasts Base Recipe

Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 40 mins

This is a great recipe that is simple and good all it's own, but can be a base to so many other recipes. I aquired this recipe from Cook's Ilistrated. To make sure that the breasts cook at the same rate, purchase two similarly sized whole breasts (NOT SPLIT BREASTS) with skins fully intact. Whole chicken breasts weighing about 11/2 pounds work best because they require a cooking time long enough to ensure that the skin will brown and crisp nicely. If you do not own a broiler pan, use a roasting pan fitted with a flat wire rack. This recipe can easily be increased by 50 to 100 percent. If you do increase it, just make certain no to crowd the chicken breasts on the broiler pan, which can impede the browning and crisping of the skin.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Line bottom of broiler pan with foil, place broiler pan rack on top; set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, mix 1/2 teaspoon salt and butter until combined. Sprinkle underside of chicken breasts liberally with salt and pepper.
  5. Gently lift skin at bottom of breast to create small pocket for butter.
  6. Using teaspoon, place butter in center of meat. Pressing on skin, spread butter evenly over meat (and under the skin ).
  7. Rub skin of each whole breast with 11/2 teaspoons oil and sprinkle leberally with pepper.
  9. Set chicken breasts on broiler pan rack, and gently pull out rib cage from each side of breast to create a stable base i.e. propping up breasts on rib bones.
  10. Roast until thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer chicken to cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. To carve, follow illustrations 1 through 3 below.
  12. To remove meat, cut straight down along one side of breastbone.
  13. Run knife down along rib cage to remove entire breast half.
  14. Slice each breast half crosswise on bias, making thin slices.


Most Helpful

Excellent recipe.. I love Cook's Illustrated. Chicken came out perfectly , skin was soooo good, easy to make. Thanks!

mjayling1 March 30, 2011

I used this recipe along with your recipe #317049 which I'd tagged in the current Pick-A-Chef event! Made for A VERY TASTY DINNER! Many thanks!

Sydney Mike October 06, 2008

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