How to Bake Chicken

The simple steps to getting delicious roasted chicken every time.

Baking is a wonderfully simple way to prepare and enjoy chicken. Whether you’re using thighs, breasts, legs, wings or the whole bird, baking is a simple, no-fuss way to get an easy dinner on the table. Baking is also a great way to prepare chicken for salads, sandwiches, pasta and other recipes that call for cooked chicken.

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1 Pre-heat Oven and Prepare Pan

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle olive oil on a shallow baking sheet to prevent the chicken from sticking. Using your fingers or a rubber scraper, spread the oil evenly over the entire surface of the pan.

Instead of adding oil, you can line your baking sheet with aluminum foil. This will help cut down on excess fat and make cleaning up easy.

2 Prepare Chicken

Depending on the cut of chicken you purchase, you’ll likely need to trim excess fat and skin from the pieces. Thighs (shown), legs and wings tend to have more fat and skin, as opposed to breast pieces which are the leanest portion of the chicken. Alternatively, you can purchase chicken already trimmed of fat, bone and skin from your local grocery store or butcher. It will be more expensive, but it will save you the prep time.

Especially when working with chicken thighs, legs or wing pieces, leaving a small amount of skin yields great flavor. When baking, the skin will brown nicely and add additional moisture to the meat.

3 Season the Chicken

Arrange the trimmed pieces of chicken evenly on the baking sheet. Depending on the taste you want to achieve, seasoning your chicken before baking will add a great deal of flavor to your final dish. There are many options when seasoning – you can use a simple salt, pepper and herb combination, dry rubs, sauces, marinades and even brines. 

Season the individual chicken pieces on all sides to ensure ideal flavor.

4 Bake

Place the baking sheet with the prepared chicken on the middle rack of the oven. Bake chicken breast or thigh pieces at 375 degrees for approximately 30-35 minutes. 

How long to bake chicken depends on the size. For larger or bone-in cuts and pieces, like chicken breasts, add to the baking time. For smaller cuts, like wings, reduce the cooking time slightly. Always use a meat thermometer inserted at the largest part of the meat to test chicken for doneness. Temperature should register at 165 degrees.

5 Serve and Enjoy

Once the chicken comes out of the oven, it can be served right away. No rest time is needed. If you are using the baked chicken breast in another recipe or dish, let the chicken cool slightly on the baking sheet or cutting board before cutting, chopping or shredding.

About delightful.e.made

Erin, the “E” in Delightful E Made, delights in sharing the best of all that she cooks, bakes, creates and loves.  She has a true joy for being in the kitchen and making things for the people around her.  Follow her on Facebok, Pinterest and Instagram.