Basic, easy, yet simply amazing
Sometimes going the basic route can yield the most stunning results. Like the classic “little black dress”. Or like this simply seasoned roasted chicken.
This straighforward, easy-peasy recipe will help you churn out reliably tender, juicy, delicious chicken breasts every time.
- This roasted chicken is the perfect anchor for a classic “Sunday dinner” kind of meal, with the usual pairings of roasted potatoes and savory vegetables.
- It’s also a perfect way to batch prep a big pile of chicken to set yourself up for some easy meals during the week. Shred it, chop it, leave it whole – whatever way works for you.
What you’ll need
- Chicken. (Obvs, I know.) For this recipe, select bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. Yes, even if you have no intention of eating the crispy, delicious skin (you probably won’t be able to resist that part, just saying). Bone-in, skin on chicken breasts deliver far superior results – tender, juicy, flavorful. So, please just put down those boneless, skinless chicken breasts, okay? You can just remove the skin very easily after cooking if you want to avoid it. This type of chicken is typically labeled “split chicken breasts”.
- Roast Rub/Spices Okay, you can do your thang here, and choose whatever spices and herbs you like to use on chicken. Feel free to try out my classic, roasted chicken spice blend recipe if you’re looking for a blend to try. Or keep it super basic with simply salt and pepper. Whatever blend you decide to use, please make sure it includes salt. Salt not only significantly enhances the flavor of your chicken, it also helps tenderize it, yielding juicy, succulent chicken. If you are able to salt (and/or add your spice blend) your chicken ahead of time, go for it. The longer you allow the salt to work its magic, the better the results.
- A roasting pan or sheet pan I usually use a large, heavy gauge rimmed baking sheet for this. I typically include intentional extra on the pan, to ensure I have plenty extra to stash away as “batch prep gold” to use for several days. Whatever amount of chicken you decide to roast, make sure you do not crowd the pan. Give the breasts a lil’ bit of breathing room. This will insure that lovely, crispy roasted texture you’re going for (instead of soft, squishy steamed chicken which is the result of cramming too much chicken in the pan).
- A meat thermometer, preferrably instant read Okay, I’ll be honest. This is OPTIONAL. And you may be fine without it if you have Julia-Childs-level kitchen skills and can tell the exact moment when your chicken has been cooked to perfection. I know my own current culinary limits and I’m not at that level just yet. That’s why I love using a meat thermometer to take the guess work out of it. I’ve had a good experience so far with this meat thermometer, the Javelin from Lavatools.
But wait, there’s more
Don’t throw away those chicken bones. Once you are done picking the cooked chicken off the bones, store those bones in the fridge or freezer. They are the perfect starter for homemade chicken broth! If that sounds like a colossal task, I am happy to tell that making broth is quite the opposite. It’s actually pretty straightforward and easy. If you have an Instant Pot, try out my super easy Instant Pot Chicken Broth recipe.
I’d love to know if you give this a try, and how you incorporated it into your meals throughout the week!
- "split" chicken breasts (bone-in, skin on) Use whatever amount you like. I find that a 3lb or so package fits nicely on my 12"x18" baking sheet.
- spice blend, including salt
- oil (olive oil, avocado oil, etc.) optional, for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Arrange the breasts on the baking sheet evenly. Do not overcrowd.
- Sprinkle and rub with whatever seasoning you are using. Try to rub some of the spices and salt under the skin, and also rub it on the outside, all over. Optional: drizzle with oil.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or so, until it internal temperature hits 165F in the thickest part of the breast (approximately when the juices run clear).
- Remove from oven, and let chicken "rest" for 15-20 minutes before slicing. This will help the chicken retain its juices (instead of running out into the pan).