Chicken is one of the most versatile proteins. It works well on salads, in pastas and as a main dish. While one of the easiest and tasiest ways to cook chicken breast is in the oven, it's a technique that can often overcook and dry out the meat. To guarantee you get a moist, tender chicken every time, follow these helpful tips and tricks that will make you a master of oven-baked chicken in no time.
The key to making chicken breast in the oven is to prepare it properly. Start by pounding the meat flat. Because chicken breast is often uneven, with one side being thicker than the other, the time it takes to fully cook the thickest part of the chicken can leave the thinner sections dried out. To avoid this, use a meat pounder or rolling pin to even out the thicker sides of the chicken. It doesn't need to be super thin, just somewhat even.
Next up is seasoning. Generously coat the chicken breast with olive oil, then add your rub. Paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper will give your chicken a ton of flavor and the paprika gives it a subtle kick. Once the chicken is seasoned evenly on both sides cook it in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until its internal temperature reaches 160F.
The chicken should have a nice crisp exterior from the seasoning and a perfectly juicy center. This quick and easy way to prepare the protein can be used in many different chicken recipes for busy weeknights.
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425F.
Using either a rolling pin, a meat tenderizer or your own fist, pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness of about 3/4-inch.
Place chicken breasts on a sheet tray and drizzle approximately one teaspoon of olive oil on each side of the chicken breasts and rub in with your fingers.
Mix the seasonings together in a small bowl.
Season the chicken evenly on both sides.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until the chicken's internal temperature reaches 160F.
Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes. During this time the internal temperature should continue to rise until 165F.
Slice and enjoy.