These simple baked bone-in split chicken breasts make a delicious everyday meal. Chicken on the bone is less expensive and more flavorful than boneless, and the skin helps retain moisture. The chicken breasts bake to perfection coated with garlic, herbs, and a little olive oil.
With very little prep and only 35 to 45 minutes of cooking time, this oven-baked chicken is perfect for any night of the week. The chicken makes a great Sunday dinner as well. Or, bake the chicken and add it to salads, or use in casseroles, soups, or sandwiches.
Feel free to change the ingredients to suit your family's tastes. For butter and garlic chicken breasts, replace the olive oil with melted butter and omit the oregano and cayenne pepper. Or replace the dried oregano with about one tablespoon of fresh chopped oregano. There are several herb choices complementary to chicken. Use the flavors you love.
The minimum safe temperature for chicken is 165 F (73.9 C). For best flavor, aim for around 170 F (76.7 C) for chicken breasts and about 180 F (82.2 C) for dark meat, such as thighs, wings, and legs.
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Gather the ingredients.
Heat the oven to 450 F (230 C / Gas 8).
Blot excess moisture from the chicken breasts with paper towels.
Combine the olive oil, oregano, mashed minced garlic, salt, and cayenne and black peppers. Stir to make a paste.
Arrange the chicken pieces in the prepared baking pan, skin side up and spread a little of the mixture under the skin of the chicken and the rest over the skin.
Bake the chicken for 35 minutes, or until they register at least 165 F (73.9 C) in the thickest part of the meat, not touching bone.
Serve these flavorful chicken breasts with potatoes any style—baked, roasted, or mashed. They go well with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, greens, or any of your family's favorite vegetable side dishes.
Enjoy your meal!
- A reliable food thermometer is an essential tool in any kitchen. A food thermometer will prevent undercooking and overcooking. Use a food thermometer designed for meat or poultry, and insert it into the thickest part of a piece of chicken, but not touching bone or thigh. If the chicken pieces are irregular in size, check a few of the chicken pieces to ensure that all of them have reached a safe temperature.
- Swap out the breasts for juicier chicken thighs or whole legs, if you prefer. Chicken thighs contain more fat, so they tend to be moister—and they're much more forgiving if overcooked.
- Replace the oregano with fresh snipped chives, dried thyme, sage, or basil. Or use an Italian herb blend.
- Use melted butter instead of olive oil.