The time for baking chicken breasts depends on whether it is boned or not. For boneless chicken, 35 minutes (with foil) at 350 F will be enough. If it’s boned, cook it for 45 to 60 minutes also at 350 F.
Under and Overcooking
It’s important you don’t rush the cooking process. Undercooking might cause salmonella or some other health risk. Overcooking on the other hand, leads to dryness and loss of flavor. If the chicken is large, you can cook it for an hour and 20 minutes.
Checking if it’s cooked is easy enough. Take a fork and make a small incision. If the meat is white, the chicken is cooked already. If it’s pink, the meat needs more time to cook.
Another of way of baking chicken breasts properly is by using a meat thermometer. Place the device in the meat prior to baking and leave it there. You’ll be able to see the exact temperature. This helps you avoid problems like overcooking and undercooking.
Thaw Before Cooking
Make sure that the chicken has thawed before cooking. This doesn’t just apply to chicken breasts; this holds true for all chicken. If it isn’t thawed, the skin will be very rough. The meat near the bone won’t be cooked too.
The Internal Temperature
There are many ways of baking chicken breasts, and this is one of them. Put the thermometer in the meatiest area. Set the device up to 155 F. When it’s cooked, take the breasts and put some foil over it. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes. With the foil, the internal temperature will rise up to 165 F. Some recommend this as the ideal range to cook the chicken.
Keep it mind that the temperature and time will also depend on the size. If you’re cooking a large chicken, consider setting the oven at 350 or 375 F. Increasing the cooking time will also be necessary.
Before baking chicken breasts, it’s a good idea to marinate it. A good marinade would be Italian dressing or olive oil. The marinade will add more flavor for the chicken. At the same time it keeps the chicken moist. Before you marinate, make sure the chicken has been washed.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Some people like to soak the chicken in sour cream. Others prefer to mix it with something spicy like chili. You can try various kinds of spices and seasonings. You can check the Web for some recipes. Your oven probably has a cookbook too. If it does, there’ll be a chicken recipe there or two.
Note: you can use a mallet to shape each piece. But don’t hammer them too hard. It might tear the meat into several pieces.
Baking chicken breasts can be fun especially when you try different recipes. Not only is it a delicious meal, but the whole family can enjoy preparing it.