Looking for a better way to make chicken breasts for dinner? You can have moist baked chicken breasts every single time using this simple recipe. A simple brine is a reason this recipe turns out perfect every time. This recipe will please the whole family without requiring any complicated steps or expensive ingredients.
- Best Baked Chicken Breasts
- What Does Brining Chicken Do For It?
- How Do I Know When Chicken is Cooked Through?
- What Can I Serve with Baked Chicken Breasts?
- What Other Spices Can I Season Chicken Breasts With?
- Can I Use This Method with Chicken Thighs?
- Handy Kitchen Tools
- How to Make Baked Chicken Breasts
- Can I Make This Recipe Ahead of Time?
- More Easy Chicken Recipes
- 📖 Recipe
Best Baked Chicken Breasts
When you need the best chicken recipe, look no further. The chicken breast is made simple with only a few ingredients. While it does require a bit of prep ahead for bringing, it is worth the effort to sit down to smiles at the dinner table.
What Does Brining Chicken Do For It?
Brining chicken before cooking does several things. The flavor is enhanced, making the chicken tender, juicy, and flavorful. This means that you will have moist baked chicken breasts instead of the dry flavorless ones you may have had in the past.
Brining chicken before cooking also creates a barrier on the skin to prevent liquids from escaping the meat during the cooking process. This is crucial for perfect baked chicken breasts. The meat will not dry out or get tough and rubbery if the liquid has an escape route. The brine acts as a coating to keep it in place!
How Do I Know When Chicken is Cooked Through?
There are several ways to know when your chicken has finished cooking. The first way is with a meat thermometer. The safe internal temperature for cooked chicken breast is 165°F degrees Fahrenheit.
You can make sure by using a meat thermometer. Insert the probe into the thickest part of the breast and wait until it hits an internal temperature of 165°F. I prefer using the ThermoPro TP03H digital Instant read meat thermometer. It's fast, easy to use, and affordable.
If you do not have a meat thermometer, there are other ways to tell if the meat is cooked thoroughly. The texture will change and it will feel firm when pressed with your finger. Another way to know that it has finished cooking is by using the "stick test". When pressed on the meat, the juices should run clear.
What Can I Serve with Baked Chicken Breasts?
There are so many options for side dishes that will go perfectly with these moist baked chicken breasts. A fresh and delicious salad made of veggies is a great option.
Of course, when you want the best side dish choices that you can make with moist baked chicken breast, you want side dishes like mac and cheese, potato salad, cottage fries, or creamed corn. Even things like mashed potatoes make a delicious side dish.
What Other Spices Can I Season Chicken Breasts With?
There are so many different things you can add to chicken breasts to make them more interesting. Here are four suggestions about what spices to season it with.
- Taco: Spices like garlic, salt and pepper as well as some taco seasoning will give the chicken a southwestern flavor. If you want something that will be flavorful but not spicy, use mild salsa instead of hot!
- Cajun: This one is a little bit spicier. You'll want to season your chicken with things like cayenne pepper and paprika. Throw some chopped onion, bell peppers and celery into the baking dish for some great Cajun flavor. Serve it with a side of dirty rice for a fantastic flavor combination.
- Italian: Dried herbs like oregano, basil and thyme are all great spices to use when you want an Italian taste. Use dried Italian seasoning in place of the single herbs if you have it on hand. You can serve it with pasta or even stuff mushrooms with the meat for a meal that is simple to prep and tastes great!
- Dijon Mustard: You will want to use Dijon mustard in place of sweet or yellow mustard if you are trying to make a meal that has a French feel.
Can I Use This Method with Chicken Thighs?
Many people choose to make chicken breast because it is a leaner cut of chicken, but some people prefer chicken thighs. If you choose to use chicken thighs, the flavors are richer since there is more fat in the meat. You will need to decrease the baking time by 20% when you are using thighs instead of breasts. As always, the best method is to use a meat thermometer to verify it has reached 165°F.
- Chicken breasts
- Sweet mustard
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
Handy Kitchen Tools
How to Make Baked Chicken Breasts
In a large bowl with a lid, whisk together 4 cups of water and ½ cup salt. Place the chicken into the brine and cover, then refrigerate for 6 hours.
Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
In a small bowl whisk together the mustard, melted butter, garlic, paprika, salt, and black pepper.
Remove the chicken breasts from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
Place the chicken breasts onto the prepared baking sheet and brush on both sides with the butter mixture.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until cooked through and they have reached 165°F internally.
Can I Make This Recipe Ahead of Time?
Cooked chicken breasts are safe to eat for up to 4 days after preparation when stored properly in the refrigerator. If you cook and freeze the chicken for another week, it is good for up to 4 months when frozen. Just make sure to date and label it properly before freezing.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
Chicken is always a popular choice at the dinner table, but it can get boring. You don't have to worry though, we have tons of amazing recipes that are going to be delicious, easy to make, and perfect for your meal plan.
- Creamy Chicken Marsala 30-Minute Meal
- Braised Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs with Vegetables
- Crispy Baked Parmesan Chicken Thighs
- Loaded Baked Potato Chicken Casserole
- Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken and Veggies
For Chicken Brine
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 cups water
- ½ cup salt
For Baking Chicken
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon sweet or whole grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- In a large bowl with a lid, whisk together 4 cups of water and ½ cup salt. Place the chicken into the brine and cover, then refrigerate for 6 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- In a small bowl whisk together the mustard, melted butter, garlic, paprika, salt, and black pepper.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
- Place the chicken breasts onto the prepared baking sheet and brush on both sides with the butter mixture.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until cooked through and they have reached 165°F internally.
Brine the chicken for 6 to 24 hours before cooking for best results.
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