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– Today, I'm gonna show you how to make a recipe that you should all know how to master, and that is juicy, tender and extremely flavorful baked chicken breasts. If you've ever struggled with dry, rubbery and flat out boring chicken breasts, you are in luck, because today's recipe is about as easy as they come. All you've got to do is make my special seasoning mix, rub it all over the chicken and then bake the chicken for the right amount of time. And that's the important part.
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As always I'll share a few tips in today's video to ensure baked chicken success. So let's dive in.
The first tip I have for the best baked chicken is to let your chicken come to room temperature. When you cook cold, straight from the fridge chicken, it's more likely to cook unevenly with an over cooked outside and under cooked inside. So let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before cooking. And this is really easy to do as you can just take it out of the fridge and let it rest on the counter, while you get all of your other ingredients together. The next thing you'll want to do is try to get all of your chicken breasts about the same size. If you bake a five ounce chicken breast alongside a nine ounce chicken breast your smaller chicken breast will likely turn rubbery by the time your bigger one is done. And lastly, because chicken breasts naturally have one end that's thicker than the other you can gently pound the thicker part of your chicken breast for a more even thickness which then translates into more even cooking.
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Just place it between two pieces of plastic wrap and use a mallet to lightly pound it. Now, in full disclosure, I don't always do this but it does help with more even cooking if you want to give it a try. All right, let's make this seasoning mix for this chicken. While there are seriously endless combinations for flavoring chicken, this is a really tasty dry rub that everyone always loves, and it couldn't be easier. Just mix one teaspoon of kosher salt, one teaspoon of paprika, half a teaspoon of garlic powder, half a teaspoon of dried thyme, and about a quarter teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper. And then give that a stir to mix it all together.
Lightly coat the chicken breasts with about a tablespoon or so of all of oil or avocado oil and rub it in on both sides. Not only does this help the seasonings stick to the outside of the meat, but it also helps to keep the chicken nice and moist. Sprinkle the seasoning mix all over the chicken and then get in there with your hands once again and rub it all over both sides of the chicken. If your chicken breasts are in the six to seven ounce range, you should have plenty of seasoning for four breasts. My chicken is on the larger side today at nearly eight ounces each, these were just large organic chicken breasts, but you can see that there's still plenty of seasoning, and you can always use more or less of the seasoning to tailor it to your taste. (cheerful music) Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and then place the chicken breasts in an oven safe baking dish. The high heat at 425 well cook the chicken quickly and help to retain more moisture in the meat rather than cooking at a low temperature for a longer amount of time, as that usually results in drier meat. Now, ideally, you'd like a little bit more space between the chicken breasts than I have today, but as I mentioned, these breasts are on the larger side, so they fit a bit more snug in my baking dish. Place the chicken in the oven and cook it for 18 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken breasts. Now, something I do that most people don't do is flip the chicken halfway through. Most will say that this isn't necessary, but I strongly feel this is one more reason why my chicken is always so juicy. Both sides of the chicken get coated in the juices from the pan, and you never end up with a dry outside. So I've mentioned that cooking the chicken the right amount of time is key and the size of your chicken breasts and your particular oven or both variables. That's why it's always best to use an instant read thermometer to double check that internal temperature. Chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe. But if you cook it to that temperature in the oven it will exceed 170 as it rests, and you'll end up with dry meat. Just as I explained on my turkey and prime rib recipes, there's always carryover cooking with meat. Now, chicken breasts, because they're smaller and have less mass, will have much less carryover cooking, but they will increase in temperature several degrees once they're removed from the oven. So I always removed my chicken breasts at 160 degrees Fahrenheit, knowing that they'll increase to that 165, once they've rested. I'll flip my chicken over one last time and you can see that the outside is not dry at all. It's been coated in all those pan juices and it's super moist, just as the insight is. And you'll see that when I slice into it here in a second. You can serve this chicken was so many amazing sides and I have dozens and dozens of recipes on my website, including the rice and garlic sauteed spinach that I'm plating today. The seasoning mix on the outside of this chicken is loaded with flavor. And when you slice into it, it's so incredibly tender and moist. Just look at all of those juices glistening in the light. This is the perfect weeknight dinner recipe and it's what I often use for meal prep for the week. Just place the cook chicken breasts in a storage container in the fridge, where they'll stay good for about three to four days, and then top the chicken on salads and bowls throughout the week. I hope you guys enjoyed today's video. And if you did make sure to give it a thumbs up, share it with your family and friends, and I will see you again in the next video. (light music).