This easy baked chicken recipe is one of my family’s all-time favorite dinners! Bone-in and skin-on breasts (or thighs!) are marinated in a citrusy, garlicky glaze then baked in the oven. You’re going to love this simple baked chicken that can be used in so many ways.
Easy Oven Baked Chicken
Chicken is the star protein in our house. It’s affordable and pretty hard to mess up. Give me chicken in a stir fry, a soup, a taco – and I’m happy. But, this easy baked chicken recipe is so good it makes me more than happy! It makes me overjoyed.
This recipe has a simple, flavor-packed chicken marinade that honestly does most of the work for you. Let the chicken breasts or thighs soak up the marinade, then pop them in a baking dish, put them in the oven, and then walk away for 45 minutes. No need to stand over the stove, or fuss over a complicated recipe. Pour yourself a glass of wine and kick your feet up while your oven makes the best baked chicken of your life.
What You’ll Need
For the absolute best baked chicken, you’ll need chicken breasts or thighs, plus a lip smacking marinade.
For the chicken marinade:
- Olive Oil
- Citrus Juice: Orange juice & Lemon juice
- Salt & black pepper
- Spices: Italian seasoning, Paprika & Garlic
Then to finish up you’ll need:
- Chicken breasts and/or thighs: Use bone-in, skin on chicken.
- Italian Seasoning: You’ll use just a bit more to sprinkle on the chicken before baking.
- Salt and freshly cracked pepper: Also to sprinkle on before baking.
How to Bake Chicken in the Oven
1. Marinate: Mix together all of the ingredients besides the chicken. Place chicken in a bowl or large ziplock bag. Add the marinade to the chicken and toss to coat. Cover the bowl or seal the ziplock bag and place it in the fridge to marinate for 1 hour.
2. Prep the Oven and Pan: When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the chicken breast, bone side down, on a baking pan.
3. Bake: Spoon a little extra marinade on top of each piece of chicken and then toss the remaining marinade. Sprinkle the chicken with a bit more Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
Bake the chicken in the preheated oven until the chicken meat is no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear. This should take about 45 to 55 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast meat should read 165°F.
4. Rest and Serve: Cover the chicken loosely with foil and allow it to rest for 5 minutes, then serve. This ensures your chicken stays extra juicy
For this recipe, you can choose to use chicken breast or chicken thighs.
Chicken breasts have a tendency to dry out more quickly than a chicken thigh so the cook time will be shorter.
Here are some simple cooking time guidelines:
- Bone-in skin-on chicken breasts: bake at 375°F for just about 45 minutes.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts: bake at 375°F for just about 20 minutes.
You’ll know the chicken is done when it is no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear. For the most accurate results, I use an instant-read meat thermometer. I insert it into the thickest part of the meat and I look for a temperature of 165°F.
Bone-in skin-on chicken thighs are, IMO, the most underrated cut of chicken. The dark meat is juicy and moist and doesn’t really dry out.
Bake your chicken thighs in a 375°F oven for about 55 minutes. Use that instant read meat thermometer to make sure you reached an internal temp of 165°F.
Do You Cover Chicken When Baking?
You don’t need to cover the chicken breasts or thighs when baking them in the oven. I do like to wrap the chicken in foil after it is done cooking, during the rest period. It is a simple trick you can use to make sure your chicken is extra tender and juicy.
Internal Temperature for Chicken
The perfect internal temperature to cook your chicken is 165°F. This temperature will ensure the meat is cooked through and no longer pink, but also that it isn’t dry or tough. It’s the best temperature for moist, juicy chicken every time.
If you’re not sure how you can tell what the internal temp is, use an instant read meat thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the meat and you’ll have your answer in seconds.
Tips for Success
There are few simple tricks I use to make sure my chicken comes out perfect every time. Here’s what I recommend:
- Pat your chicken dry with a paper towel before marinating, this will make it marinade stick to the chicken better.
- Don’t rush the marinating step. Trust me, if you give your chicken breasts or thighs time to really soak up the marinade you will be richly rewarded with juicy, flavorful baked chicken.
- Don’t forget to let your meat rest, wrapped in foil, for 5 minutes before you cut in. This will make your chicken extra juicy and tender. Why? Because when you bake chicken all the juices rush to the center of the meat. When you give the cooked chicken breasts or thighs time to rest the juices have time to redistribute throughout the meat.
I like to serve baked chicken with a starch and a veggie. I’m thinking rice or riced cauliflower, roasted or mashed potatoes, egg noodles – you get the idea.
For a one pan meal, you can roast potatoes and veggies right in the pan with the chicken. Spoon some of the marinade right on top and you are all set.
I have also been know to drizzle tzatziki sauce on my chicken and potatoes.
The leftover chicken is also great to pull from the bone and use in a soup or chicken pot pie!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
You’ve got two options for storing your leftover baked chicken – the fridge or the freezer. Whichever you choose, you are going to want to wrap the chicken tightly or store it in an airtight container.
- Fridge: Your chicken will be good for about 3 days in an airtight container.
- Freezer: Wrap your chicken tightly in foil, then place in an airtight, freezer safe container. It will last about 4-6 months.
When you’re ready to reheat your baked chicken, place it in a baking dish and warm them in the oven. To avoid drying out, you could whip up some extra marinade and spoon it over the chicken.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- juice from 1 orange
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1.5 lbs chicken breasts and/or thighs (bone-in and skin on)
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- Mix together all ingredients besides chicken. Place chicken in a bowl or large ziplock bag and add marinade.
- Add marinade to chicken and toss to coat. Cover bowl or seal ziplock bag and place in fridge to marinade for 1 hour.
- When ready to cook, preheat oven to 375°F. Place chicken breast, bone side down, on a baking pan.
- Spoon on a little extra marinade on top of each piece of chicken and then toss remaining marinade. Sprinkle chicken with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Bake in preheated oven until chicken meat is no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, 45 to 55 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast meat should read 165°F.
- Cover chicken loosely with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes, then serve. This ensures your chicken stays extra juicy
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 338Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 623mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 12gProtein: 41g
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