How To Bake Chicken

Chicken is an incredibly versatile protein that can be cooked in many different ways, and one of the easiest ways to prepare it is by baking it. Baking chicken is a relatively simple, hands-off method that results in juicy, flavorful meat. In this article, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about how to bake chicken to perfection.

Choosing Your Chicken

The first step in baking chicken is selecting the right cut of meat. Chicken breasts and thighs are the most commonly used cuts for baking, but you can also use a whole chicken or chicken legs. When buying chicken, look for fresh meat with a healthy pink color, and avoid chicken that smells bad or looks discolored.

Preparing Your Chicken

Before you begin the baking process, there are a few crucial steps you need to take to prepare your chicken. First, remove any excess fat from the chicken, as this can make the meat greasy and tough. Next, rinse the chicken under cold running water to remove any unwanted debris or bacteria. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season the meat with your preferred blend of spices and herbs.

Baking Your Chicken

Now that your chicken is prepped and ready to go, it’s time to get baking. Here are the general steps for how to bake chicken:

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 375°F.

Step 2: Place your chicken in a baking dish or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Step 3: Bake the chicken for 20-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Step 4: Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

There are many variations for baking chicken, and you can adjust the cooking time and temperature depending on the type of cut you’re using. For instance, chicken breasts are typically baked at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time than a whole chicken.

Adding Flavor to Your Chicken

While chicken can be delicious on its own, adding extra flavor can take it to the next level. Here are some ways to add flavor to your chicken when baking:

– Use a marinade: Marinating your chicken before baking can infuse it with delicious flavors and help keep the meat tender. You can use store-bought marinades or make your own by combining your favorite spices, herbs, oil, and an acidic ingredient like lemon juice or vinegar.

– Stuff the chicken: If you’re baking a whole chicken, consider stuffing the cavity with herbs, vegetables, citrus, or other aromatic ingredients. As the chicken cooks, the flavors from the stuffing will infuse the meat.

– Add a sauce: After baking, you can drizzle your chicken with a sauce or gravy to add extra flavor. You can make a quick pan sauce by deglazing the baking dish with chicken broth or wine and then adding butter and herbs.


Q: How long should I bake chicken for?

A: The cooking time for baked chicken can vary depending on the cut and size of the meat. As a general rule, chicken breasts take about 20-30 minutes to bake at 375°F, while a whole chicken can take up to 2 hours at the same temperature.

Q: Can I bake chicken from frozen?

A: While it’s possible to bake chicken from frozen, it’s not recommended. This is because the chicken may not cook evenly, and there’s a risk of bacteria growing on the partially thawed meat. It’s always better to thaw chicken in the refrigerator or by placing it in cold water.

Q: How do I know when my chicken is cooked?

A: The best way to know if your chicken is fully cooked is by using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F to ensure that it’s safe to eat.

Q: Can I bake chicken with the skin on?

A: Yes, you can bake chicken with the skin on. The skin will help keep the meat moist and flavorful. If you prefer crispy skin, you can raise the temperature to 425°F during the last few minutes of cooking to help brown and crisp up the skin.

Q: How should I store leftover baked chicken?

A: Store leftover baked chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You can also freeze cooked chicken for up to 3 months. Be sure to reheat the chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F before eating.

Baking chicken is a simple, yet delicious way to prepare this versatile protein. By following our tips and tricks, you can create juicy, flavorful chicken dishes that your family will love. Whether you’re baking chicken breasts, thighs, or a whole chicken, you’re sure to enjoy the delicious results.

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