When planning a menu, chicken serves as a delicious, versatile and nutritious choice. Chicken can be prepared in a variety of ways but the easiest and healthiest way of cooking chicken, while keeping the goodness and tastiness intact, is to bake it. Chicken can be baked as a whole or in pieces such as breasts, thighs, legs and wings. Baked chicken is perfect for all kinds of occasions and can convert the simple chicken to an irresistible treat. A coating is applied to the chicken before baking it. There are different coatings such as a mixture of herbs, breadcrumbs and sauces. The chicken can also be combined with potatoes and vegetables while baking. Read through the following lines to know how to bake chicken.
- 2 to 3 lb Chicken (cut into pieces)
- Dried or Fresh Herbs such as Rosemary, Tarragon, Thyme or Oregano
- Marinade (optional)
- Lemon Juice (optional)
- Olive Oil or Non-stick Cooking Spray
- Roasting Pan
- Meat Thermometer
Prepare the chicken for the oven
- Wash the chicken and pat dry it.
- In case you are using a marinade, marinate the chicken and keep it aside overnight. The best marinade is an Italian dressing.
- Place the chicken in a shallow bowl and pour the Italian dressing over the chicken.
- Cover it tightly and keep in the refrigerator to marinate.
Getting ready to cook
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F
- Coat the roasting pan with olive oil or spray it with non-sticking cooking spray.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it in the roasting pan with the skin side up.
- Sprinkle salt, pepper and herbs as per your taste.
- You can add lemon juice on top of the chicken to enhance the flavor.
- If using a marinade, do not season the chicken as much.
Cooking the chicken
- Place the chicken uncovered in the oven and bake for 50 minutes.
- Use a meat thermometer and ascertain the temperature to check whether the chicken is done.
- In case you are baking chicken breasts, the temperature should be 170 °F and for thighs, the temperature should read 180 °F.
- Be sure to insert the meat thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken.
Ensure that your chicken is ready to eat
- Do not eat pink chicken which is uncooked.
- To check whether the chicken is fully cooked or not, cut through the thickest part of the chicken using a knife.
- If the meat is not pink and the juices run clear, chicken is ready.
- If the juice oozing out of the meat is red, it needs to be baked further.
- Rest the chicken for 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve and enjoy great tasting chicken.