BAKED CHICKEN BREAST INGREDIENTS:
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, that have been pounded to even thickness and brined in saltwater (*see easy instructions below)
- 1 Tablespoon melted butter or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika (I prefer smoked paprika)
*To brine your chicken breasts, simply fill a large bowl with 1 quart of warm water and 1/4 cup kosher salt. Stir to combine until most of the salt is absorbed. Add the chicken breasts and let them sit in the mixture to brine for 15 minutes. Or you can also also cover the bowl and refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Remove the chicken breasts from the brine, rinse them with cold water, then pat them dry with some paper towels. (Again, though, if your chicken breasts are sold pre-brined in a sodium solution, skip this step.)
Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in a large baking dish. Brush on both sides (turning once) evenly with the melted butter or olive oil.
In a separate small bowl, whisk the salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika until combined. Then sprinkle the mixture evenly over the chicken on both sides.
Bake for 15-18* minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. If you use a cooking thermometer to measure the temperature thickest part of the breast, it should be between 160-170 degrees F. (The FDA recommends 170 degrees F.)
*Or, if you want the chicken to be a little bit browned and crispier on top, you can turn the broiler on high for the final 3-5 minutes and broil the chicken until it is cooked through and extra browned on top. Keep a close eye on the chicken so that it does not overcook and/or burn.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove the pan from the oven and loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil. Let the chicken rest for at least 5-10 minutes. Then serve immediately.
Or, refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Source : allrecipes.com