Oven Baked Chicken

From GimmeSomeOven - Ali knows what she's doing with this, trust me.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

What to do with them...

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F
  2. Brine the chicken. (Check the label of your chicken breasts. If they have already been pre-brined in a sodium solution, skip this step.) 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 disolved. Add the chicken breasts and let them sit in the mixture to brine for 15 minutes, or you can also cover the bowl and refrigerate for up to 6 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken breasts from the brine, rinse them with cold water, then pat them dry with paper towels.
  4. 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. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture evenly over the chicken on both sides.
  5. Bake for 15-18* minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken breasts, so I recommend using a cooking thermometer to know exactly when the chicken is fully cooked. The thickest part of the breast should measure 165°F. (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 of the cooking time and broil the chicken until it is cooked through and golden on top. Keep a close eye on the chicken, however, so that it does not overcook and/or burn.) Rest the chicken.
  6. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the pan from the oven, transfer the chicken to a clean plate, and loosely tent the plate with aluminum foil. Let the chicken rest for at least 5-10 minutes.