Tender and Juicy Baked Chicken Recipe

by Irena

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This perfect and juicy baked chicken will be sure to get a WOW at your next family get-together! It is seasoned with a delightful array of spices and baked to perfection! Your tastebuds will thank you later!!

This chicken is AMAZING and you will not believe how easy it is to make! Within 5 minutes, you will have this chicken seasoned and ready to bake. It doesn’t get much better than that! If you love easy chicken recipes as much as I do then try my wings, chicken breast, and these thighs!

Baked chicken being served from a platter.

Why is This Chicken so Perfect and Juicy?

There is nothing better than a chicken that retains its natural juices after it’s cooked. This baked chicken is a home run recipe that delivers mouthwatering flavor AND texture. I have tried so many recipes and have been disappointed that the end result was always dry overcooked chicken. No matter how much sauce I would add to it to make it tolerable, it was just that. Tolerable. I wanted a recipe that was easy AND delivered delicious, juicy results and this recipe is exactly that!!

The brown sugar in this recipe helps to meat to sweat which is precisely how you are going to get that juice to remain even after baking. And guess what?? It’s easy too! No covering it in foil, no marinating it beforehand. It only takes a quick 5 minutes to put together a rub! A great recipe doesn’t have to take a lot of time and this is SO tasty. Your family will love it!!

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Ingredients You Will Need

Open up that spice drawer and I bet that you already have all that you need in order to make this rub for your chicken. You will love the subtle spice but mixed with the brown sugar, it doesn’t take on too much heat so even the kids will enjoy it! See the recipe below for a list of full ingredient measurements.

  • Chicken breasts: Make sure that your chicken is either fresh or thawed. The rub won’t stick to frozen chicken!
  • Brown sugar: This is the secret ingredient that will retain all of the natural juice from the chicken.
  • Chili powder: Chili powder adds a mild spice to the dish.
  • Paprika: Paprika naturally enhances the flavor and taste of the meat.
  • Italian seasoning: Try using this Italian seasoning that will customize this dish!
  • Garlic powder: The fine texture of garlic powder helps distribute this taste evenly through the rub.
Raw chicken with a rub of spices on it.

How to Make Juicy Baked Chicken

The best part of this chicken is the combination of the golden, caramelized outside with the juicy and tender inside. Because of this, the chicken falls apart in your mouth and fills you right up!

  1. Get the oven ready: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare your chicken by using a rubber mallet to pound the chicken to even thickness.
  2. Mix sugar and spices: In a small bowl add the brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
  3. Coat chicken: Rub evenly and on both sides of the chicken.
  4. Grease pan and bake: Grease a 9×13 inch pan and add the chicken. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165 degrees.
  5. Let it rest!: Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes to adsorb the juices.
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Chicken that is cooked and ready to eat.

Tips for Cooking Chicken

Sometimes cooking chicken doesn’t turn out right because of a small step missed here or there. Read through these tips before cooking so that you can make sure to get the best result!

  • How do I know if my chicken is done? This is a very common question! When cooking meat, it’s always important to check the internal temperature before eating. An internal digital meat thermometer can help you do just that! Stick the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. Chicken is safe to eat at 165°F.
  • If you want the best, let it rest! A lot of times, people will skip this part… Don’t! It’s so easy and SO important! Once your meat is done cooking and out of the oven, leave it alone! This is the moment where your meat is locking in all of the juice and can dry out if you cut into it soon!
  • Thick chicken breast: If you feel like your chicken breast is too thick, you can consider pounding it down so that your chicken is all similar in size. This will help tenderize the meat as well as let them all cook evenly. If they are already thin, skip the pounding.
  • High Temperature: If you are worried about drying out your chicken or burning it, don’t be tempted to lower the temperature. A lower temperature means that you have to cook your chicken longer, therefore drying it out! The high temperature and lower cooking time is what will deliver on the juicy, tender inside!

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How to Store Baked Chicken

This dish is so yummy, you may want to bake extra for leftovers! Here is how you can enjoy this chicken multiple days in a row! It is quick and simple!

  • Refrigerate: Wait until the chicken has cooled completly and then place it into an airtight container. It can be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge.
  • Freeze: Once the chicken is cool, freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat: Let the chicken thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating. Set oven to 350°F and place chicken in a baking dish. Warm chicken to desired temperature. Enjoy!

Baked chicken cut up with broccoli in a bowl over brown rice.

Ways to Use Baked Chicken

The best part about baking chicken breasts is that they are SO versatile. I love that I can cook it and eat it one way and then use the leftovers for something else the next day! That’s two meals in one!

  • In a salad: Put together a favorite salad recipe, chop this this chicken up into cubes and add it in as some extra protien!
  • With Vegetables: Pair this chicken breast with some vegetables. I love it with broccoli, asparagus or some cooked carrots.
  • When a recipe calls for chicken: Use this! It’s such a delicious, flavorful chicken! You could use it in stir fry, with rice, or even as a snack. Make some extra and have it on hand for future recipes and make your cooking experience that much easier!

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