Chicken breast is one of the most versatile cuts of the bird; the one caveat is that it’s lean so can be prone to drying out when cooked in a high-heat environment. To prevent dry chicken (ugh), use bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts for roasting. Skin and bones both help protect the meat from overcooking while adding flavor. A super high-heat oven might still cause the breast meat to get a little dry before it reaches the right temp, so don’t get your oven as hot as you might for other cuts.
The same steps apply: Pre-season and temper the meat; cook it until it reaches 160°F; and rest it before carving and serving. You might also rub the skin (and the meat) with a little olive oil before cooking—and, if the skin doesn’t get as crisp as you’d like, give it a sear in a hot skillet after taking out of the oven. Finally, serve with a doctored-up mayonnaise or aioli for a little added richness.
- 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Bring the chicken out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you're ready to cook. Heat the oven to 425°F.
- Rub the chicken with the olive oil and salt (any optional spices or herbs can get added here). Loosen the skin and drizzle a little olive oil between the skin and the breast meat.
- Place the chicken on a wire rack fitted inside a rimmed sheet pan. Place in the oven and cook for about 40 minutes, until it reaches 165°F when using a meat thermometer at its thickest part.
- Rest the breasts for 5 to 10 minutes, then carve and serve.