Save time and money by learning how to easily cook perfect all white meat chicken in the oven to use for casseroles, soups, chicken salad and more.
Back to the Basics: Cooking Simple Chicken
The coronavirus has most of us in social isolation or quarantine right now. This made me think of basic cooking skills or simple recipes that I could share to make being home bound easier and to make feeding a family budget friendly. I was making a big batch of chicken for curried chicken salad (recipe link below), and I thought it would be helpful to many of you to watch how I cook boneless chicken breasts for all white meat chicken.
How my method is different.
Most recipes for baking chicken breasts for all white meat chicken don’t cover the chicken with foil, don’t cook at the right temperature, and don’t allow enough time for the chicken to rest (where the magic happens).
Why should I learn to cook white meat chicken?
Cooking all white meat chicken comes is SO handy on many levels. It is a basic and easy cooking skill that can save you a ton of time and money. Buying pre-cooked pulled white meat chicken (Costco sells it as does Sprouts) costs more than making your own. If you want the freshest white meat chicken, just cook it yourself.
What chicken to I use to make all white meat chicken?
I use boneless skinless breasts for my “all white meat” chicken to dice or shred or chop in the food processor for recipes. I cook it in such a way that it turns out moist, tender, and flavorful. If you want to make roast chicken to eat as an entree, I suggest using bone-in, skin-on. I follow this method recommended by Cook’s Illustrated when making whole breasts for entrees.
How do I make boneless skinless chicken breasts moist and flavorful?
Tips for making the chicken moist and tender.
- Drizzle or spray breast liberally with oil (extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil).
- Cover and seal breasts with foil on the baking sheet before placing in the oven.
- Let chicken rest for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour BEFORE removing foil.
Tips for making the chicken flavorful.
- For essential flavor, season with salt & pepper (fresh ground is optimal).
- For more flavor: add a bit of garlic and onion powder and maybe a bit of seasoning salt.
- For specific dishes, add unique spices. Curry (for my chicken salad) or Greek seasoning + lemon pepper (for my soup).
- For flavor packed chicken for salads, you could sprinkle with dry ranch dressing mix or taco Southwest seasoning.
What can I do with all white meat chicken?
Once you have made your own all white meat chicken, there are many things you can make with it. Here is a list of the ways I use it most often, but then again, the sky is the limit!
- Make a casserole. I use it for this fabulous chicken tetrazzini, one of the most popular recipes on the blog.
- Make chicken salad. This curried chicken salad is my favorite.
- Make chicken soup. We love this basic chicken noodle soup and this Zoe’s Chicken Orzo soup copycat recipe.
- Add to a fresh green salad. Diced all white meat chicken is a perfect protein to add to any green salad.
What tools do I need to make all white meat chicken in the oven?
Below are links to the tools, supplies, and kitchen gadgets that I use when making chicken breasts in the oven.
- Baking sheets. I have every size of this baking sheet for making chicken, baking cookies, roasting veggies, etc…
- Aluminum foil. My go-to foil is the heavy duty, widest foil available at Costco or any grocery store.
- Extra virgin olive oil and seasonings.
- Meat thermometer. I have used this instant read digital for years. Always make sure chicken is 165F before eating.
How much chicken do I need to buy and cook?
- As a general rule, 3/4 pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts will yield 2 cups of cubed cooked chicken.
- I most often buy 1.5 to 2 lbs of boneless, skinless breasts to get roughly 4-4.5 cups of chicken. This is what is typical for most recipes calling for cooked chicken.
Do I bake the breasts whole or cut into pieces?
This is important. Even though I did not cut my breasts in the video below, I almost always do. Breasts bake more quickly and more evenly when cut into a level size. You can butterfly each breast, or you can slice in half longways, or you can cut in halves or thirds that are equal. When chicken is cut and leveled, the cooking time is usually 45-50 minutes. Whole breasts take at least an hour, depending upon how large they are.
In the recipe box below, I share how I make my breasts turn into perfect all white meat chicken. But first, you cam watch the short video for extra help. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Wishing you a blessed and joyful day.
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Extra virgin olive oil (drizzle~approx 2-3 TB)
- salt & pepper (fresh ground is best)
- other seasonings if desired
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with heavy duty foil.
- Butterfly or cut breasts into equal size pieces.
- Place chicken on baking sheet.
- Drizzle or spray chicken with EVOO.
- Sprinkle seasonings over chicken.
- Cover chicken with foil, sealing tightly around baking sheet.
- Place in oven; bake for 50 minutes (an hour for whole breasts).
- Remove from oven; allow to rest 30-60 min before removing foil.
- Dice or shred chicken; store in air tight containenr in fridge until ready to use.
Amount Per Serving Calories 404Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 193mgSodium 242mgCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 70g