Perfect 20-Minute Oven-Baked Chicken Breasts

Super juicy, flavorful, EASY, and tender baked chicken breasts that are ready in 20 minutes and made on ONE sheet pan!! Nothing complicated or fussy about this PERFECT chicken that everyone LOVES!!

  • prep time 5 MINUTES
  • cook time 20 MINUTES
  • total time 25 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS

  •  3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (4 extra-large breasts or 6 average)
  •  3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
  •  kosher salt, to taste
  •  freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  •  1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  •  2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder
  •  1 to 2 teaspoons paprika or smoked paprika
  •  1 teaspoon cumin
  •  1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  •  1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
  •  1 to 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh herbs, optional for garnishing (parsley, cilantro, basil)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425F (use convection if you have it) and line a baking sheet with foil (optional but highly recommended, see Notes below)) for easier cleanup.
  2. Place the chicken on the baking sheet, and pound to an even thickness. I use an empty wine bottle, but a meat pounder or tenderizing tool, a rolling pin, or a heavy frying pan all work. The chicken doesn’t need to be pounded ‘thin’, but it needs to be of pounded to a uniform thickness so it all cooks through at the same time.
  3. Evenly drizzle the chicken with olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  4. To a small bowl, add the remaining ingredients (except the fresh herbs), stir to combine, and evenly spoon the dry rub over the chicken on both sides. I add a bit more to the side that’s facing up than the side that’s on the bottom in contact with the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (165F) and done. Allow chicken to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing into it (cover with foil if desired to keep it warmer). Resting the chicken really helps lock in the juices and moisture so don’t skip this step. Optionally garnish with fresh herbs before serving. Chicken will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

NOTES

  1. The brown sugar in the rub can cause it to be prone to burning. However, about the same time that could possibly happen, the chicken will be done, so I don’t worry too much. It’s the part that is going to be running off on the pan that could get a bit dark, not what’s on the chicken itself.
  2. Lining your pan with foil is highly recommended in case there are a lot of juices and runoff that gets dark and sticky, it’s one less thing to clean up.

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