This delicious roasted chicken breast recipe is so versatile it can be made for an easy week-night meal or a special occasion like Thanksgiving or Christmas.
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Easy Roasted Chicken Breast Recipe
Hey there, foodie friends! You’ve heard of Christmas in July, well this is Thanksgiving in June. It’s not exactly time to start planning our feast with some of our favorite dishes but we’re just getting some ideas out there for later. And today we’re talking about a mouthwatering chicken breast recipe.
Yes, you heard that right – we’re giving the turkey a little break this year and opting for tender, juicy chicken breasts that are sure to impress your guests. Whether you’re hosting a small gathering or simply craving a change from tradition, this recipe will have you gobbling up every last bite. So, grab your apron and let’s get cooking – Thanksgiving just got a whole lot tastier!
Chicken for Thanksgiving?
Now you might be thinking that Thanksgiving chicken is not the way to go but it’s great for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, chicken breasts are smaller and cook much faster than a whole turkey. This means less time spent in the kitchen, allowing you to spend more quality time with your loved ones and enjoy the holiday festivities.
Cooking chicken breast for Thanksgiving is a great idea for college students or small families like mine. You can have a lovely meal full of Thanksgiving flavors that is perfect for small numbers.
Chicken breasts also offer a delightful change of pace from the traditional turkey as the main course. They are incredibly versatile and can be prepared in various ways, allowing you to experiment with different seasonings, marinades, and cooking techniques. Not to mention, chicken breasts are known for their tender and juicy meat, ensuring a delicious and satisfying meal for all.
So, if you’re looking to mix things up and infuse some excitement into your Thanksgiving spread, boneless chicken breasts are an excellent choice that will leave your guests wanting more.
You get the flavors of thanksgiving but save time and money. To me that’s a win-win.
What You Need to Make This Easy Dinner Recipe
For this simple recipe we’re going to use boneless, skinless chicken breast because anyone can find them at their grocery store and we want this to be an easy way to cook Thanksgiving dinner.
You’ll also use dried herbs in this recipe. Fresh herbs are fantastic but are more expensive and not necessary to get amazing flavor. Keep it easy.
You can get some fresh thyme to use as a garnish if you like. It will add a pop of color and freshness to the plate.
Also, I like to cook my boneless skinless chicken breasts in a cast iron skillet because it can handle the high heat but a sheet pan will also work and you’ll be able to fit more ingredients on it if you want some of those Thanksgiving leftovers the next day.
Herb Chicken Ingredients
- 4 Chicken Breast
- 2-3 Potatoes
- 2-3 Carrots
- Package of Pearl Onions
- Dried Rosemary
- Dried Thyme
- Garlic Powder
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Unsalted butter
- Fresh Rosemary – optional, just for garnish
You can substitute the vegetables for some of your favorites. I like the way the potatoes, carrots, and onions roast up together and they have a nice Thanksgiving feel to them.
You can swap the pearl onions for chunks of regular yellow onions. I just prefer the pearl onions because they roast well and look good.
You can make this chicken and veggie meal for dinner anytime, not just Thanksgiving. If you choose to make it another time you can swap out the seasonings and veggies to switch things up.
Try Italian seasoning with green beans, onions, garlic, and cherry tomatoes. Or taco seasoning with bell peppers and sliced onions for fajita vibes. Choose your own favorite seasonings and veggies to create your own easy weeknight meal.
How to Make Chicken Breast for Thanksgiving
Step 1 – Start by prepping the veggies by washing, peeling, and chopping them all into similar sized pieces. You want them large enough so they don’t burn but not so big that they don’t get roasted. Try to cut pieces just smaller than an inch in size.
Step 2 – Toss your veggies in olive or avocado oil. Use a generous amount. Then place your veggies in a single layer in your pan.
Step 3 – Next, wash your chicken and then pound down the thickest parts so the chicken is even in thickness. This will ensure the chicken cooks evenly. Place your chicken in a ziplock bag or cover it with plastic wrap or parchment paper and then pound it out. This will make sure that you don’t make a mess when pounding out the chicken.
Step 4 – Dry the chicken off and drizzle oil over each piece. Then sprinkle the rosemary, thyme, garlic, and paprika seasonings on until each breast is nicely covered. There is no set amount. Just sprinkle evenly.
Step 5 – Lay the chicken breast on top of the veggies and then sprinkle everything in pepper and salt. I like to add a couple slices of butter on top of the vegetables that are showing. This will melt into the veggies as they cook.
The delicious juices from the chicken will also drip down into the veggies making them full of flavor. You might even have enough pan drippings to make some gravy. I like to keep it simple and just pour the pan dripping onto everything once it’s plated.
Tips for Roasting Juicy Chicken
Roasting chicken breasts to perfection while keeping them juicy can be achieved with a few simple steps. Here’s a tried-and-true method to ensure moist and flavorful chicken:
- Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees F (220°C) to create a hot cooking environment. The high temperature helps lock in moisture and gives you the juiciest chicken breast.
- Before baking, it’s essential to prepare the chicken breasts properly. Begin by patting them dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. This step ensures a nice sear and prevents the chicken from steaming.
- Like I said before, pound out the chicken with a meat mallet to an even thickness. This makes the chicken cook evenly and cuts down on cook time.
- Season the chicken breasts generously with your favorite herbs and spices. This not only adds flavor but also enhances the moisture retention.
- Don’t forget to drizzle olive oil on top of each chicken breast. This helps to keep them moist during the baking process.
- Bake the chicken breasts in the preheated oven for about 25-35 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). I like to use my instant-read thermometer because it lets me know exactly when to take the roasted chicken out of the oven. Remember the thickness of the chicken breast will affect the cooking time.
- Once cooked, remove the pan and place aluminum foil over the top. This will keep the meal hot while letting the chicken rest. Go for 10 minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in moist and tender meat.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to bake a flavorful, tender, and irresistibly juicy chicken breast every time.
Side Dishes That Go Great with Roasted Chicken Breasts
This one pan meal doesn’t need any side dishes but it’s always nice to add some. Especially if you’re making this dish for Thanksgiving.
Add a roll and some stuffing mixture and your all set when trying to keep things really simple.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheating the leftover chicken will result in dry chicken so I opt for cold recipes or soup.
Leftover chicken breasts can be repurposed into a variety of delicious dishes, allowing you to enjoy them in different ways. Here are a few ideas to make the most of your leftover chicken:
- Chicken Salad: Shred or dice the chicken breasts and toss them with mayonnaise, chopped celery, onions, and your choice of seasonings. This versatile chicken salad can be enjoyed on its own, as a sandwich filling, or even as a topping for crisp salad greens.
- Chicken Soup: Simmer the leftover chicken with vegetables, broth, herbs, and spices to create a comforting and nourishing chicken soup. It’s a great way to warm up on chilly days and make use of every last bit of the chicken.
- Chicken Pasta: Slice or shred the chicken and toss it with cooked pasta, your favorite sauce, and some sautéed vegetables. Top it off with grated cheese for a satisfying and easy pasta dish.
- Chicken Sandwiches or Wraps: Slice or shred the chicken and use it as a filling for sandwiches or wraps. Add your preferred condiments, greens, and other toppings to customize your handheld delight.
Remember, these are just a few ideas, and you can get creative based on your personal preferences and what you have on hand. Leftover chicken breasts can be transformed into a multitude of dishes, making your meals exciting and reducing food waste at the same time.
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Herb Roasted Chicken Breast
- 4 chicken breasts
- 2-3 potatoes peeled and chopped
- 2-3 whole carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 yellow onion or container of pearl onions peeled and chopped or whole for pearls
- olive or avocado oil
- 3 tbsp butter
- Garlic Powder sprinkle seasonings liberally
- Kosher Salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F
- Wash, peel, and chop the veggies.
- Toss them in oil and place in the cast iron pan.
- Rinse chicken and then pound to thin it and even it out.
- Dry chicken off and then drizzle oil over it.
- Sprinkle garlic powder, rosemary, thymes, and paprika liberally over chicken and rub in.
- Place the chicken on top of veggie in pan.
- Add dabs of butter to exposed veggies and then sprinkle everything with salt and pepper.
- Pop the skillet in the oven and cook until the internal temp reaches 165 F, about 25-35 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and cover it in foil. Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes.