Classic Baked Chicken
Classic Baked Chicken

If you can bake chicken, you can cook dinner over and over again. Use chicken breasts, thighs, wings or drumsticks in this juicy baked chicken recipe.

In this recipe

  • How to make baked chicken
  • make sauce
  • Baking with skin
  • What to serve with chicken
  • defrost chicken
  • The best herbs and spices
  • Save and warm up

If there’s one recipe every home cook should know, it’s this baked chicken recipe. All you need is chicken, olive oil, salt and pepper (and maybe some broth or white wine for the sauce).

How to Make Baked Chicken Breasts, Thighs, Wings, or Legs

We usually buy whole chickens and either cut them up ourselves or have the butcher do it. It’s cheaper that way, and we get offal for the gravy. You can do that or just use a packet of any chicken cuts – make baked chicken breasts for white meat and baked chicken thighs and drumsticks for dark meat.

This way of preparing chicken couldn’t be easier. Especially welcome on days when you are busy and just want to put good food on the table.

Video: How to make baked chicken


Classic baked chicken

Prepare gravy from a whole chicken

If you bought a whole chicken to start, the chicken may have come with its neck and gizzard (often wrapped in paper inside the chicken’s cavity). Use the chicken back and those offal to make broth for gravy.

Chop the back up a little and place the back, gizzard, and neck in a small saucepan and cover with water about a half inch. Bring to a simmer and let simmer while the chicken bakes. Then strain and use the broth to create a richly flavored sauce.

Reheat the roast chicken with some broth or white wine for an easy gravy.

Prepare baked chicken with skin

This recipe works best with chicken with skin. Even if you intend to eat the baked chicken skinless, leave the skin on while cooking. It prevents the chicken pieces from drying out during baking.

What to serve with baked chicken

My mom made this baked chicken at least once a month when I was growing up and still does! It’s great with their Spanish rice and a little mango chutney on the side. We also like to serve it with a side salad of garden lettuce and lightly steamed broccoli.

5 Easy Baked Chicken Recipes

  • lemon chicken
  • Baked chicken with cherry tomatoes and garlic
  • Baked Chicken with Chipotle Salsa
  • Spanish baked chicken
  • Baked Chicken Parmesan

defrost chicken

How many times have you found that you forgot to defrost your chicken right at dinner? If I had a dollar for every time this happened to me, I would be a rich woman!

Of course, chicken is best thawed overnight in the refrigerator. But if you haven’t planned ahead, there’s still hope for a chicken dinner using a double boiler or a microwave oven.

The best herbs and spices for baked chicken recipes

This easy baked chicken recipe is easy to adapt. You can chop fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, tarragon, marjoram, sage, parsley and oregano. Other flavor options include minced garlic, paprika, or even lemon or orange zest. Or get in the mood for spice blends such as dukkah, berbere, baharat or garam masala.

For a really tart flavor, you can use up to 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs or as little as 1 tablespoon dried spices. It’s up to you how much flavor you want to add to your chicken.

How to store and reheat leftover baked chicken

Refrigerate leftover chicken in an airtight container or ziplock bag for 3 to 5 days. Cooked chicken can also be frozen for up to 6 months, but it’s best to thaw and eat within 3 months.

Oven: Place the chicken pieces on a wire rack over a baking pan (to allow good heat circulation all around). Then bake in a preheated 400°F oven for about 15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

air fryer: Set air fryer to 320°F and heat for 10 minutes, turning halfway through.

Microwave: Place your chicken pieces on a microwave-safe plate, drizzle the chicken with some water, and cover with plastic wrap or a paper towel. Heat on high for 2 minutes. Remove the pieces, flip them, and microwave in 30-second batches until pieces are warmed through.

Delicious sides for baked chicken

  • Roasted baby carrots
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan
  • Roasted winter squash
  • Fried fennel

From the editors of Simply Recipes

Classic baked chicken

preparation time
15 minutes

cooking time
50 minutes

total time
65 minutes

4 servings

Even if you intend to eat the baked chicken skinless, leave the skin on while cooking. The skin keeps the chicken pieces from drying out during baking.


  • 1 (3 to 4 pounds) chickencut into 8 parts (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs, 2 wings), not including the back

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 Cup low sodium chicken broth or white wine for the sauce, optional


  1. Clean and salt the chicken:

    Trim excess fat from the chicken pieces. Pat the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt on all sides. Allow the chicken pieces to sit for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the chill to dissipate.

  2. Preheat the oven:

    Set the oven to 400°F (205°C).

  3. Prepare the chicken:

    Pat the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel. Rub all the chicken pieces and the bottom of the skillet with olive oil.

    Sprinkle the chicken pieces all over with black pepper and a little more salt.

    Arrange the chicken pieces in the pan so that all the pieces are skin-side up and the largest pieces (the breasts) are in the center of the pan.

    Don’t overfill the pan. Leave space between pieces to allow heat to circulate.

  4. Bake chicken:

    Bake (uncovered) in the oven for 30 minutes at 400°F (205°C). This initial high heat will help brown the chicken.

    Then reduce the heat to 175°C (350°F) and bake an additional 10 to 30 minutes, until the juice runs clear (not pink) when pricked with a sharp knife or the internal temperature of the chicken breasts is 165°F (74°C) and the thigh is 170°F (77°C) when tested with a meat thermometer.

    If the chicken is not browned enough, place the chicken under the broiler for the last 5 minutes of cooking until sufficiently browned.

  5. Let the chicken rest:

    Remove from the oven and transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

  6. Make the sauce:

    If you want to make a gravy with the drippings, place the roasting pan with all of its drippings on the stovetop and turn the burner to medium-high.

    Use a metal spatula to scrape the stuck drips off the bottom of the pan. When the pan is hot, pour in some white wine or chicken broth to loosen the drippings from the pan.

    Transfer the drippings and broth/wine mixture to a saucepan and heat over medium-high until reduced to desired thickness.

    If you want the sauce even thicker, you can make a slurry with some cornstarch or flour (1 teaspoon) and water (1/4 cup) and add this to the sauce while it cooks.

  7. Surcharge:

    Serve with steamed rice, mashed potatoes or Spanish rice.

nutritional information (per serving)
436 calories
27g Fat
0g carbohydrates
46g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!