Baking Bone In Chicken Breasts
I have 4 rather large (total weight approx. 7 lbs) bone in chicken breasts that I want to bake.
Should I go with 350 degrees for about 45 min-1 hour or a higher heat for less time? Which method will keep them from being dry and still give me crispy skin?
I use a method similar to Ina Garten. I pat the breast dry, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. I slice lemon or oranges and slide the slices under the skin. You loosen it with your fingers, so you get about 3 slices under each breast. Two slices will do the trick okay. I preheat the oven to 350 and roast until my meat thermometer reads 160 and remove from the oven. Let rest for 10-15 minutes, with a tent of aluminum foil. If you want the skin to be crispy, then add a little melted butter, brushed on before baking. And again, about half way through the baking process. I find that higher heat makes the chicken drier. It depends on the size of your breast, but I would check after 45 minutes. My feeling is that it will take close to an hour.
The Food Safety Inspection Service says you don't need to go beyond 165 degrees internal temperature for chicken to be safe for consumption. Inasmuch as the USDA uses their recommendations I generally cook to that temperature and allow to rest (which allows the temp. to rise slightly) before plating. That said, I think you can achieve your goal with higher heat and less time, but the amount of time will depend on what temperature you select, where you place the food in the oven and the vessel you choose for preparing your chicken breasts.
I would start at a preheated 425 degrees at mid-oven and uncrowded in a shallow vessel and check the internal temperature at about 45 - 50 minutes and monitor from there.
Jfood recommends the 425 degree oven for about 35-40. Check with a thermometer for 180 degrees.