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Oct 18, 2009 10:18 AM

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?


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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. Jfood recommends the 425 degree oven for about 35-40. Check with a thermometer for 180 degrees.

        1. I've made this Chow recipe a number of times and thinks it's terrific:

          And, yes, jfood, it IS done in that short an amount of time :)

          3 Replies
          1. re: c oliver

            Wow, welcome back. Depending on the size of the breast and only going to 160 degrees, it is not unreasonable to get there in 20-25 minutes. jfood does boneless breasts on the grill with 8 minutes in total. Add anoth 10-15 to get to jfood's 180 degrees and it's looks like apush.

            1. re: jfood

              Hey, thanks. Yeah, 4 minutes a side is our "rule" also. Perfectly done and nice and moist. I think fewer people would complain about boneless if they wouldn't overcook. Bolognese out of the freezer for dinner tonight. Happy us.

              1. re: c oliver

                Great idea, jfood will join you and your hubby from 2500 miles to the east. Bolognese over some tortellini it is. Thanks for helping jfood with the menu.