Baking bone-in chicken breasts creates the same tender, roasted succulence that dark meat lovers enjoy, but with the lighter flavor of white meat. The supreme juiciness of bone-in, skin-on meat is hard to beat. The bone helps the chicken cook more evenly and the skin locks in moisture.
- 2 bone-in chicken breasts
- 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 medium lemon divided*
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional for serving
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Chopped fresh herbs such as parsley or thyme, optional for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. For easy clean up, line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
Arrange the chicken in the dish, skin-side up, making sure the pieces do not touch. With paper towels, pat dry. In a small bowl, add the oil, garlic, oregano, and rosemary. Zest the lemon directly into the bowl. Stir to combine.
Brush the mixture liberally over the chicken, using it all.
Cut the lemon in half. Squeeze half of the lemon over the top of the chicken. Cut the remaining half into 6 wedges, then tuck the wedges around and slightly under the chicken breasts.
Sprinkle the tops of the chicken with salt and pepper.
Bake the chicken for 35 to 45 minutes, depending upon the size of your breasts. Cooking time can vary widely depending upon how much your chicken breasts weigh—I have cooked some extra-large split breasts that weigh more than a pound each and needed more than 50 minutes. Your best bet is an instant read thermometer. Chicken is cooked through when it reaches 165 degrees F when an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast meat (be sure it isn't touching the bone; I typically remove mine around the 155 degrees F mark, then cover it to let the carryover cooking finish the job).
If you’d like the chicken more brown, place it under the broiler for 2 minutes to allow it to crisp. Watch carefully to ensure the chicken does not overcook or burn.
Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board and cover with foil. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with a bit of additional salt and/or herbs to taste. Enjoy warm.