Baked chicken with Parmesan: Let the oven do the work

The marinade is simple – olive oil and garlic-lemon seasonings – and the oven does all the rest of the work.

This recipe renders delicious, juicy and tender chicken breast meat flavoured with a simple marinade of olive oil and garlic-lemon seasonings.

Perfect for lunch or dinner, this recipe is easy to put together and the chicken is baked to perfection in a relatively short time.

To seal in the juice and ensure moist, juicy and tender chicken breasts, bake the chicken in a pre-heated oven at 200°C.

As a general rule of thumb, baking boneless chicken breast takes about 30-40 minutes, depending on how big and thick the slices of meat are.

The internal temperature for properly cooked chicken (regardless of the parts of the chicken) is 75°C.

To test the temperature, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast. If it reaches 75°C, the meat is done.

Tips

  • Marinate the chicken with olive oil. Olive oil seals in the juice of the chicken, making the surface moist and the inside extremely juicy.
  • Use lemon juice as part of the marinade. If you marinate the chicken breasts with all dry ingredients, it will turn out dryer. Use lemon juice to marinate and your chicken will be moist and bursting with amazing flavours.
  • Remove the chicken immediately from the oven as soon as it is done. Do not leave the chicken inside the oven as the remaining heat will continue to cook the chicken. This is the number 1 reason for dry, tough, rubbery and over-cooked chicken breast.
Olive oil and lemon juice leave the chicken breast meat moist and bursting with flavour.

Ingredients

  • 450 g skinless and boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ground black pepper
  • 3 dashes cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese (Do not use bottled Parmesan cheese)
  • lemon wedges, for serving

Method

  • Marinate the chicken breasts with olive oil, garlic powder, lemon juice, black pepper, cayenne pepper and salt. The marinade should be paste-like and not too liquid in form.
  • While the chicken breasts are marinating, preheat oven to 200°C.
  • Top the marinated chicken breasts evenly with the freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake the chicken for about 20 minutes, until a meat thermometer hits 75°C when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken meat.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven. Serve immediately with fresh lemon wedges.
  • Squeeze lemon juice on the chicken for extra flavour. You may also serve this chicken with your favourite hot sauce.

This article first appeared in Rasa Malaysia.

Low Bee Yinn is a food blogger and cookbook author.