How to Bake Marinated Chicken
Before you bake your chicken, you need to know how to marinate it properly. A marinade is a liquid made from oils, acids and seasonings, although some might not contain all of these. The oil is useful for locking in the flavor of the chicken and for sealing it so it does not dry out when you bake it. Try sesame, peanut, or olive oil. Infused oils, such as chili oil, are also good.
Acids tenderize poultry by unraveling the proteins. Although this is not strictly necessary with poultry, using something acidic can soften the surface of your chicken breast and allow the flavors of the marinade to soak in better. Acids include sherry, wine, yogurt, buttermilk, citrus juice, and vinegar. Buttermilk and yogurt are good for moist chicken breasts, although citrus-based marinades can turn it to mush if you leave it on too long.
Seasonings such as ginger, garlic, and onion are nice if you want to add flavor to your chicken marinade recipes, or you can add chili or herbs, sugar or honey. Soy sauce, salt, pepper, mustard, citrus peel and horseradish are more options. Soak your poultry in your chosen marinade and then bake it until it is cooked through.
How Long to Bake Marinated Chicken Breasts?
Bake them for about half an hour at 350 or 375 degrees F. The recipe should tell you how long to bake the chicken and the correct temperature. The cooking time is influenced by how large or thick the breasts are and it also depends on your oven. The chicken is done when there is no pinkness remaining inside and the juices run clear.
Tips for Baked Chicken
The worst crime you can commit against chicken is overcooking it because even if you have used a marinade to keep the bird moist, cooking it too long in a dry heat is sure to bring about the kind of result you really do not want! Dried-up chicken is no one’s idea of a great meal. So pay attention to the suggested cooking time in whichever recipe you are using and bear in mind it is exactly that – a ‘suggested’ cooking time.
Check the chicken a few minutes before the end of it, especially if your oven tends to cook things quickly, or if your chicken breasts are on the small side. As soon as the temperature is right in the center of the chicken and there is no pink remaining inside, you can be sure your poultry is perfectly cooked and ready to be served.
You do not need to let it ‘sit’ like you do with steak, although doing that will not affect the texture or flavor, so if you are still working on the side dishes you can wrap the cooked chicken up in aluminum foil and rest it for a bit. It will stay hot in the foil.
Because they have been marinated, your chicken breasts will offer a wonderful flavor. You can also use chicken thighs, legs, drumsticks or even wings, as long as you adjust the cooking time accordingly. The darker meats are more forgiving if you overcook the chicken but you should keep an eye on these too, just so your results are as close to perfect as you can get them.
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