Really Eating

Classic Baked Chicken

Posted in Recipes by Bethany on April 5, 2011

I knew I had to try this recipe when I read this: “This baked chicken recipe is one of those recipes that every home cook should have in their repertoire.” I’m a home cook, right? I’m not much of one, but I definitely cook and at home, so that meant I had to try this.

It’s as easy as it sounds. The original recipe includes instructions for how to make gravy after the chicken’s done, but I’ve never been determined/courageous enough to try that part of the recipe. I’ve made it with a handful of different chicken parts (cut up chicken, thighs-only, drumsticks- all bone-in) and it always turns out delicious.

Note: It’s one of those recipes where having an instant-read thermometer is super helpful because certain parts of the chicken cook faster/slower and you don’t want to end up with some pieces overcooked and others still pink.

As a sidenote- I was always a little wary of chicken with bones in it and/or skin; I think I only cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts for much of my time in college. While yes, white meat is “healthier,” I now better understand how chicken cooks differently on the bone, how it changes the flavor, and how it costs much less at the grocery store. Seriously! I rarely see boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1/pound, but you’ll find drumsticks, thighs, and legs for $1 or less somewhat frequently.


  • Bone-in, skin-on chicken (6 thighs, 8 drumsticks, or whatever you want)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse chicken pieces in water and pat dry with paper towels. Coat the bottom of a roasting pan with olive oil (I used a rimmed baking sheet). Rub some olive oil over all of the chicken pieces in the roasting pan. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange the pieces skin-side up in the roasting pan so the largest pieces are in the center (the breasts) and there is a little room between pieces so they aren’t crowded in the pan.

Cook for 30 minutes at 400°F. Then lower the heat to 350°F and cook for 10-30 minutes more (approximately 14 to 15 minutes per pound total cooking time) until juices run clear (not pink) when poked with a sharp knife or the internal temperature of the chicken breasts is 165°F and the thighs 170°.

Remove roasting pan from oven. Remove chicken from roasting pan to a serving plate. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Refer to the original recipe for instructions on how to make gravy with the drippings/oils/yummy goodness.

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