Learn the secret to great tasting, moist, and crispy baked split chicken breasts. Just follow these easy step by step photo instructions to get it right first time and every time.
Editor’s Note: Originally Published May 25, 2011. Now updated with expanded explanation and updated photos. Please enjoy one of our easiest, most favorable chicken recipes.
Split chicken breasts make a great economical meal for everyday or company. This is a great recipe to get ready ahead and bake just in time for dinner.
This is so good that it has become our everyday roasted chicken recipe. It can’t get much better than that.
Pro Tips: Recipe Notes for Oven Baked Crispy Garlic Split Chicken Breast
Split Chicken Breasts and “The Secret” to Great Results.
Split chicken breasts are also known as skin-on bone-in chicken breast. Most feel they have more taste and moisture than the more popular skinless version.
But they have become progressively bigger over the last few decades. They are now too big for a reasonable serving size
They are hard for most home cooks to get to a safe internal temperature without overcooking the outside. So most will skip them as an option or settle for poor results.
The “secret” to the success of this recipe is how to prepare a split chicken breast for cooking. You get a better serving size, more even cooking and more surface area for the great spices.
Step one is cutting off the attached rib section. There is no meat, it takes seasoning, and tends to over cook.
Step two is to cut the breasts into two or three pieces. Trying to cook the whole thing at once will almost always burn it on the outside before reaching a safe 165 internal temperature.
What’s with the baking powder?
I used some baking powder to increase the crispness. A trick from Cooks Illustrated although I have modified the technique.
The baking powder will pull water out of things like chicken skin. I find it works fairly quickly.
Some recipes will call for hours or overnight with the baking powder on the chicken but looking at the science, I don’t feel that is needed. Works for me.
I do suggest using aluminum free baking powder. I just never buy baking powder with aluminum which many can taste.
Or skip the whole baking powder thing. You will still have good results. Not quite as crispy.
Notes on Spicing
Like all recipes, season to your taste. Feel free to change it up.
I added some cayenne for the touch of spiciness. The recommended 1/2 teaspoon is about a 5/10 spice level for me. Cut it down or just skip it if you want.
The garlic is a little heavy for some. But like all spicing, adjust to your taste.
Other Crispy Chicken Recipes
Preheat oven to 400 convection or 425 degrees conventional oven.
Pat dry chicken then trim the chicken of any trim-able fat and remove the rib area and discard.
Cut the chicken into chunks. The normal size ones in half and the super humungous ones into thirds.
Prepare a baking pan with aluminum foil, a baking rack and spray with PAM.
Combine spices and then sprinkle and rub on all surfaces. Place on rack with larger pieces in the corners. And thinner edges to center.
Bake until internal temp of 165. About 35 minutes depending on your oven and thickness of the chicken.
Crispy Baked Split Chicken Breasts
- 3 bone-in skin-on chicken breast - scale to what you need, AKA split chicken breast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt - optional if you have it
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper - optional
- 1 teaspoon Dual action baking powder
- Preheat oven to 400 convection or 425 degrees conventional oven.
- Pat dry chicken breasts. Trim the chicken of any trim-able fat and remove the rib area and discard.
- Cut the chicken into chunks. The normal size ones in half and the super humungous ones into thirds.
- Prepare a baking pan with aluminum foil, a baking rack and spray with PAM.
- Combine spices and then sprinkle and rub on all surfaces.
- Place on rack with larger pieces in the corners. And thinner edges to center.
- Bake until internal temp of 165. About 35 minutes depending on your oven and thickness of the chicken.
- Properly cutting up the chicken breasts are important for this recipe to work. Better serving sizes, more even cooking, easier to get properly cooked and more surface area for seasoning.
- The celery salt adds some taste but skip if you don't have it.
- The cayenne pepper is also optional/to taste. The 1/2 teaspoon is a 5/10 heat level — more than some want.
- I like cooking chicken on racks, but it is not that important here.
- Keep the thicker parts of the chicken towards the outside of the baking tray.
- Be sure to check for a final internal temperature of 165. Do not guess or cook by time alone.
Nutrition is generally for one serving. Number of servings is stated above and is my estimate of normal serving size for this recipe.
All nutritional information are estimates and may vary from your actual results. This is home cooking, and there are many variables. To taste ingredients such as salt will be my estimate of the average used.
Originally Published May 25, 2011