Baked split (bone-in) chicken breasts are healthy and delicious, with a juicy and tender inside with crispy skin. An easy recipe for a quick and economical dinner.
Everybody can use more chicken recipes that work. This roasted bone-in chicken breast recipe is one to keep with easy step-by-step photo instructions.
Split chicken breasts (Bone-in)
Pantry ingredients—Garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, black pepper
Baking powder Aluminum-free—Optional
Featured Comment from J.J.:
"So delicious, crispy, fast, easy. This one is immediately in my top 3 chicken recipes…"
Split chicken breasts (bone-in) have superior flavor and are extra moist and juicy. They make a tasty and economical dinner the whole family will love.
Learn to easily trim whole chicken breasts into a better serving size with more surface area for seasoning and much simpler to cook to a safe temperature. Optionally, use baking powder to make the skin extra crispy.
👨🍳How to Bake Split Chicken Breasts (Bone-in)
- Pat dry chicken breasts, trim the chicken of trimmable fat, remove the rib and cut into 2 to 3 pieces.
- Combine spices and baking powder. Then sprinkle and rub on all surfaces. You may not need all the spices, just to your taste.
- Place on a baking pan with a rack. Let rest for 30 minutes if you have time, and use the baking powder.
- Bake until internal temp of 165°—about 35 minutes, depending on your oven and the thickness of the chicken.
This is a summary of the steps and ingredients. See the recipe card or the step-by-step photo instructions below for complete instructions.
⏰How long to bake split chicken breasts
The best oven temperature is 400° convection or 425° for about 35 minutes. The time will vary by the size and thickness of the chicken pieces. This is much lower than the cooking time for whole bone-in chicken breast, which will be more like 50 minutes at 375°.
You can lower the oven temperature by 25°, and the cooking time will increase by about 5 minutes.
The safe endpoint of cooking is a final internal temperature of 165° in the thickest part and not any less. You must use an instant-read thermometer to prevent undercooking (unsafe) or over-cooking (drying).
Like most meat, never cook by time; always cook to final internal temperature.
Other Split chicken breast recipes
Bone-in (Split) chicken breast recipes are economical, easy, and packed with flavor. Stuff them like Garlic Butter Stuffed Chicken Breast or make Chicken Cordon Bleu. Or coat them with BBQ sauce and make Grilled BBQ Split Chicken Breasts or Baked BBQ Split Chicken Breasts. Or try a change of pace with Herbs de Provence Chicken Breasts or Mayonnaise Parmesan Split Chicken Breasts.
✔️Tips—get it right every time
- The “secret” to the success of this recipe is how to prepare the split chicken breasts before cooking. You get a better serving size, more even cooking, and more surface area for the great spices.
- You can use pan juices to help make gravy. See How to Make Gravy from Scratch for details.
- The spicing I have provided is an excellent garlic-based seasoning. Still, like most recipes, you can easily adjust the spicing to your taste using fresh herbs, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and basil may be added.
Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days, but the skin texture will deteriorate. You can also freeze leftovers for 3 months.
Use the leftovers by just reheating, preferably in the oven covered. The microwave will affect the meat's texture. Also, leftovers are an excellent cut-up to top salads or make chicken salad or Waldorf Chicken Salad.
No, but it is better with a rack and less sticking. If you don't have one, use a good coat of oil on the tray to prevent sticking. It is more important when you want crispy skin on all sides, like chicken drumsticks, or there may be lots of drainage that affects the texture, like chicken thighs.
The baking powder increases the crispness by pulling moisture out of the skin. This a trick from Cooks Illustrated, although I have modified the technique.
I find even short times with the baking powder will enhance the skin's crispiness. I suggest a 30-minute rest in this recipe before cooking, but even just applying the rub with baking powder and cooking immediately seems to enhance the crispiness.
You may skip the baking powder and still have good results—just not as crispy.
I do suggest using aluminum-free baking powder. I never buy baking powder with aluminum, which many can taste.
We no longer recommend rinsing chicken due to contamination of the surrounding area from splattering.
Rinsing chicken is no effect on the crispiness versus just patting it dry with paper towels. See Chicken... To Rinse or Not To Rinse? for a detailed discussion.
The safe internal temperature for chicken is 165°, according to the USDA.
🐓About Split Chicken Breasts (Bone-in)
Split chicken breasts are also known as bone-in chicken breasts. Technically, bone-in should include both sides of the chicken in one piece, but the breast bone is split during processing, creating two pieces. So they are called split or bone-in.
For years they were called skin-on bone-in chicken breasts, but since they are not generally sold without the skin, the "skin-on" part is frequently dropped. Most cooks feel they have more taste and moisture than the more popular boneless skinless chicken breasts.
They have become progressively bigger over the last few decades. They are now too big for a reasonable serving size for most people. They are also hard for most home cooks to get to a safe internal temperature without overcooking the outside. So most home cooks will skip them as an option or settle for poor results. We can fix that.
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Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Preheat oven to 400° convection or 425° conventional oven.
Pat dry the chicken, trim the chicken off any trimmable fat, and remove the rib area.
Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil and a baking rack—coat with PAM cooking spray.
Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil and a baking rack—coat with PAM cooking spray.
Combine spices and baking powder (if using) in a small bowl. Sprinkle and rub on all surfaces, but you may not need all of the spice mixture; just season to your taste.
Place on a rack skin side up with larger pieces in the corners—and thinner edges to the center. If you use baking powder and have time, let it set for 30 minutes to help dry the skin.
Bake until internal temp of 165°. It takes about 35 minutes, depending on your oven and the thickness of the chicken.
Let the chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Baked Split Chicken Breasts (Bone-in)
- 3 split chicken breast - scale to what you need, AKA bone-in chicken breast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper - optional
- ½ teaspoon celery salt - optional if you have it
- 1 teaspoon baking powder - optional Aluminum-free
- Preheat oven to 400° convection or 425° conventional oven.
- Pat dry the chicken, trim the chicken off any trimmable fat and remove the rib area.
- Cut the chicken into pieces—the normal-size ones in half and the huge ones into thirds.
- Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil and a baking rack—coat with PAM cooking spray.
- Combine spices and baking powder (if using) in a small bowl. Sprinkle and rub on all surfaces, but you may not need all of the spice mixture; just season to your taste.
- Place on a rack skin side up with larger pieces in the corners—and thinner edges to the center. If you used baking powder and have time, let it set for 30 minutes to help dry the skin.
- Bake until internal temp of 165°. It takes about 35 minutes, depending on your oven and the thickness of the chicken.
- Let the chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Your Own Private Notes
- Scale to the amount you want. I was cooking for leftovers, and the packages usually have 3 breasts at our store.
- Properly cutting up and trimming chicken breasts is important for this recipe to work. Better serving sizes, more even cooking, easier to get properly cooked and more surface area for seasoning. Good in every way.
- The celery salt adds some taste, but skip it if you don't have it.
- The cayenne pepper is also optional/to taste. The ¼ teaspoon is a 2 or 3/10 heat level. Don't use it if feeding kids.
- 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. Use an instant-read thermometer.
- Great leftover in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and can be frozen for 3-4 months.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Editor's Note: Originally Published May 25, 2011. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation. Please enjoy one of our easiest, most flavorful chicken recipes.