Classic Baked Chicken

Even if you intend to eat the baked chicken without its skin, leave the skins on for baking. The skins will help keep the chicken pieces from drying out while they bake.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • One 3 to 4 lb chicken, cut into 8 parts (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs, 2 wings) excluding the back
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of low sodium chicken stock* or white wine for the gravy (optional)


1 Trim and salt the chicken: Trim the chicken pieces of excess fat. Pat the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle all sides with salt. Let the chicken pieces sit for 15 to 20 minutes to take the chill off.

how to bake chicken  - trim and salt chicken how to bake chicken - salt and pepper meat

2 Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).

3 Oil and season the chicken, place in pan: Pat the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel. Rub olive oil over the chicken pieces and on the bottom of the roasting pan.

Sprinkle the chicken pieces all over with black pepper and a little more salt.

Arrange the chicken pieces in the pan so that all the pieces are skin-side up, and the largest pieces (the breasts) are in the center of the pan.

Don't crowd the pan; allow room between the pieces.

4 Bake first at high temp, then lower the temp to finish: Bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 400°F (205°C). This initial high heat will help brown the chicken.

Then lower the heat to 350°F (175°C) and bake for and additional 10-30 minutes more until the juices run clear (not pink) when poked with a sharp knife or the internal temperature of the chicken breasts is 165°F (74°C) and of the thighs is 170°F (77°C) when tested with a meat thermometer.

If the chicken isn't browning well enough, place the chicken under the broiler for the last 5 minutes of cooking, until browned sufficiently.

5 Tent with foil and let rest: Remove from oven and transfer the chicken to a serving dish. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

6 Make gravy: If you would like to make gravy with the drippings from the chicken, place the roasting pan with all its drippings on the stovetop and set the burner to medium heat.

Making Gravy for Baked Chicken Drippings from Baked Chicken for gravy

Use a metal spatula to scrape up the stuck drippings from the bottom of the pan. When the pan is hot, pour in some white wine or chicken stock to help loosen the drippings from the pan.

Transfer the drippings and stock/wine mixture to a saucepan and heat on medium high until reduced to your desired thickness.

How to bake chicken and make gravy from drippings

If you want the gravy even thicker, you can make a slurry with a little cornstarch (a teaspoon) and water (1/4 cup) and add that to the gravy while it cooks.

*If you bought a whole chicken to start with, the chicken may have come with the neck and gizzards (often in paper in the cavity of the chicken). Use the chicken back and these giblets to make stock for gravy. Chop up the back a little, and put the back, gizzard, and neck into a small saucepan and cover with water by a half inch or so. Bring to a simmer and let simmer while your chicken is baking. Then strain and use the stock for making a richly flavored gravy.

Serve with steamed rice, mashed potatoes, or Spanish rice.

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  • Sandi

    We really enjoyed it! I had 4 thighs and 6 drumsticks and wanted a way to cook them deliciously. I was surprised how perhaps taking the chill off the chicken in step one made a difference I think. I’d never done that before. I prepared it to the letter with the exception of using a roasting pan vs baking sheet and added red, yellow and green bell pepper slices (about 1/3 of each). Highly recommend! Pairs so well! It forms a bit of a tasty jus, if you will, that adds the basting of the chicken technique. I did so by first roasting the chicken solo for 30 min uncovered as recipe indicates, then added the bell peppers and covered the chicken as suggested at the 2nd temperature. Tip- if you use add peppers, during the last 5 minutes uncovered under broiler to crisp the skin, tuck the peppers underneath. Delicious!


  • Jon Coutts

    Love it! Simple yet delicious. Thank you.


  • Myra

    This is a very easy recipe- it’s simple but delicious

  • Sommerly

    I cannot thank you enough for this beautiful recipe!!!!! I just made it tonight after going to the meat market yesterday with a whole cut up chicken. I was looking for recipes and came across yours. My two teenage daughters (super picky) and my husband said “omg this is so good!!!!” They all finished their plates!!! I made it exact, easy peasy!! They all asked when I will make it again. I will make probably next week as wel :) so awesome, so happy to see all of them clear their plates…thank you so much :)


  • Rvamommy

    I’ve made this recipe a handful of times. My picky 11yr old son and husband love it! It’s the only one I use. Thank you!


  • Daniela

    I love making this recipe its amazing:)


  • Shayla

    LOVE IT!
    now my go to recipe.


  • Norn

    Bake covered or uncovered?

  • Kathy

    I searched and searched for just a regular baked chicken recipe where I needed to make about 30 pieces of chicken for church. Well I am so happy that I found your recipe …cooked it exactly like you said and it got crispy and it was perfect. I now will make pieces for myself just to have on hand


  • Beatriz

    Hola. Can i make this dish in a crock pot?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Beatriz! Emma here, managing editor for Simply Recipes. I don’t recommend trying this recipe in the crockpot. In this case, the oven-cooking method is just too different from how the chicken would cook in the crockpot. You might try this recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole instead.

  • DannyM

    In today’s modern chicken processing plants. machines cut the bird into parts (and skin & debone certain cuts). The bad news is they make a mess of the chicken skin. The good news is that this can be turned to your advantage! When seasoning the chicken, don’t bother seasoning the skin; the seasoning won’t penetrate. But use the ragged edges to sneak the seasoning directly on the meat! An couple of fingers can slip right underneath to spread it around nicely. Makes a HUGE difference!

  • Rebecca Lucio

    How much olive oil would you put in the pan?

  • Gordon Wagner

    If you have any leftover chicken, it makes fantastic sandwiches the next day, especially with poppy seed dressing on Hawaiian rolls.

  • Rachel

    Hi I’d like to make this recipe with just to bone in skin on chicken breast. Is there a specific amount of time or temperature I should use since I’m not doing a whole quartered chicken? Also what do you think of Mrs. Dash rotisserie chicken seasoning? Do you recommend any other seasoning?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Rachel, since you are only cooking one chicken breast, it won’t take nearly as long as cooking all of the chicken pieces. I don’t know what the timing will be. Start with 15 minutes at 400°F, then lower the heat to 350°F and cook another 10 minutes. Cook longer at 350°F if needed. As for Mrs. Dash, I don’t use it but I know people who love it!

    • Mary Anne Zaccanelli

      Put chicken parts in baking pan, add cut up potatoes, white and yams, and cut up onions, pour olive oil on everything, sprinkle with black
      Pepper and garlic salt. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven , cook 15 minutes, uncovered, turn oven to 350, Cover pan and bake for 50 minutes. Remove from oven,check for doneness.. add a few minutes if needed

  • Dr. Laurence Peery

    Two simple things you can do to give your chicken a bit of pizzaz! All you need is a lime and a large white onion. Quarter the lime and squeeze the juice out. Remove any seeds and set aside. . Then cut the quarters in half and save. Peel and slice the onion so you have eight slices. When the baking dish is prepared space the slices of onion on the bottom so that each piece of chicken is resting on one. Finish the assembly, add oil, etc. Then drizzle a bit of the line juice on each piece of chicken. Take the small pieces of the lime and scatter them between the pieces of chicken to give some extra flavor to the glace and sauce. You could also use orange or lemon but I like the tang of the lime.

  • Randall Barrett

    Wow. Fantastic! Followed the instructions to the letter and this was awesome….the only problem was that I didn’t make enough chicken! I made the gravy with the drippings, chicken broth, and a cornstarch slurry, and served with mashed potatoes and green beans. This is a keeper. BTW, I put the chicken in the broiler for 5 minutes to darken up the skin at the end.

  • Eunice

    I just made this and the chicken is absolutely delicious and moist. My little 20 month old with her 10 teeth loves it! Thanks

  • Sarah

    This is one of my husbands favorite things I make. I found your recipe years ago and he still requests it! Thanks!

  • DALE


  • Al

    You tell the reader to use the back cut into little pieces but nowhere in the recipe do you tell the reader to remove it. Should you do it when the chicken is raw? Thanks..

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Al, I say to use all of the parts of the chicken except the back in the main recipe. The back is mostly bone, very little meat, not worth roasting. You can however, chop it up and use it to make stock to add to gravy if you want to make gravy. That instruction is at the end of the recipe.

  • Tiffany

    WOW!!! I am blown away by this SIMPLE, and very EASY, recipe! I am not a good cook AT ALL!! but I followed the recipe exactly and I even purchased a whole chicken like Elise does and had the butcher cut it up for me! I washed the chicken, I dried the chicken, seasoned it, let it thaw out for a little, covered in olive oil, and popped it in! It came out fully cooked and is NOT DRY AT ALL!!!!! it is so juicy and tender and delicious! I’ve never been a fan of chicken, probably since i can never cook well, but this is amazing and ill be doing this weekly! thank you Elise!!!

  • Retha

    Will instructions be different with skinless chicken ?

    • Elise Bauer

      Yes, I would look for a different recipe if using skinless chicken.

  • Annie

    Made this last night for my family and we love it. I add rosemary, italian seasioning and pepper though and it still very very good. Love it and thanks again.

  • Phil

    I am a male 30 years old, i work all day every day M- S. On my way home from work, I read this article, got home followed all the instructions… with just S&P, aluminum foil and olive oil I cook 4.4 lb of chicken legs, they all taste good. Thank you for the recipe!!

    PS. My wife never cook something like this because she is to busy. She said she works too…

  • Jen

    I made this tonight for dinner for my kids. They loved it. It was very easy. The kids said it turned out amazing, which is great since I’m a vegetarian and don’t cook meat very often. I didn’t use oil, just S&P and garlic powder. Thanks for the recipie.

  • Patricia stewart

    Do i cover the chicken? ? Usually I do but not sure because of the first step of cooking to get skin browned I’m assuming u don’t,

  • Claire

    Tried this for dinner rubbed the chicken pieces with oliveoil and diced garlic , i sprinkled on a dash of Ittalian seasoning herb mix .
    Roasted acorn squash alongside . It came out wonderful :)

  • Midge

    I am considering the purchase of poultry sheers and wondered if you would have either a recommendation or some suggested guidelines. thanks

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Midge, great question! My absolute favorite poultry sheers are are made by a company called MAC. Here’s the Google search for Mac Knives Kitchen Sheers. They are good quality steel. The two halves of the scissors separate, making them much easier to clean. And they have a rubber-like coating on the handle, making them comfortable and easy to handle. They are more expensive than run-of-the-mill sheers, but in my opinion, well worth it.

  • Davey

    I love happening upon a new method that gives great results. I will be using this technique for years to come. I had baked chicken before, but it always came out limp. This chicken is crispy on the outside, with crackly salty skin, and the meat underneath is flavorful as well. So easy, so perfect. Now I’m thinking about what else to add – lemon, rosemary, garlic. The technique is eminently adaptable. I’ll think I’ll try it with wings too, and toss them in buffalo sauce. Thanks so much.

  • Kristy

    I’ve made this chicken several times…so good! I’ve also rubbed chicken with soft butter and minced garlic and s&p….it turned out delicous. Thanks for this recipe!!!!

  • Jennifer

    This is my go-to recipe … BUT … I notice that it has been edited. It used to state about how many minutes per pound to cook the chicken. I am at a loss without this info as now the chicken tends to get overcooked. Can you add back this detail?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jennifer, the amount of cooking time per pound will depend on how cold the chicken pieces are to begin with, whether you take the chicken right out of the fridge (not recommended, but what most people do), or let it sit to come to room temp. Also, breast meat cooks more quickly than thigh meat. Typically, the guide is 14 to 15 minutes per pound.

  • Anthony

    Hi. I was wondering if olive oil is required or if a person could use a different kind of oil? I have and mostly cook with vegetable oil. Any advice is appreciated.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Anthony, you can use a good cooking oil—vegetable, canola, rice bran, corn oil, olive oil.

  • Amy Reaves

    I use this recipe with chicken breasts. I cook for about 40 min on 350. Usually cook 6 breasts at a time with 3 in a casserole baking dish. Perfect every time and because the kids are so picky that is all I do. No gravy but it is relish. Thank you.

  • Ruth, UK

    I absolutely love the simplicity of this recipe. As suggested, I made it with your recipe for Spanish rice and it was delicious. Served with a tomato, avocado and coriander (cilantro) salsa. Fabulous. This has become an instant staple in our house.
    I’m now perusing the rest of your site for similar ‘gems’. Thank you. x

  • Allison

    Thank you for this recipe Elise. This is the one that prompted me to finally learn to cut up a whole chicken. I’ve used it many times over the past year and always with amazing results.

    Some questions I have – If you add potatoes to the mix, do you roast them ahead of time and then with the chicken or the same amount of time as the chicken? I figure the size of the potato would make a difference obviously. I’ve also been using a heavy duty half sheet jelly roll pan to roast the chicken rather than a roasting pan. If adding potatoes, should I use a roasting pan?

    I love your site and appreciate you sharing such perfection in simplicity.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Allison! So, if you want the potatoes to cook in the same amount of time as the chicken, you will need to cut them into smaller pieces. Or, what you could do, is to cut them in large pieces, par boil them in salted water, and then add them to the roasting pan or jelly roll pan to finish cooking with the chicken. I don’t think it makes much of a difference whether you use a roasting pan or a jelly roll pan, just make sure you coat it with olive oil to help keep the potatoes from sticking too much.

  • Susan

    This is a very good recipe….both my husband and I really loved it.

  • Mark Thoeny

    Used this recipe the first time I ever roasted chicken, now the only thing I do different is add creole seasoning for a little heat, my family and friends love Lt.

  • Diana

    Every time I Google a recipe and I see something from Simply Recipes come up, I usually go with it. Your recipes always work and are always delicious. I made this one and threw in some some carrots and thyme to my cast iron pan. It was simple and delicious. I also made your cranberry sauce. Thanks for providing simple and reliable recipes!

  • Valerie

    Got a nice cut up fresh chicken and baked it in my great-grandmother’s old (can’t go on the stove top for gravy) enamel baking pan. It was a nice healthy chicken, and didn’t give up much fat to the butter and olive oil I used, so the pan was fairly dry. I removed the chicken to a (tented) serving dish, added a couple cups of stock and put the pan back in the oven – a few minutes later the pan was cleanly scraped into a small saute pan for making gravy. (I use flour and water, not corn starch.) Glad to have clicked on THIS recipe yesterday! It turned out great, of course. Did make a stock (picked those bones for the dogs), and have enough for a pot of rice later this week. Thanks!

    • Spec-K

      Dogs should not eat chicken (or any fowl) bones – they splinter & can cause death.

      • dee man

        Not necessarily.. my two dogs have been eating chicken avec bones for years with no problems. I always remove the wishbone or breast bone, not because it splinters, but because it breaks easily into sharp edges, as do the bones next to the wing tip. Depending on the dog’s eating habit, I give the pieces with the most bones to the dog that chews thoroughly and the pieces with the larger bones like the thigh and leg to the dog that swallows small stuff. Never had a choke,never had a cough from those dogs or any of the other dogs I’ve had. Pork bones will splinter easily, but they are careful with them, too. I just gave the entire chicken back to the dog that eats carefully. He took his time and finished it completely. Another important thing is not to give them raw chicken bones since they are flexible. They will not break and crumble easily when raw which will indeed lead to splintering.

  • David Michel

    I’m a bachelor, living in NYC and promised my critical Friday night friends I would gladly do the cooking for the group. My Mom always boasted of her baked chicken…..your recipe turned out to be just as good, if not better! Thanks Elise.

  • Jo

    I don’t comment here enough, given that I try so many of the recipes listed.

    This is my go-to baked chicken recipe, and if you follow the instructions correctly, you get something akin to professional rotisserie chicken: succulent flesh with the most delicious, savoury crispy skin.
    Thank you for saving my weeknight dinners with your beautiful blog, Elise! Especially during those times when I’m away from home at university :)

    • Elise Bauer

      Thanks for your comment Jo! I’m so glad you like the recipe. :-)

  • Marisa

    I used chicken thighs only and it was so delicious that we made it two nights in a row. Even my toddlers gobbled it down. Thanks so much!

  • rita

    Finally, the perfect chicken recipe. And so simple. Thank you!

  • kathy

    Marcella Hazen in her book “classic italian cooking” has a wonderful recipe for roast chicken that is super simple and delicious and uses absolutely no oil or butter. You take a whole chicken and dry it really well, inside and out, then stuff the cavity with 2 juicy lemons which have been pricked all over (I use a skewer for this). Close the cavity with skewers or whatever and tie the legs loosely together.
    I then salt and pepper the chicken skin and then put it in a baking pan (without any oil….absolutely dry) breast down in a 200C oven for about 20 min. and then carefully turn it, without breaking the skin, breast side up, turning the oven down to 180 and roast until its done. can’t tell you the times since it depends on the size of the bird. If it starts getting too brown i place a piece of foil loosely on top. It’s a lovely recipe, makes its own gravy from the juice of the chicken and the lemons.

  • Teri Smyth

    This looks delish. I recently made barbequed chicken and I brined my chicken pieces first. It was definitely worth the time and extra step since the chicken was moist and delicious.

  • Marilyn

    oops meant to say – big kitchen shears are great for ‘jointing’ chickens – invest and they last a lifetime and you wont need ‘butchery’ skills. That said I still tend to reach for a sharp knife!

  • Marilyn

    Good gravy is the key to this being really yummy. I put my pieces in the roasting tin (no oil) a dot all over with butter this makes for a stickier browner bake without that slight oil flavour and therefore a richer gravy. I rarely ‘roast’ with oil – real good hard butter is the key. Love your site – the only one I have bookmarked!!

  • Kate @

    Mmm this chicken looks really good. I’ve always wondered – can you buy the whole chicken in a supermarket and ask the butcher to cut it up? I am intimidated by cleaning out and cutting a whole chicken, but I do see how much cheaper a whole chicken is compared to buying separate parts.

    I love thighs and drumsticks, so I will make this recipe out from those parts :)

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Kate, it depends on the supermarket. If your market has a butcher then the butcher should be able and willing to cut up the whole chicken for you without a fee. As for cleaning and cutting a whole chicken, the whole chickens in the market are already gutted, all you have to do is cut them into parts. There are lots of videos on YouTube demonstrating how to do this.

  • MaryM

    Three sad words: “excluding the back.” I have always loved the back of the chicken from when my mom would fry chicken on Sundays. It has delicious meat on it and is fun to nibble on. If it’s not “presentable” for company, it still makes a great little cook’s treat back in the kitchen. I always include the back just for me when I have one.

  • Becky

    Looks so good !! I use the kitchen shears to cut up chicken now…My father taught me how to cut a chicken up when I was 14 ( mom passed )….But when they started putting those shears in the knife blocks I thought what the heck is this really for,so I tried it and it worked just great,not just for cutting open the envelopes.Always love to cook with chicken it’s so versatile.

  • Colleen

    So so delicious. Seriously the best chicken I have ever made. I used Lemon Pepper (with built-in grinder) because that is all I had. I made the gravy but threw in a little cornstarch because I needed my kid to stop hovering waiting for when he could eat it — and did I mention this was his second dinner tonight! :)

  • adam

    hi im a new cook what exactly is the broiler??

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Adam, in a standard oven there is a burner at the top of the oven. The broiler function of an oven uses this top burner at high heat, allowing for searing or very high heat coming in from the top down. You usually need to position what is to be broiled a few inches under this top heating element. Also, broiling cooks very quickly, so you need to keep an eye on it.

      • Adam

        Thank you Elise also do you know if Red Wine can also work Instead of White Wine ??

  • Kristy

    Just made this tonight since I chose to buy a whole cut up chicken rather than overpriced boneless/skinless chicken breasts. This was very easy to make and I chose to throw on some BBQ sauce at the end and broil it on low for about ten minutes. I did make the mistake of being greedy and dousing it TWICE with the sauce which reduced the crispness BUT everyone was happy!

  • Ryan

    Made this tonight along w/ the gravy and it was awesome!

  • felicia

    This was delicious. HUGE hit at my house!

  • Amanda Prince

    WONDERUL Recipe! The whole family LOVED it! :)

  • DetzelPretzel

    I made this with a kind of Mirepoix Couscous for about 10 people. It was delicious and classic. I cook all the time and yet somehow, I have never made plain old baked chicken. It was awesome.

    I stopped in the butcher shop today and picked up 12lbs of Amish chicken for the meal…I assumed there would be leftovers for tomorrow. I was wrong. There was barely anything left to make stock with.

    Thanks for another go-to.

  • Susan

    I make my baked chicken exactly the same way! In fact, I just made it today. I do sprinkle some fresh rosemary and thyme on top. I also like to add a few heads of garlic, sliced onion and chunks of potatoes too. The garlic gets all brown and smooshy. It’s great spread on No-Knead Bread! Simplicity at its best!

  • Wendy McIntosh

    tried this recipe …and had to de-smoke the house?? Do I need a better ventilation system for my oven, or does this recipe tend to produce a bit of smoke from the oil burning off the pan….

  • Lori

    Hi! Can you please clarify something for me. When you say bake per pound, do you mean the total weight (pounds) of the bird you are cooking, or the pounds total of the amount of chicken you are cooking at that moment?

    Thank you very much. I love your website.

    Hi Lori, the total weight of the bird you are cooking, all of the parts combined. ~Elise

  • Corrie

    Thank you sooo much for this recipe! I found it on pinterest, and tried it today. My husband LOVED it and said it was one of his favorite meals I’ve made! Thank you again!

  • Phyllis

    This is definately a simple roasted chicken recipe, I’ve made it 3 times now and it always comes out delicious! Thank you!

  • Steph

    This was a wonderful “simple” way to bake chicken. I use only leg quarters eveytime I do this for dinner….WOW….my hubby loves it! He asks for it frequently!

  • Stevie

    I tried this recipe this evening. I only had 2 quarter legs so I adjusted the salt and pepper accordingly. In addition to the salt and pepper, I added some rosemary. I followed all the instructions and it was GREAT. I also tried something that I read from one of the comments above. A comment by Mercedes in 2008 mentioned that she baked her chicken on top of roasted potatoes. I added garlic to the mix as another commenter suggested. While the chicken was resting, I mashed the potatoes and the garlic together. The outcome was AMAZING and I’m thrilled that this was no work at all! I’m so happy to have this recipe to keep. Thank you, Elise!

  • Judy

    Made this tonight using chicken breasts only, and it was excellent. I’ve never been able to get it “right” with the chicken breasts, but these directions assured a perfect result. The chicken was moist and juicy and the skin was crispy. I didn’t even need the broiler. My oven is rather finicky, so I have a thermometer that allows me to pre-heat to the correct temperature. This makes all the difference, no matter what recipe I use, but with this type of cooking method, it’s really critical that the oven temperature is exact. Delicious recipe, Elise. I’ll cook all our chicken pieces this way from now on.

  • Natalie

    Thanks great idea for a Sunday dinner like today. I wish I had read the comments earlier I would have added the potatoes. yummy!

  • Justin Donie

    Isn’t English a funny language? We BAKE chicken in a ROASTING pan, allowing the potatoes to roast along side the chicken we’re baking.

    I just read an article on the difference between baking and roasting and it was quite enlightening … to the fact that there simply isn’t 100% consistency about the way we use these words. My question is, as a language person, “when did the confusion begin”? The linguists tell us that Bake is the older term, and this suggests to me that the word Roast may have come into use as a means of differentiating a specific kind of “cooking with dry heat” from another. We TEND (though not 100%) to use bake to talk about cooking things which will become something else while cooking … batter to cake, dough to bread or cookies … while we roast things which don’t change while being cooked … potatoes, corn, meat, vegetables. But since we bake chicken and ham and some vegetables … the picture gets muddy.

    One person chimed into the discussion with the observation that their oven had 3 settings “Bake” (bottom element only), “Broil” (top element only) and “Roast” (both elements).

    And what of “broast”? Talk about a dubious word. Is it an attempt to finally bring “Bake” and “Roast” back together again into one unified word for dry cooking? Nope. That would be too easy. To broast is to deep fry under pressure.

    No wonder mere mortals invented the microwave. “Just nuke it!”


  • Megan

    I used this recipe last night, but instead of olive oil I used butter, which I rubbed under the skin- yum! It was mighty tasty, but the chicken ended up a bit rubbery. Once I reduced the oven to 350, I only cooked another ten minutes- I’m wondering if I need to do that at all…

    So much depends on your particular oven and the shape and size of the chicken pieces. The chicken’s internal temperature is the best guide. ~Elise

  • Cristie

    Do I need to cover the chicken with water so it won’t dry out?

    No, that would be stewed chicken then. Baked is dry heat. It won’t dry out if you don’t over cook it. ~Elise

  • Jenn

    I found this recipe just searching the net for good chicken recipies. It came out so delicious!! I even did the gravy but with the white cooking wine. My husband said he normally doesnt like chicken thighs because of how flavorless they come out but he loved this dinner. Definatly will be a new family favorite!

  • Tracy

    My grandma used to make baked chicken, but she fried it on the stovetop first, I think dredged in flour. Does that sound like something that would work? Her chicken was the BEST. And I never took the time to learn how to do it.

    Yes you could dredge it in flour first, then brown on high heat in some oil on the stove top, then bake until cooked through. ~Elise

  • joy

    This is the best baked chicken I ever made….but for the gravy I used water and conrstarch…didnt use wine. I put a little soysauce with the rest of the drippings from the chicken for the flavor. When I baked the chicken I added celery for aroma.

  • JudyL

    Well, I had my chicken pieces all thawed out and ready for the outdoor grill when thunderstorms rolled in and squelched that idea. Desperate I googled “baked chicken” because every time I bake chicken it comes out dry and terrible. I found this recipe, gave it a shot and for the first time ever I had simple baked chicken that wasn’t a dried out mess! Thank you so much, Elise. This one’s a keeper!

  • Shelly

    As a vegetarian who never baked a chicken in her life, I have a couple questions I am hoping someone will answer ASAP… my husband wants baked chicken this weekend.
    Would coconut oil work instead of olive oil?
    And I don’t have a roasting pan or pyrex dish, I do have a teflon coated 9×13 cake pan, would that work?
    Thanks in advance.

    No idea on the coconut oil, I don’t cook with it. And yes I think the teflon coated cake pan would work. ~Elise

  • Lulu

    Who doesn’t love baked chicken?

    For those who find that their baked chicken comes out rather dry, I wanted to share my tip for making sure it always stays moist and juicy:

    First, place the chicken pieces in a high-sided baking dish, like a pyrex baking dish or one of those 12-inch high-sided skillets that can go in the oven. Don’t use a baking dish that’s too big for the amount of chicken you have.

    Second, DO crowd the chicken. After seasoning the chicken pieces, place them in ONE layer in the baking dish, but snuggle them closely together. They should be cozy like kittens in a basket. This helps keep moisure in. Sometimes I’ll even add a couple of tablespoons of liquid (stock, wine or water) to the bottom of the dish, but not too much!

    Third, tightly cover the baking dish with aluminum foil for the first half of the baking time at 350 degrees.

    For the second half of cooking time, uncover the chicken and raise heat to 400 degrees. If the chicken isn’t browned to your liking after cooking time is complete, a few minutes under the broiler should do it.

    I’ve never had dried-out chicken with this method, and it’s the same regardless of the parts of the chicken you’re baking.

  • Lisa

    I was looking online for a basic baked chicken recipe when I came upon this one. Using the basic instructions and utilizing a couple of the tips from other readers/posters, I can honestly say that last night’s baked chicken was the best I have ever made. My husband and son want to know if I will make this every week now. Thanks Elise and to everyone who contributes additions and suggestions.

  • Jp

    I made this recipe and my husband could not quit talking about how good it was! I put Cajun seasoning on it but next time I think I will use something different. This is one of those recipes that you could change so easy with just sauces and it would still be mouth watering. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with us!!

  • Amy

    Just made this recipe for the 4th or 5th time and wanted to say thank you again for a great recipe. I follow the recipe exactly and it comes out great every time–fool proof!

  • Sherry

    I made this chicken last night for dinner and it was awesome. I haven’t had much success with baking chicken in the past, but this recipe was easy to follow and the chicken came out juicy with a crispy skin. I brined the chicken pieces first for about 2 hours (salt/sugar/garlic/lemon juice), then air-dried in the refrigerator for another 2 hours. Before baking I rubbed with olive oil then sprinkled with salt/pepper/paprika/garlic powder. Even my picky 8 year-old ate it up! I was a little worried that the smaller pieces would be dry by the time the breasts were cooked through, but this was not a problem. This will likely be a regular at our house now. Thanks!

  • sylvia

    I only buy boneless/skinless chicken breasts. Will you recipe work? It sounds so good and I want to try it out.

    No, this recipe is for bone-in, skin on chicken pieces. If I had boneless skinless chicken breasts, I would look for a different recipe. ~Elise

  • Robin

    Elise – I am planning to bake about 120 chicken legs to serve at a homeless kitchen in two weeks. Will this recipe freeze well? I’d like to make the chicken now and defrost it a few hours before serving. Thanks. Robin

    Hi Robin, great question, don’t know what to tell you though. I would bake and refrigerate and then reheat. Haven’t tried freezing and reheating. ~Elise

  • April

    Well I was in a cooking rut and thawed out some chicken and ran across this baked chicken. Man it is GOOD. Followed the instructions exactly and the skin is crispy, the meat is tender and moist and everyone is loving it as I type. (including my elderly dad, and he is impossible to please)… THANKS!

  • Amanda Donovan

    Awesome. I had a couple of chicken legs that I made with a ton of ras-el-hanout with the salt and pepper. Perfectly cooked with the most delicious, crispy, spiced skin. Glad I made extra because I cant stop eating. Thank you, Elise!

  • Hope

    I found your recipe for classic baked chicken on the web. Tried and really liked it. I combined 1 tb spoon each of garlic salt, celery salt, and onion powder. Mixed it and put it in a shaker. Seasoned the chicken with it after I rubbed the olive oil on it. It was the best baked chicken I have been able to make.
    Thank you!

  • Gary

    My girlfriend is feeling under the weather so I wanted to surprise her with homemade chicken noodle soup. I’m attempting to bake a split chicken with nothing more than olive oil, garlic and bay leaves according to your recipe. Hopefully I’ll be able to pull it off and get the chicken stock right though, since that’s my main focus. Only 10 more minutes to go, apartment is smelling amazing!

  • Rachelle

    My chicken came out pretty dry, but I’m not sure how well I followed the directions. I baked it in a glass baking pan, and I did forget to rinse the chicken before putting it in the oil. What can I do to make it not so dry?

    Just don’t cook it as long. It helps to use a meat thermometer too. Some people brine their chicken/pork/turkey to ensure that the meat doesn’t dry out. Use a brine solution of 1/4 cup Kosher salt to 1 quart of water. ~Elise

  • nina

    This is a very easy and very tasty recipe! Tastes just like mom’s!

  • George

    I just made this dish and it was the absolute best chicken I’ve ever made =) I’ve grilled and pan fried chicken, but none of them came out so moist, properly cooked with crisp skin and great flavor.

    I used salt, pepper, garlic, and sprinked on some italian seasoning – my kids destroyed this =)

    I forgot to tent the chicken, but it did rest for about 5-10 minutes before I served it. One thigh did come out a little charred since I left it in the broiler for about 2 minutes on Hi longer than I should have, but photo-quality, great tasting chicken was the result.

    Thanks for the help!

  • Russell

    I just stumbled across this recipe while looking for chicken recipes. Decided to go with it. In addition to the salt and pepper, I added a bit of thyme and some shredded coconut.

    I’m eating it right now and while I think I could’ve eased up on the salt, this tastes absolutely incredible.

  • Kim

    Simple and delicious. Thank you! I made extra so I have cooked chicken ready for the rest of the week’s meals.

  • Amy

    Perfect! so tasty. Thanks again. I only used thighs, but my favorite part was how they crisped up on the bottom from “frying” in the olive oil.

  • Winnie

    I have never cooked before, and I’ve decided this will be my first dish. I am just wondering about how much salt would you use to season the chicken if the chicken is about 4 lbs? I am just starting out and don’t really have any idea how much to use, and I don’t want to sabotage my first dish! Thank you!

    I would suggest sprinkling about half a teaspoon of salt over the chicken before it goes in the oven. You can always salt more to taste at the table. ~Elise

  • Sarah

    Yummy! and so incredibly easy! I only have a small time frame to get dinner ready as my little man goes to bed early and this is perfect! I bought a whole chicken cut up and baked it at 435 for 30-35 minutes. With some green beans and potatoes it was the perfect quick meal – and my 20 month old loved it!

  • Tammy

    OMG ! Came out perfect. Altered the recipe only by using garlic-infused olive oil, added garlic powder and paprika to the salt & pepper. My picky son loved it !! Thank you – this one is a keeper !!

  • deanna

    Dear college students.

    I’m sure you don’t have a roasting pan. But I experimented for you! You CAN roast chicken in a glass pyrex pan! But put something under it too keep it from touching the bottom. (Celery stalks are a cheap and yummy idea!)

  • Amanda

    Hi I was wondering if I could rub the chicken with butter then sprinkle with the salt and pepper instead of using the olive oil. Would that still taste good or compromise the chicken completely?

    It will taste great, go for it! ~Elise

  • joe

    When they are basically done I pull them out and put butter on the skin and then under the broiler and they will brown up and get crispy.

  • Chris

    I don’t cook much…at all…but tried this and it came out perfect. So simple and really delicious! I used leg quarters, cooked it slightly longer then what the recipe called for. The flavors were amazing, thanks Elise!

  • Ryan

    I am a 21 year old college student who used a four-pack of half chickens on this recipe. I also added garlic powder and rosemary sprinkled over the top before cooking, which gave both the skin and the juice a wonderful flavor. Other than that, I followed your directions to the letter, and found the resultant chicken to be wonderful. I now have enough food for the next couple days, as well. I have made roast chicken before, but never with olive oil. The subtle flavor it added was a great addition. Thanks!

  • Christine

    Wanna know the easiest way to cut up a chicken? Ask the butcher to do it! Most major grocery stores, if not all, offer this service – all you gotta do is ask.

    Really enjoying your site Elise and have tried many recipes. BTW, it was fun to see you on the PW’s site, great pictures!
    Thank you!

  • Carol

    Another delight, Elise! After four days of my husband and I being sick with the flu, I knew my family needed an actual home-cooked meal. I dug out a package of chicken thighs and found this recipe. I added some fresh rosemary, thyme, and tarragon to the top of each thigh, and I served it with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli with cheese sauce. My very picky boys cleaned their plates. Thanks for another great recipe!


  • Lori

    I want to cook 3 chickens cut into or bought in pieces. Do I need to increase cook time?

    Your oven is big enough to hold the pieces from 3 chickens at once? If so, and you can do so without crowding, then you don’t have to increase the cook time. If you want the same level of browning, you might have to increase the heat a bit, maybe 25°F. The reason is that the chicken pieces have moisture. This moisture, when heated creates steam, which although it cooks the chicken, it will prevent the chicken from browning. So if you have a lot more chicken pieces in the oven, you might have to raise the temp to compensate for the additional steam those pieces are producing. ~Elise

  • Sheeijan

    I made this tonight for the first time and I was floored with how tasty it was. Something so simple yet so much flavor! It’s really deceptive in its simplicity. I wish I had found this sooner! Thank you!

  • Susan

    This was first Elise recipe. Like all of them, they never disappoint.

  • Claire

    I am fascinated by all your recipes for whole chickens. We have become so accustomed to buying breasts (everyone likes white meat, no cutting up the chicken). Maybe we haven’t given dark meat a chance. I also wonder how you divide up a whole chicken w/just two breast pieces (divide it into 4 so everyone gets some?). I wonder if the markets where we shop (Stop & Shop and Shaw’s) can cut up a whole chicken on demand. Guess I need to ask!

  • Dax

    Howdy! Thank you for this awesome website. I just have a quick question, why do you need to cover the chicken with aluminum foil after cooking it?


    To keep it warm while you are making the gravy. ~Elise

  • Brenda S Holland

    When baking chicken for a crowd, can you bake the day ahead, reheat and serve with the chicken remaining moist?

    I haven’t had luck with reheating chicken and maintaining its moisture, but perhaps you will. The trick will be to not overcook the chicken to begin with. ~Elise

  • Karina A.

    Thanks a lot for your help. I’m really not an oven girl, but you saved me tonight. It was awesome!

  • Rachel

    I nearly started a grease fire from this recipe. Caution: Drain the oil from the baking pan or transfer the chicken to a clean baking pan before placing it under the broiler!

    Mine broiled for 3 minutes before I had to extinguish the fire. Please be careful folks!

    • Jeff Gaynor

      When you broil you should leave the oven door open a crack, to avoid grease fires.

  • Alexa

    I love this recipe. Thanks so much.
    I bought a chicken and didn’t know what to do with it.
    I searched for recipes online and then I came across this recipe here.

    It’s easy and simple and my boyfriend loves it. He’s a picky eater, but he liked this a lot.
    I also made it with the Spanish rice you recommended. It was a great meal !!

    Thnx :)

  • Eric LeCarde

    This is the first thing I’ve made on my quest to stop eating out, and I have to say it was a great start! I was a little worried that the chicken would dry out, because I messed up while carving the whole chicken and the breasts didn’t have too much skin on them. In spite on that, it all came out wonderful: very moist chicken and crisp skin.

    A fantastic recipe that uses very few ingredients, not to mention very cheap to make. Thanks!

  • Tiffany

    Quick question: Should I cover the chicken with foil while baking?

    No, not if you want the chicken to brown. ~Elise

  • patti

    Can you use leg quarters instead of cutting the chicken?

    Yes. They will likely take a little longer to cook. ~Elise

  • Susan

    My mother baked chicken for years. Easy and always good. Reminder…if you have a free range chicken you have to cook it low and slow. 300 degrees for 2 hours. Those muscles the little critters grow when allowed to walk around get mighty tough in a hot oven.

    When I had my babies my mother taught me to have a few meals in which everything goes in the oven. This chicken with baked white or sweet (or both) potatoes, steam a vegetable or roast some carrots, and open up a jar of peaches or applesauce…a meal everyone at the table will love as well as the cook.

  • Tina

    I was looking back at this recipe today (I’ve been making baked chicken similar to this for 25 years). I’ve found that instead of starting out at 400 degrees and then lowering the temperature, if you keep the temperature at a constant 425 degrees, for about 35 minutes, the chicken browns perfectly and stays very moist. I generally season mine with a mixture of melted butter, garlic powder, soy sauce and pepper (combine in a small bowl, microwave until bubbling, brush on just before putting into oven). Perfect every time, and makes fabulous gravy.

    • Anthony

      How much of each ingredient did you put in your mixture? How did you make your gravy?

  • idl3mind

    I followed the recipe to a “t” except that I used Tripel Karmeliet (beer) instead of white wine or chicken stock. It reduced the saltiness of the gravy and gave it extra flavor. I put a little milk in the gravy for thickening, too.

  • Mama Kalila

    I used this recipe to make my baby food this week, just took out spices (she doesn’t need salt & everything else I add when thawing) & it turned out wonderful. I loved how the oil made the chicken brown so well.

    In fact I liked how it turned out so much that I tried to use it to make bbq chicken tonight (adding sauce in at second half), only used our normal oil… and while it tasted great… bad idea lol. Note to self: sunflower oil should NEVER go in the oven!

  • Mary

    Wonderful! Super easy, hearty and delicious. Makes a great down-home meal with mashed potatoes and green beans.

  • Tangee Wilson

    Ok I stumbled onto this delish looking chicken and it is in the oven as I type this.

    I want to thank you for the link to the 2 min video on how to cut a chicken. I did it! For the first time ever in my 44 years, I cut up a chicken!!!!!! Mine isn’t as pretty as hers, and it wasn’t as easy as she made it look, but I bet if I practice it will be.

    Thanks so much – can’t wait for that yumminess to come out of the oven.

    Hubby put 2 pieces in a separate pyrex roaster and poured Mango Salsa over top of it ewwww – will let you know how it goes.


  • kelly

    This was so good as I cooked it in my pampered chef roaster. I added paprika and salt and pepper. Didn’t use chicken stock and it was still juicy.

  • Purvis

    WOW. OMG, this is so good. I can’t believe how moist it is, considering the fact that it’s not covered when you cook it. And it was so EASY! My husband can’t stop talking about it. This definitely goes into the rotation.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for a great and easy recipe for a busy week night! My 11 year old son enjoyed this, simple but tasty.

  • Kate

    Thanks for the yummy recipe, Elise. I just made this for dinner tonight with a little jasmine rice and corn… it was the perfect comfort meal and very tasty.


    This is the third time making this baked chicken, and my family just loves it. I never knew to put tin foil like a tent and let it rest before serving, but it keeps it so juicy and moist, that you can’t help yourself wanting more. Thanks for this great recipe and the info I never knew, this I have passed to several family member and they also love it!

  • casey

    Wonderfully tasty. This is a great recipe.

  • Helen

    Gorgeous – this has become one of my staples! And it even works in my oven, which hates to brown things!

  • Wendy

    This recipe and a few others I’ve come across recently have me thinking about roasting chicken. I’m a novice — I don’t even have a roasting pan. Does anyone know if it’s OK to use a Pyrex pan at high temperatures for roasting?

    • Bob

      Usually a pyrex pan will work well, check the BOTTOM of the dish for temperature limits. IF real PYREX it will usually hold up to 500 degrees Farenheit. If not genuine PYREX check with thg manufactuer

  • Luke

    I made this tonight for dinner and my wife said she’d forgive whatever I did as long as I kept cooking like this! I added a few things to this recipe: some minced garlic, rosemary, and some lemon juice. Along with the olive oil, it created a nice little rub.

    Anyways, thanks for the recipe!

  • Wendy

    Thank you Elise for such an easy and delicious recipe! I splashed a little rice wine on the chicken first, then rubbed salt, pepper and garlic powder on the chicken then prepared it exactly as you wrote. It turned out beautiful and so delicious. Served it with some wild rice and veggies, and the best part is that we made it for our friends who also have a 3 yr old like us and the chicken just got gobbled up! It was a hit with all ages.

  • Heather

    I made this last night and it was delicious and easy. Thank you for a great recipe that I can see myself using forever.

  • Alex

    Thanks for a great recipe! Quick question: would either the taste or timing be affected by removing the chicken skin prior to cooking?

    Taste yes, timing probably not. I would definitely leave the chicken skin on while cooking, it will help the meat from drying out and will help give it more flavor as well. If you want to remove the skin, do so right before serving. ~Elise

  • Gira

    This is the method I typically use with a whole chicken as well, but I rarely bother to cut it up first. To add a special yet easy twist to it, if you pull up the skin off the flesh of the chicken around the edges by sliding your fingers under it gently, you can slide fresh rosemary, basil, garlic or sage in there before baking, which adds a whole new level of taste to the end product. I cook mine at 350 throughout rather than at 400 then 350.

    My mother always made gravy by mixing a couple tablespoons of flour in with the drippings to make roux (adding a tablespoon or two of butter if there weren’t enough drippings), cooking the roux gently for a minute or so and then slowly whisking in milk, half and half or cream, whatever she had at hand. She’d bring it to a gentle boil and simmer for a few minutes and then season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Perfect gravy every time with no lumps, excellent on mashed potatoes.

    • Kay

      Using cornstarch lessens the chance for lumps

  • CJ McD

    When time permits or I plan ahead, I put the pieces in a plastic bag and season the chicken pieces with garlic powder and some seasoned salt; then refrigerate several hours or overnight. I add oil to the bag and squish them around to coat, then place in the pan and bake.

    The seasoning penetrates the meat and makes it especially good.

  • Jennifer

    Yum! Question — is this a recipe that would benefit from soaking the chicken in buttermilk overnight prior to cooking? Thanks!

    Sure, why not? Just make sure that the chicken is patted completely dry of the buttermilk before cooking. ~Elise

  • Kathy

    When I make my baked chicken I use seasoned salt, paprika and pepper. My family loves the flavor and begs me to make it if it’s been awhile, especially when it’s chilly outside.

  • jonathan

    Another fine example of simplistic deliciosity.


  • katy

    This looks great. One thing I learned in cooking class to help cut up a whole chicken is to cut each wing/leg/thigh at the ball and socket joint — if you try to cut through bone it’ll take all day, but if you put your knife right on the joint and press down, it should cut cleanly and quickly.

  • Mercedes

    We make this often except we do the chicken over roast potatoes. The potatoes are cubed and roasted until tender, then put the potatoes in a pan and put chicken pieces (with a touch of red pepper) on top and bake as usual. The potatoes absorb all the chicken drippings and it is the most delicious, addictive thing ever.

  • Elena

    This is a staple in our home. We usually add a bit of rosemary over the top. With a bit more oil in the pan you can add potato wedges and let them roast right along with the chicken.

    Thanks, Elise.

  • Linda

    Elise, what type of chicken do you use? A roaster or a fryer? I love the taste of roasters and was just wondering if this recipe calls for a fryer. Does it matter??? Thanks, in advance for your input.

    Hi Linda, great question. Roasting chickens tend to be on the large size, 4 pounds and over. So, I guess this would be for a fryer. ~Elise

  • Heidi A.

    Great tip about putting under the broiler at the end for some extra browning. Looks so lovely and homey.