I used to think chicken breasts tasted bland. But then, I changed my mind. Instead of viewing chicken breasts as the main ingredient in a recipe, I now see them as the vehicle to enhance the recipe’s flavor. The BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken uses chicken breast as a base. It carries the delicious BBQ sauce, cream cheese, zesty red onions, fresh cilantro, and creamy cheddar to your taste buds. This is how I feel about chicken breast.
TIPS TO BREAK CHICKEN BREAST
It takes a bit of knowledge to bake chicken breasts successfully. Here are some tips to ensure that your chicken breasts don’t dry out or get overcooked.
- The size of your chicken breasts will affect the baking time. Cooking thicker or heavier chicken breasts takes longer (20-25 minutes), while smaller or thinner breasts take less time (15-18 min).
- Make your chicken breasts more uniform in thickness. Use a rolling pin or mallet to pound their thick ends gently. This will ensure that they cook evenly and quickly.
- For best results, use a meat thermometer. It would be best if you cooked chicken breasts until they reach 165°F. It will become dry and tougher if it is cooked beyond this point.
- After baking, let the chicken breasts rest. To reduce steam pressure in the meat, let the chicken breast rest for between 5-10 minutes after being baked. This allows the juices to stay in the meat after it is cut. It also prevents them from escaping and leaving behind tough dry meat.
CAN I USE BONE-IN CHICKEN?
This recipe works best with boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs. The cooking time for bone-in chicken is longer, and the barbecue sauce may burn faster.
What kind of BBQ sauce is best?
Sweet Baby Ray’s is my favorite BBQ sauce. However, you can use any brand of BBQ sauce that you prefer. While any BBQ sauce will work, I prefer something more savory or smoky to make this dish.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH BBQ-CHEDDAR BAKED CHICKEN
My BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken was served with potato salad and a Three Bean Salad. But it could also be great with Cowboy Caviar and Mashed Potatoes.
BBQ CHEDDAR BAKED CHICKEN
This BBQ Cheddar Baked Chicken will be your star dish on the dinner table.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 23 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
- 2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (about 1.3 lbs total) ($7.58)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika ($0.10)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder ($0.05).
- 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
- 1/4 cup BBQ sauce ($0.13)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar ($0.85)
- 1/4 cup diced red onions ($0.05)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro ($0.09)
- Preheat the oven to 400oF. To pound the chicken breasts to a uniform thickness, you can use a mallet/rolling pin. You will have four pieces of chicken breasts if you cut them in half.
- Mix the garlic powder, salt and pepper. Use a paper towel to dry the chicken. Then sprinkle the seasoning mixture over each piece.
- Spread the seasoned chicken in a baking dish. Next, drizzle 1 Tbsp BBQ sauce on top of each piece. Cover the chicken with the sauce from edge to end.
- Bake the chicken for 18 minutes in a preheated 400oF pan. For smaller pieces or thinner pieces, bake for less.
- Take the chicken out of the oven and sprinkle each piece with shredded cheese. Continue baking the chicken for 5 minutes or until it reaches 165F.
- Let the chicken cool for 5 minutes after baking. Then, top the chicken with chopped red onion and cilantro just before serving.