Garlic Butter Baked Chicken

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Rediscover a staple with this quick and easy recipe for Garlic Butter-Baked Chicken—a versatile dish with a lovely, buttery finish and a garlic kick.

Garlic Butter Baked Chicken featured image top shot

I’m always on the lookout for chicken recipes. The fowl defines versatility given the different cuts, options, glazes, sauces, and spices at your disposal. For this particular recipe, I’ve gone with something simple. It’s a flavor I’ve applied to numerous dishes that I know my family will love. Yes, I’m referring to garlic butter—it’s not just for shellfish anymore!

This one is a simple recipe that lends itself to weekday consumption. Short on time but still want a tasty and healthy entree? Look no further. In fact, I bet you already have all of these ingredients in your fridge, including the chicken (because which experienced grocery shopper doesn’t pick up a family pack of chicken breast with every visit???). The butter ensures your chicken stays moist while the garlic gives it that kick that will distinguish it from other chicken recipes.

Out of chicken ideas? This recipe is here to provide a brainstorm. Let’s get cooking!

Can I Use Any Cut of Chicken?

The short answer is yes. But it’s not as simple as swapping out the breasts for whichever chicken you have on hand. First, let’s start with the skin and bones. Yes, you can use bone-in, skin-on chicken breast. The skin and bone will add flavor and retain moisture. The skin will also add a nice crispness. Just keep in mind that you will need to adjust your cooking time as bone-in chicken generally takes longer to cook. Use that meat thermometer to ensure the 165°F mark is hit. If it’s a different cut you’re after, here’s a bare-bones guide:

Chicken Thighs: Thighs are made of dark meat, so they will be juicier and tastier than white. Despite this, dark meat isn’t as popular as white, so only go this route if you know your guests are fans.

Chicken Drumsticks: Another dark meat. Convenient (and fun!) to eat but don’t provide as much meat as the thigh or breast.

Chicken Wings: Party favorites that can be done with an almost-infinite amount of sauces and coatings. Very tasty due to the skin-to-meat ratio.

Whole Chicken: This is always an option, especially for those indecisive types or those feeding a small army.

Ingredients //

  • 4 chicken breasts, deboned and de-skinned
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
Garlic Butter Baked Chicken ingredients top shot

How To Make Garlic Butter–Baked Chicken

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Step 2: In a bowl, mix the melted butter with the garlic, lemon juice, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper.

Garlic Butter Baked Chicken steps top shot

Step 3: Place the chicken breasts into the bowl and coat with the butter mix.

Garlic Butter Baked Chicken steps top shot

Step 4: Drizzle the oil into a nonstick pan over MED-HIGH heat. Sear the chicken on each side for 2 minutes.

Garlic Butter Baked Chicken steps top shot

Step 5: Place the chicken into an oven-safe dish and bake for 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Garlic Butter Baked Chicken steps top shot

Step 6: Remove the chicken from the oven. Spoon the butter over the chicken. Sprinkle on the parsley and serve.

Garlic Butter Baked Chicken steps top shot

Top Tips For Perfect Garlic Butter-Baked Chicken

  • If you are using a cast-iron skillet that can go in the oven, then sear the chicken in there.
  • Spread the chicken out in the pan. The heat needs to access the breasts from every angle to ensure even cooking.
  • Let the chicken rest before cutting into it. Its juices need time to redistribute and the residual heat can finish off the chicken.
  • If your chicken breasts differ in thickness, pound the thicker piece until they’re uniform in size. This way, they will cook at the same rate.
  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Those little plastic containers you find at the grocery store will taste synthetic, thanks to its list of unnecessary ingredients.
Garlic Butter Baked Chicken featured image focused shot

FAQs

When will I know the chicken is done?

Always use a meat thermometer to err on the side of safety. Insert it where the chicken is thickest. Once it hits 165°F, the chicken can be removed from the oven.

Do I need to flip the chicken while it bakes?

Not if you’ve given each piece enough space in the pan. If you’ve crowded it up then flipping wouldn’t be a bad idea. The bottom line is making sure the heat can reach the nooks and crannies of the breast.

Can I use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic cloves?

Yes, you can, though garlic powder does have a different taste. If you’re fine with that (or prefer that) then feel free to make the switch. 1/4 teaspoon of the powder should replace the two cloves. You can mix the powder in with the butter, mix it with the other spices, or sprinkle it onto the chicken just before baking. When you work it into the recipe is up to you.

Do I need to cover the chicken when baking?

Covering the chicken ensures that it’s cooked evenly throughout, but that’s only really a concern for larger pieces or those with the bone left in. For the breasts used in this recipe, a cover isn’t necessary.

How do I avoid dried-out chicken?

Use a meat thermometer to avoid overcooking. Use plenty of the melted butter to coat the chicken; the fat will keep the chicken moist. Don’t cut into it until it has had time for its post-oven rest.

Garlic Butter Baked Chicken featured image focused shot

Serving Suggestions

We’re going to suggest side dishes that continue the garlic trend (I mean, your breath is already tainted from the garlic-butter chicken, you may as well lean into it, right?). To that end, why don’t you whet your appetite with Pizza Skewers with Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce? Then, as a side, these Baked Potatoes with Garlic Herb Sour Cream should fit the bill. Now that the starch has been addressed, we need some veggies. Pour any leftover garlic butter (or make some fresh with this recipe) over this serving of Grilled Asparagus. Unfortunately, that’s the garlic-butter train’s last stop, as I can’t think of a dessert that has a ticket. Sooo let’s do up a batch of Salted Brown Butter Pecan Blondies. I mean, they at least contain butter, right?

How to Store Garlic Butter–Baked Chicken

Let the chicken cool completely. You can then store it in an airtight container or wrap the individual breasts in aluminum foil (if you’re not bothered about the residual garlic-butter sauce). In either case, the chicken should keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. To freeze the chicken, put it in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and store it for up to 3 months. Before reheating, let it thaw in the fridge overnight.

Garlic Butter Baked Chicken featured image focused shot
Garlic Butter Baked Chicken featured image top shot

Garlic Butter-Baked Chicken

Rediscover a staple with this quick and easy recipe for Garlic Butter-Baked Chicken—a versatile dish with a lovely, buttery finish and a garlic kick.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 chicken breasts deboned and de-skinned
  • ¼ cup butter melted
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp parsley chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a bowl, mix the melted butter with the garlic, lemon juice, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  • Place the chicken breasts into the bowl and coat with the butter mix.
  • Drizzle the oil into a nonstick pan over MED-HIGH heat. Sear the chicken on each side for 2 minutes.
  • Place the chicken into an oven-safe dish and bake for 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. If you are using a cast-iron skillet, you can just keep the chicken in the skillet and place it all in the oven.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven. Spoon the butter over the chicken. Sprinkle on the parsley and serve.

Notes

  • Spread the chicken out in the pan. The heat needs to access the breasts from every angle to ensure even cooking.
  • Let the chicken rest before cutting into it. Its juices need time to redistribute and the residual heat can finish off the chicken.
  • If your chicken breasts differ in thickness, pound the thicker piece until they’re uniform in size. This way, they will cook at the same rate.
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