Easy Baked Chicken Recipes

Easy Fast Baked Chicken

Easy Baked Chicken Recipes

Fast baked chicken? Snort. That’s just crazy talk!

Well, it would be if you did it the old-fashioned way, prepping the bird, preheating the oven, baking for a few hours and pulling out a chicken with dry breast meat, rubbery, yellow skin and under-cooked thighs.  And then if you put it back in, you dry out all the breast meat.  Sigh.  Who needs it?

In the world of easy baked chicken recipes, I’ve found this two-step method to produce the best quality in the shortest time.  Easy and Fast Baked Chicken uses a hot skillet on the stove top and then you transfer the whole thing to the broiler.  Because both methods – stovetop and broiler – transfer heat directly to the meat rather than using air as an intermediary, the cooking is done much faster.  Your chicken will be done in ONE hour, and all pieces will be moist, with an added treat of crispy skin.

Here’s the Trick

This method requires a good, broiler-safe skillet, because you’ll be starting the chicken on the stove top to get the thighs cooking, then you’ll transfer it into the broiler to catch up with the breast meat.  I use my trusty cast-iron skillet for this job, but any broiler-safe skillet will work.


The best cast-iron on the planet, made here in the USA – Smithey Ironworks

Smithey Ironware’s No. 10 skillet is an ideal size for a small household or the baker.

You’ll need to flatten the bird for the broiler.  You can do this quickly and easily by removing the backbone – or butterflying the chicken. See the video below for help on how to do this.  (Trust me, it is not hard to do!)

Once you have the chicken flattened, you need to pierce the skin liberally with the tip of a paring knife – about 3/4″ apart, particularly on the legs.  This will prevent bubbling which brings the skin too close to the broiler element, causing scorching.  Tying the legs together will keep them from “reaching for the sky” and getting too close to the element during broiling.

When you get to the broiler, use the High setting and set the skillet about 12″ away from the broiler element (further away than most people think of when they use a broiler).  Too close and you’ll get spotty heating.

Easy Fast Baked Chicken
Easy and Fast Baked Chicken

Easy and Fast Baked Chicken:

Fast baked chicken? Snort. That’s just crazy talk.
Well, it would be if you did it the old-fashioned way, prepping the bird, preheating the oven, baking for a few hours and pulling out a chicken with dry breast meat, rubbery, yellow skin and under-cooked thighs. Sigh. Who needs it?
This two-step method uses a hot skillet on the stove top and then in the broiler. Because both methods transfer heat directly to the meat rather than using air as an intermediary, the cooking is done much faster. Your chicken will be done in ONE hour, and all pieces will be moist, with an added treat of crispy skin.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Broiled Chicken, Easy and Fast Baked Chicken
Servings: 4 people
Author: Don Herman

Ingredients

  • 4-5 lb Whole Chicken backbone removed and flattened, excess fat removed and discarded, skin pierced at 3/4″ intervals (see above)
  • 2 tsp Vegetable Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3-4 sprigs Fresh Thyme optional, for sauce
  • 1 clove garlic crushed (optional, for sauce)

Instructions

  • Rub 1 tsp oil into the skin. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken – about 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
  • Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Tuck the wing tips underneath the chicken (as in the video above).
  • Heat 1 tsp oil in the broiler-safe skillet over high heat until just smoking – you want it toasty. Carefully place the chicken into the skillet, skin-side up. It’s easier to test for done-ness if you place the breast side toward the handle.
  • Immediately transfer the hot skillet to the oven, on a rack set 12″ from the broiler element. Do NOT preheat the oven.
  • You’ll rotate the chicken halfway through, so turn the skillet handle all the way to one side of the oven.
  • Turn on the broiler and broil the chicken for 25 minutes. Rotate the skillet (just turn the handle to the other side of the oven) and broil for another 20 minutes. Test for internal breast temperature of 155 F. If not quite there, let it go a little longer, but don’t miss that 155 F mark. The chicken will continue to cook for another 5 minutes after removing from the oven, and if you overshoot this temp, your white meat will be dry, dry, dry.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer to a platter to rest for 10 minutes.
  • If you would like, you can throw some thyme and garlic into the skillet and let it steep for that same time. Skim off the fat and use this as a very tasty sauce with your chicken.

Shop Smithey Ironware Today.

You can do this, I promise! Just watch the video. And let me know how you enjoyed it by leaving a comment below.

(And if you’re looking for more kitchen-tested recipes, try my Roasted Turkey Breast 3 Ways. Moist, not dry, with three varieties of spice rub!)

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5 Comments

  1. Your cooked chicken looks so tasty! I love the way you explained “the whole process” with detailed intructions and video.

    I also noticed that you mentioned the garlic as an optional. From my poor experience of cooking, I can say that garlic makes difference when you cook meat, especially on chicken meat. It seems like they’re meant to be together. At least, I love this combination!

    I also appreciate the tips for a non-dry and non-rubbery meat!

    Thank you so much for sharing! Those are priceless instructions!

  2. What a great article! I have been cooking and baking for years and have never heard about the butterfly technique to get chicken to broil faster. I look forward to giving this a try. I do have a question, though: instead of using scissors to cut through the chicken, could you use a decent knife? I am curious about this because we recently sharpened our knife set, and I am wondering if using a sharp chef’s knife is a possibility. Thanks for any insights you can provide.

    1. You could, yes, but I really find a good pair of shears is a bit easier, because you can follow the backbone without cutting into it like you might with a knife.  But it certainly could be done!  Enjoy!

  3. Hi Don,

    What an interesting way to cook a chicken and it looks really tasty too! I am always looking for different ways to cook chicken and this sounds simple as well as delicous! 

    Thanks for the great video on how to butterfly a chicken. You made it look easy to do. Could you remove the skin first and then cover the chicken with tinfoil before baking or do you advise leaving the skin on to keep it moist and juicy?

    1. Thanks Mary Ann.  I would not remove the skin first, because, as you said, it will seal in the moisture.  If you’re avoiding the fat, you can just peel it off afterward, but do leave it on while cooking.  And yes, it really is easy!  🙂

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