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The kitchen queen marinated three whole chicken breasts in the refrigerator today. She left a note saying to bake them. I have no idea what I'm doing. Should I slice them in half to make them thinner? What temperature do I cook at? How long do I cook approximately? What type of dish do I use? Should I cover said dish?

Chef Joe

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Was she cooking from a recipe? Also, a "whole" chicken breast can mean "both breasts from a single chicken" - are there 3 of those in the fridge? – Matt Ball Oct 28 '10 at 0:48
There are 3 pieces of chicken. So I think it's 3 single breasts – Joe Oct 28 '10 at 1:12
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The exact time and temperature will depend on the size of the breasts and your oven. You should always use a meat thermometer to verify that the chicken is cooked all the way through. For breasts, you want to make sure they're around 160 F on the inside (they're actually safe to eat a bit earlier, but 160 F leaves you with a margin of error). If you don't have a meat thermometer, you'll need to cut them open to make sure they're not pink on the inside, and the juices run clear.

I'd start the oven at about 375 F, and start checking on them after about 30 mins.

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We tend to cook our chicken breasts on a cookie sheet wrapped in tin foil for tidiness. Go for 400 degrees and 25-35 minutes depending on thickness. Since they're marinated, you'll want to turn them 1/2 way through to avoid burning of any sugars in that marinade which might cause the chicken to stick.

If you have a meat thermometer, you want the pieces to be 165 degrees in the center. If you don't, my best recommendation is to make sure that the juices run clear and that there's no pink left in the meat.

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