Over the past few months my go-to meal prep has been to bake a bunch of skin-on, bone-in chicken, typically breast but occasionally leg (wing+thigh). My technique has been:
- Season the chicken (mostly skin, but not exclusively) heavily with salt/pepper, leave sitting in the fridge for 20 minutes, then pat dry excess moisture.
- Brown the skin on medium (or medium high) heat (gotta love the Maillard reaction), while basting the chicken in it's own juices + some butter, thyme, garlic (either in a cast-iron or stainless steel skillet).
- Throw in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 425F.
This works great with chicken legs, but recently I've been getting these absolutely gigantic chicken breasts, which take way longer to get to temperature in the oven (~35 minutes). The skin is always fine and tasty, but the inside is often drier and tougher.
How can I adapt my technique to cook juicier thick chicken breast, preferably without brining? I find brining skin-on chicken ruins the texture of the skin, unless you leave the skin to dry for a few hours in the fridge, but I'd prefer not to do that. Could a different oven temp achieve better results?
By the way, I typically take my chicken out either when it's >160F internal temp, or when I'm sure it's been at >150F for more than 10 minutes (the latter gives a juicier result, and from what I've researched it doesn't seem like this poses any health risks).
Edit: Maybe I should clarify that by no means are the chicken inedible. They're merely "fine". I'm wondering if there are any secret pro techniques that could help here.