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Italian Baked Chicken

With its crunchy coating of homemade seasoned breadcrumbs,ย Italian Baked Chicken is not only juicy and flavorful, but it’s oven-ready in minutes!

Easy Italian Baked Chicken ~ juicy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and oven-ready in a matter of minutes! | FiveHeartHome.com

There’s just something so classic and comforting about a baked chicken dinner, wouldn’t you agree? When I was a child, such a dinner was typically attributable to Shake ‘n Bake, and while undeniably tasty, we didn’t really pay too much attention to ingredient lists back in the 80s. But these days, I do tend to stick with ingredients that I can pronounce, and I’m not crazy about feeding preservatives and additives to my family when I can avoid it.

So what’s a baked chicken lovin’ gal to do? Well, make your own seasoned breadcrumb coating, of course! Now this recipe is not intended to replicate Shake n’ Bake. However, much like that fine culinary experience of my childhood, this chicken boasts a flavorful, crunchy coating that keeps the meat nice and juicy.

Easy Italian Baked Chicken ~ juicy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and oven-ready in a matter of minutes! | FiveHeartHome.com

This Italian Baked Chicken was inspired by a lunch that I ate at a kiddie birthday party a few years ago. At the time, I was pregnant with my daughter…and I don’t know about you other mamas out there, but for me, nothing in the world ever tastes as good as when I’m pregnant and hungry. So I may have ingested multiple pieces of chicken at that party. And then I possibly fantasized about the chicken once I got home. I finally broke down and e-mailed my friend to ask if her sweet Italian mom (who had baked the chicken) might have pity on a ravenous pregnant woman and share the recipe with me.

She did! So I baked it, and it was just as good as I remembered. And in the years to follow, I have made this Italian Baked Chicken countless more times, and guess what? It has been equally delicious every time since, no pregnancy hormones required!

Easy Italian Baked Chicken ~ juicy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and oven-ready in a matter of minutes! | FiveHeartHome.com

Like most good cooks who work from memory rather than a recipe, my friend’s mom shared a list of ingredients and somewhat vague directions with me. I’ve since quantified ingredient amounts and refined the prep process, making it easy for me to share this recipe today, inspired by that memorable birthday party meal. I use my own Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs to make this chicken (the easy method for which I shared earlier this week), which means that I can control the ingredients, sodium, and ultimate flavor without having to worry about icky preservatives or artificial additives.

Easy Italian Baked Chicken ~ juicy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and oven-ready in a matter of minutes! | FiveHeartHome.com

I definitely recommend using bone-in chicken for this recipe, because it retains more moisture and flavor as compared to boneless. My favorite cut would be chicken thighs, but my kids love drumsticks, so I usually do a combo of both. If you’re a white meat fan, feel free to go for chicken breasts, but keep an eye on the cooking time…chicken is done when its internal temp hits 165ยฐF, which may happen closer to 45 minutes than an hour with bone-in breasts.

Whether you leave on the skin is up to you. It sure is tasty when it crisps up underneath that crunchy breadcrumb coating, but I typically go the healthier route and remove it. Since it’s rare for me to find bone-in, skinless chicken at the grocery store, I usually buy it with skin and just pull off the skin myself before breading the chicken. Kitchen shears are a girl’s best friend in this process.

Easy Italian Baked Chicken ~ juicy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and oven-ready in a matter of minutes! | FiveHeartHome.com Okay, enough chicken chit chat. Italian Baked Chicken is a simple, scrumptious, classic dinner that your whole family will love, but don’t take my word for it. Try it! You’ll quickly determine that it’s the stuff of happy, chicken-eating dreams…preggo or not. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Italian Baked Chicken

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

With its crunchy coating of homemade seasoned breadcrumbs, Italian Baked Chicken is not only juicy and flavorful, but it's oven-ready in minutes!

Ingredients

  • 3 to 3 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs & drumsticks (approx. 8 to 9 pieces)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ยฐF. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Prepare chicken by removing skin, if desired.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. In another bowl or shallow dish (like a pie plate), measure out 2 cups of Italian breadcrumbs. (Measure an additional 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs and leave them in the measuring cup so that you can easily add them to the bowl if additional crumbs are necessary, but they don't get contaminated with raw chicken juice in case you don't need them.)
  3. Dip a piece of chicken in the olive oil mixture, coating it on all sides. Place chicken in breadcrumbs and turn and press it into crumbs until evenly breaded. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes. Using a metal spatula and/or tongs, carefully turn each piece of chicken over and bake for an additional 10 to 20 minutes, or until chicken is done (reaching an internal temperature of 165ยฐF).

Notes

Bone-in chicken breasts may be used as well, but since white meat cooks faster than dark, check for doneness sooner.

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ย …and see all of our recipes << HERE!

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I always love hearing from you! ~ samantha {at} five heart home {dot} com


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Comments

  1. Looks definitely easy to make! Will definitely try this. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      It’s a quick and easy recipe for sure, Britni! Hope your family enjoys it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Nice recipe. Thanks so much.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You’re very welcome, Liz! Hope you had a wonderful 4th and that your week is off to a great start! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Wow yum! Love how crispy and crunchy it looks!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Jessica! I have to admit that I love that crunchy coating! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Oh Samantha, you are making me very very hungry!! I agree with you, baked chicken dinners are classic, comforting and not so much of a pain to prepare. Look at all that crunchy goodness. I think I might just be a bit naughty and leave the skin on those yummy chicken thighs and drumsticks. *licking my lips now*

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Ha, Ai Lin…leaving the skin on is totally allowed (and even recommended!). If you enjoy baked chicken, you should definitely try this one soon! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much for stopping by!

  5. Gosh I can’t believe how crunchy and succulent that looks. PLUS its easy. Good job.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you, Carol! I love the contrast of juicy meat to crunchy coating. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for stopping by…happy Friday and have a great weekend!

  6. This looks incredible!

  7. This looks delicious! Stopping by from Show Stopper Saturday!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you, Rina! I’m so glad you stopped by and I hope that your week has been going well! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Simple to make and really tasty. Will be making this regularly!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      So happy you enjoyed this, Ashley….it’s a favorite at our house as well! ๐Ÿ™‚

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