Whether you’re entertaining a crowd, feeding your family or simply cooking for one, chicken is a go-to dinner option, thanks to its budget-friendly nature, ease of preparation and endless versatility. While grilled chicken may be a summertime favorite and fried chicken a comfort food classic, baked chicken is a family-friendly option year-round, no matter the occasion. It’s a blank canvas you can dress up with your favorite flavors or whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand, and since it’s cooked in the oven, much of the prep time is largely hands-off. Check out Food Network’s top-five baked chicken dishes below to find simple supper ideas from Rachael, Giada and more of your favorite chefs.
5. Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina — An all-in-one supper that comes together in less than an hour, Giada’s simple casserole is reminiscent of classic chicken Parmesan, as it features garlic-laced chicken tossed with noodles, plus tomatoes and creamy mozzarella cheese. Click the play button on the video after the jump to watch her make it.
4. Baked Chicken Breasts with Parmesan Crust — After dunking lean chicken breasts in a mustard-thyme mixture, Ted covers them with nutty Parmesan cheese and crunchy breadcrumbs, so they turn out moist on the inside with a crispy coating on the outside after baking.
3. Crunchy Oven-Baked Chicken Toes — Rachael’s 25-minute alternative to chicken fingers is the ultimate in kid-friendly fare and can even be prepped with help from your little ones. They’re coated in seasoned crushed breadcrumbs for added texture, then baked and served with a duo of sauces for deliciously easy dunking.
2. Buttermilk Baked Chicken — To make sure their chicken is juicy and packed with flavor, the Neelys recommend letting it marinate in a buttermilk-hot sauce bath overnight before covering it with cheesy crushed corn flakes and baking until it’s golden brown.
1. Baked Sweet-and-Sour Chicken — Food Network Magazine updates the traditional deep-fried takeout dish with this quick-fix chicken (pictured above), brushed with a tangy ketchup-marmalade-ginger sauce and baked alongside bell peppers until juicy.