In this easy recipe for baked Cajun chicken, chicken breast is coated with a tasty rub, then baked in a hot oven until perfectly juicy.
I have several more excellent recipes in my arsenal, and this Cajun chicken recipe is definitely one of them. It's delicious, VERY easy to make, and even the leftovers are great - I like them in a salad.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty chicken recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Avocado oil spray: This oil has a neutral flavor and a high smoke point, making it an ideal cooking oil.
Chicken breasts: Try to find ones that aren't too big - 8 oz per piece is perfect. Cooking bigger ones in a hot oven is more challenging.
Cajun seasoning: Homemade or store-bought. If using store-bought, check the ingredients list to make sure no sugar was added.
How to make Cajun chicken
It's an easy recipe! The detailed instructions are in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
1. Coat the chicken breast with a spicy dry rub that you can quickly mix. Or use store-bought cajun seasoning if you prefer.
2. Then spray the seasoned chicken with some oil. This is important - it doesn't just protect the chicken from drying out in the oven, it also protects the herbs from burning in the hot oven.
3. Finally, bake it in a 450F degree oven until the chicken is perfectly done - nice and juicy.
How to ensure your Cajun chicken is juicy
In this recipe, I use the same baking technique here that I always use when baking chicken breasts. Baking them at a high temperature for a short time is the best way to keep the chicken from drying out.
Baking in a hot oven for a relatively short time ensures juicy chicken. But if your chicken breasts are bigger than 8 oz each, bake them for 30 minutes instead of 20 minutes.
Some chicken breasts weigh as much as 12oz! If that is the case, loosely cover them with foil after the first 20 minutes. This will prevent the tops from scorching in the hot oven. The spices we use here are delicious, but they can burn if we're not careful.
Is this a spicy recipe?
How spicy you make this recipe is completely up to you. I use ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper for two chicken breasts. This is actually not very spicy (at least not to my palate). If you like heat, you can certainly use ¼ teaspoon cayenne.
How to serve it
It's such a versatile dish, you can serve it with anything. But since I bake it in a 450°F oven, I often serve this dish with a side that I can cook in the same oven, such as:
What about leftovers?
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days. Gently reheat them, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
The advantage of enjoying the leftovers cold is that you don't run the risk of drying the chicken out when you reheat it.
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- Avocado oil spray
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (8 oz each)
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a square 8-inch baking dish with oil. Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board.
- In a small bowl, use a fork to mix the Cajun seasoning ingredients.
- Rub the cajun seasoning into the chicken breasts on both sides.
- Place the coated chicken pieces in the greased baking dish. Spray their tops with oil. Be generous with the oil - it protects the chicken from drying out and it also protects the herbs from burning in the hot oven.
- Bake until cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 20 minutes.
- Place on a plate, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.