4 lbs. of split chicken breasts skin intact [approximately]
fresh cracked black pepper
olive oil for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray the aluminum foil with cooking spray. Rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts and place onto the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and season liberally with garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Place the chicken into the oven and set the timer for 35-40 minutes depending on the weight of your chicken. My chicken breasts were just under 4 pounds and they were perfectly done in 38 minutes. If the weight of your chicken is less than 4 pounds or greater than 4 pounds, you'll need to adjust your cooking time accordingly. Also, take into consideration that oven temperatures vary. I would recommend adjusting in 5 minute increments to be safe. The recommendation is, to cook chicken to an internal temperature of around 165 degrees or until the juices run clear.
When the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and place a loose piece of aluminum foil over the chicken breasts to tent them. This is an important step, this allows the escaped juices to reabsorb into the meat making it tender and flavorful.
After resting 15-20 minutes, move the chicken to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut along the bone and remove the chicken breast meat in one large piece. Some of the chicken will be left on the bone, this can very simply be removed by using your clean hands. C'mon we're cooking, we've got to get dirty sometimes! ☺
Repeat this process with all of the chicken breasts. I like to leave the skin on the chicken, until I'm ready to use it in a casserole, make chicken salad, enchiladas, tacos or whatever else my heart can dream up! By waiting to remove the skin, this helps to keep the moisture and flavor inside of the chicken. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. Yield: 3-3 1/2 pounds of roasted white meat chicken.
For a Lemon-Thyme variation: Drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle lightly with lemon-pepper, garlic salt and top with sprigs of fresh thyme. OR, tuck fresh lemon slices under the skin along with the fresh thyme, and sprinkle the outside with garlic salt and black pepper....Bake accordingly. [To prevent over browning the fresh thyme, tuck it under the skin]
You can find more information about food safety at http://www.foodsafety.gov/.