How to Cook Skinless Chicken Breast in Aluminum Foil

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Add lemon juice before sealing skinless chicken breast in foil.
Add lemon juice before sealing skinless chicken breast in foil. (Image: Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Cooking skinless chicken breasts in foil results in a juicy entree with little or no added fat. The foil seals in the chicken's own juices, which are prone to drying out in the oven or on the grill. The foil also efficiently traps heat, minimizing the amount of cooking time required when you're baking or grilling your chicken and infusing it with flavors. Foil makes cleanup a cinch, too. Folded correctly, your foil packets won't leak, meaning you'll have no baking sheets to wash.

Things You'll Need

  • Skinless chicken breast
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Aluminum foil
  • Olive oil or butter (optional)
  • Sliced lemon (optional)
  • Seasonings and toppings (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If grilling the chicken breast in foil, set the grill to medium-high heat.

Place the chicken breast on a cutting board and trim away excess fat with a sharp knife. Pull foil from the roll until you have a piece that's big enough to wrap the chicken. Lightly coat the foil with cooking spray.

Place the trimmed chicken breast in the center of the sheet of foil. Top it with a pat of butter, brush it with olive oil for extra flavor or simply lay a couple of lemon slices on top for a touch of citrus. Sprinkle the chicken with your favorite seasonings and cover it with a light layer of salsa, marinara sauce or shredded cheese if desired.

Pull the sides of the piece of foil upwards and fold down the top twice. Fold the ends a couple of times to seal the package, but don't fold it too tightly. You want to leave a gap inside for the heat to circulate properly.

Bake boneless skinless breast for 20 to 25 minutes or cover and grill it for approximately 10 minutes. If you're cooking skinless breast that has not been deboned, bake it for 30 to 35 minutes or cover and grill it for approximately 20 minutes, turning the foil packet over halfway through the cooking time.

Unwrap the foil packet carefully and check the chicken for doneness. It's done when it is no longer pink in the center and the thickest part of the breast registers at least 165 F on an instant-read thermometer. If the chicken is not yet done, put it back in the oven or on the covered grill and recheck it every five minutes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Carefully open the foil packet after cooking; the foil cools quickly, but scalding steam may emerge as you unfold the edges.

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