What is Split Chicken Breast?
When most people buy chicken breast they grab the boneless and skinless breast. It’s easy to prepare and versatile so it makes sense but you can usually buy split chicken breast for a much better price.
Split chicken breast still has the bones and skin. It’ll usually have the rib bones still attached.
The price isn’t the only benefit to buying split chicken breast. You get the tenderloin area which is delicious. Leaving the rib area when you cook the breast will make the meal more flavorful. The skin can be the tastiest part once you let it get crispy.
Cooking chicken with the bones also creates a much more juicy final dish!
If you want boneless and skinless chicken breast you can even debone and skin the split chicken breast and it’s the same as what you would be paying more for at the store.
Is Cooking Split Chicken Breast Different Than Cooking Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast?
For the most part cooking, any type of chicken breast is the same. You can season it to bake, fry, or grill. You can use it in recipes. It’s all pretty much the same. The difference with split chicken breast is the skin and bone.
Bone-in chicken takes a bit longer to cook since the bones absorb some of the heat. You’ll want to plan for that.
Personally, I prefer to use dry seasonings for my split chicken breast recipes because it lets the skin get crispy and tasty. You can use a sauce but it’s harder to get that awesome crispy skin if you do.
The most important thing to do when trying to cook your favorite chicken recipe with split chicken breast is to turn the heat up just a little bit more and cook it a bit longer. A meat thermometer is important so you can make sure it’s cooked all of the way through.
You want your chicken to read 165 degrees F before you pull it out of the oven.
4 Reasons to Use Split Chicken Breast Instead of Boneless and Skinless
Bones can be intimidating. It’s different from what most people are useful. There are some great reasons to give the split chicken breast a try. There are very few recipes where I’d prefer boneless skinless chicken breast!
Here are my top five reasons for choosing split chicken breast.
- It’s cheaper and goes on sale all the time. You can get higher-quality meat even paying bargain prices because most people don’t want to de-bone their own chicken or eat around bones. Why pay more when you can just get split chicken breast and make wonderful meals without emptying your wallet?
- It creates more flavorful meals. It’s just like how when you make good split pea soup you toss a ham bone-in. The bone has a lot of flavors so cooking your chicken bone-in is going to create dishes with more flavor. Once you try it you won’t want to go back.
- You can create nice-looking dishes. When you cook boneless chicken breast it all looks the same besides the seasonings. You can cut off part of the bone or trim the meat from part of it to create a unique entree.
- The crispy skin is just so tasty I don’t understand why anyone would pass it up for boneless skinless chicken! It also helps hold in the juices and flavors.
I used to be one of those people who wouldn’t use chicken with bones. Boy am I glad I changed my mind (and so is my family!).
Easy Baked Split Chicken Breast Recipe
One of my favorite split chicken breast recipes is actually one of the easiest recipes in the world! It gets crispy skin while also creating the juiciest chicken you’ve ever tasted. Once you give it a shot you’ll never go back.
It’s also a very inexpensive recipe with little to no prep work.
You’ll want to bake some veggies aside. One of my favorite sides is tinfoil pouches of veggies with rosemary, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Put in some of these different veggies (whichever you like best):
- Red Potatoes
- Fresh Green Beans
- 4 split chicken breasts
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- dash of salt
- dash of pepper
- dash of garlic powder
- dash of paprika
- Grab a 9×13 baking pan and preheat the oven to 425 F.
- Put the chicken in the pan skin side up.
- Pour the broth over the chicken. It shouldn’t cover the chicken but it’ll be a nice bit of broth.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
- Bake for 50 minutes. Make sure to baste it every 10-15 minutes to make sure it’s nice and juicy. Before you remove the chicken be sure to check the internal temperature and make sure it’s fully cooked.
- Optional: If the skin isn’t crispy enough you can turn the broiler on and cook for a little longer but watch it VERY closely or you’ll end up with burned chicken.
- Remove from oven and serve with a side of veggies.
How to Cook Split Chicken Breast in a Slow Cooker
You can make amazing slow cooker chicken using split chicken breasts. The meat will be fall-off-the-bone tender but also very flavorful.
I love this recipe on busy days because I can set it up at lunchtime and it’ll be ready for dinner. It’s great for those days when the kids are home and you’re not going to have time to be in the kitchen in the evening or on cleaning days where you just don’t want to deal with it.
When you cook in a crockpot you’ll obviously need broth. Go with low sodium broth whenever possible.
What I like to do is create a dry rub or paste of seasonings and rub it on the chicken, drop it all in the slow cooker, add the broth on top, and let it cook. The flavors really stick to the chicken so even when you eat you’ll get a good taste of it.
Here’s a recipe you can give a try. It’s all stuff you probably already have in the kitchen.
Easy Slow Cooker Chicken With Herbs
- 4 split chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 large carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- Mix the seasonings and olive oil in a small bowl.
- Rub the paste over the chicken breasts. Feel free to lift the skin and stuff some in there too.
- Drop the chicken breasts in the slow cooker.
- Toss in the chopped carrots and celery.
- Pour the broth over the top.
- Cook on low for about 4 hours.
The sauce can be thickened with a little bit of flour and tastes great over a bed of rice of veggies and really ties the entire meal together.