I used to tell people that cooking just wasn't my forté, that I couldn't do much besides throw bread in the toaster or heat up a can of soup without causing catastrophe. In reality, it was a lie, I was actually just too afraid to try. Little did I know there are many easy recipes that you can find on the internet for beginner cooks, like these.

chicken, ravioli, meat, sauce
Jackie Kuczynski

I like to think a pinnacle moment in my transition to young-adult life was the first time I successfully baked chicken (even though I may have called and asked my mother a dozen questions). As intimidating as it may seem, baking chicken doesn't have to be a daunting task.

The Basics

1. Select your meat.

ice, chocolate
Elizabeth Layman

First you must select your cut of meat. If you like meat without bones, try the breast, which is the easiest to manipulate.

If you have never bought raw meat before, learn here how to store it properly before cooking it.

2. Get your oven ready.

coffee, espresso, wine, beer
Jackie Kuczynski

When you're ready to start cooking, preheat the oven. Personally, I think 375 degrees Fahrenheit is the perfect temperature for a well baked chicken. You don't want your chicken to turn out overcooked and dry.

3. Get rid of the fat.

meat, pork, fish, beef, ham, fillet, bacon, sausage, seafood
Jocelyn Hsu

Once your oven is heated, get out your cutting board. This may seem like an unnecessary step, but getting the fat off is very important. Cut of all of the white fluffy stuff that is hanging around the edges, it won't cook properly. Take a look here to learn more about the difference in fats. 

4. Choose a pan. 

lasagna, pizza, cheese, casserole, meat
Jennifer Weintraub

Move your chicken to your pan of choice. A nice glass casserole dish is perfect to collect the juices that will roll off when it is being cooked. Make sure to spray down your pan with some anti-stick spray.

Get Creative!

5. Spices for days.

Shalayne Pulia

Next is the fun part: seasoning! Get your seasonings of choice, and get creative. There is seasoning out there specifically for chicken, but there are many other combinations as well. Bread crumbs, garlic, lemon juice, and mayonnaise are a few of the many options.

Try putting some mayonnaise on top for a golden crust. Just make sure whatever topping you put on your chicken does not get contaminated. Food safety from things like salmonella is very important to remember when preparing raw chicken. 

Let The Magic Happen

6. Cook away! 

coffee, barbecue
Caroline Alexander

Once you're all seasoned up and your oven is rearing to go, put your chicken in the oven. 50 minutes is a standard time frame, but if you like your chicken a bit drier, 55-60 minutes works too.

7. The waiting game.

This is the easy part. Sit back, relax, and let the oven do the hard part for you. You may want to start scrubbing down your used materials.

8. You made it!

Mackenzie Barth

When until your 50 minutes is up, take out your chicken with an oven mitt and let it cool. 10 minutes later, get ready to dig in or simply stick it in some tupperware for the week's meal prep.

That wasn't that bad, was it? Now step away from the frozen chicken patties.