Lemon Chicken Breasts

I wish you could smell our house right now. If I could capture the aroma and turn it into a candle, I absolutely would. (We actually do enjoy food-smelling candles; White Barn by Bath & Body Works made a “French Baguette” scent around the holidays that makes our whole home smell like fresh bread. Heavenly!) Chicken, baked with fresh lemons, garlic, thyme, oregano, and white wine? Simplicity meets scrumptious.

This recipe for Lemon Chicken Breasts comes from Ina Garten’s cookbook How Easy Is That? and utilizes many ingredients you may already have in your kitchen. We typically stick with chicken legs or boneless, skinless breasts, so we opted for the latter in this dish. Ina actually uses “boneless chicken breasts, skin on” which are unheard of around our area. When it comes to breasts, we have the options of bone-in, skin-on split chicken breasts or the ever-so-lean boneless, skinless cut.

Lemon Chicken Breasts

The brightness of lemons adds such a fresh flavor.

Preparation is a breeze. It’s as simple as measuring a few ingredients, chopping garlic and thyme leaves, and zesting fragrant lemon rind. For the wine, I used a crisp, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand by Whitehaven.  As all great chefs will tell you – never cook with a wine that you wouldn’t enjoy drinking.

Served over angel hair pasta, this turned out to be a flavorful, healthy meal. The lemony, garlicky olive oil provided a nice, light sauce for the pasta. This would also be delicious served with roasted potatoes. Enjoy!

Lemon Chicken Breasts

A splash of chicken stock in the last 10 minutes helps extend the delicious pan juices.

1/4 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish.

Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.

Lemon Chicken Breasts

Tender herbed chicken paired with lightly-buttered angel hair pasta.

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