Lemon Chicken Breasts

serves 4

This recipe is from Barefoot Contessa’s How Easy Is That? This is a really easy chicken recipe, though mine is even more easy – Sidra’s Easy Chicken. I love recipes that call for wine; it’s the perfect excuse to open a bottle and have a glass while cooking dinner.

I made this again the other day but used chicken thighs instead and I think I liked it even better. I actually prefer chicken thighs over chicken breasts. I used the same size baking dish recommended for the 4 breasts which packed the 8 thighs in tighter than recommended, so I bumped up the cooking time to just under an hour, and I did put them on broil for the last 2-3 minutes to crisp up the skin. I also accidentally made a few changes to quantities. My 2 lemons generated 2 TBL of zest and I added it all before I realized, so then I cut back on the lemon juice and used just under 1½ TBL. I thought the balance of lemon was better this time; the first time I thought it was too lemony. I also added probably almost a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, and I wasn’t sorry. I served this with rice pilaf and Roasted Brussels Sprouts. The flavors of this dish are very similar to Barefoot Contessa’s The Perfect Roast Chicken.


  • ¼ cup good olive oil
  • 3 TBL minced garlic (9 cloves)
  • cup dry white wine
  • 1 TBL grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 2 TBL freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on
  • 1 lemon
  • my notes
    • in total, have 3 lemons handy – 2 for zesting, one of the zested ones for its juice, and one for slices into wedges for baking.
    • IMO this dish was a tad too lemony, though I will say that the lemons I used were on the large size. Next time I’ll measure the zest and possibly add a tad less lemon juice
    • It’s impossible to find boneless chicken breast WITH skin. I used breasts with bones and bumped up the cooking time to 45minutes. Next time I am going to try to use chicken thighs instead, since I tend to prefer dark meat anyways.


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Warm the olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minutes but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown
  • Take pan off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 tsp salt
  • Stir and then pour into a 9×12-inch baking dish
  • Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper
  • Cut the remaining/untouched lemon in 8 wedges and tuck the wedges among the pieces of chicken
  • Bake for 30-40 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

Side Suggestion(s)

I definitely recommend serving this chicken and its juices over something that can help soak up the sauce, like mashed potatoes, sautéed spinach or rice pilaf. Other good veggie side suggestions are Parmesan Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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