Baked Lemon Chicken Breasts

Lemon chicken in baking dish

So, I’ve got some BIG news to share! I gave notice to my big corporate job and I’m going to dive back into this blog and this space, and see where it takes me. I’m going to play with life a bit and prioritize things that bring me joy, and this blog and connecting with you all brings me great JOY! I honestly don’t know where this path is going to lead, or what it even looks like, but I’m taking the first step, the first baby step off that steep cliff. I’m letting go and trusting that my heart is leading me to my greater path, my passion and my purpose, so stay tuned and let’s see what happens together! By the way, I post tons on Instagram, so feel free to follow me there @marinmamacooks for daily updates, meal ideas etc. 

I’m sharing with you all an old family favorite that we’ve brought back into the dinner rotation. I decided to showcase these lemon chicken breasts again on the blog, because they’re DAMN GOOD!   I also made a few tweaks to the original recipe and updated the photo, so I figured why not do a repost so you all don’t have to scroll to the back of the blog to find the recipe.

Let’s be honest, chicken breasts have a reputation for tending to be a bit on the drier side, but not when you brine them. When you brine chicken, the meat gets super tender, as it absorbs the extra liquid and salt, resulting in a juicer and more flavorful end product. Please don’t be scared by brining, as it’s super easy, and just requires some extra preparation time.

The sauce for these baked lemon chicken breasts is the bomb!  Your kitchen will smell amazing when you roast these up and everyone will be finding an excuse to come to the kitchen to ask what’s for dinner (at least that’s what happens in my house). It tastes buttery and rich, but there isn’t any butter, and that’s great for those of us that can’t tolerate dairy. I recently paired this chicken with some popovers and roasted asparagus and everybody’s plate was licked clean!  Since I can’t have gluten, I topped my chicken over some millet, and it was DELISH!

Chicken, Asparagus and rolls on table

Baked Lemon Chicken Breasts

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That
Serves 4

Note: You have to plan ahead to make this, as the chicken will need 3-4 hours to brine before baking. You can skip this step, but it truly adds great flavor to the chicken. 

For the brine:

  • 4 bone-in or bone-less, skin-on chicken breasts, or thighs
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt – Don’t use table salt! Table salt contains iodine, which doesn’t work with brining. 
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1-2 quarts warm/room temp water – you want enough water to cover all the chicken

Lemon chicken breasts:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine – I used a Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (1-2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt, plus more to rub on chicken
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3 lemons total (1-2 for zesting plus lemon juice and 1 for cooking with the chicken)

In a large (large enough to hold all the water and chicken) stainless steel or glass bowl, (don’t use plastic) whisk together 3 tablespoons sea salt, 1 tablespoon honey and warm water to create a brine.

Place chicken into the brine, cover, and transfer to the refrigerator. Make sure that there is enough water to submerge the chicken, if not, add more water. Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

When the chicken is finished brining, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Take out the chicken and pat each piece of chicken throughly dry with a paper towel, set aside on a clean plate. Drying the chicken will keep your chicken from getting soggy and help to create a crispy skin.

Prep all of your ingredients for the lemon chicken.
ingredients for baked lemon chicken
 
Warm 1/4 cup olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-low heat, add minced garlic, and cook for 1 minute until fragrant, but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown.  Turn off heat and set aside.
 
ingredients sauteeing in pan
Add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt to a large baking dish (I used a 9×12). Stir the ingredients together.
 

prepared baking dish
Place the chicken breasts skin side up over the sauce.  Brush or rub the chicken breasts with the olive oil and garlic mixture (make sure to use all of the garlic here) and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper.  Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it in among the pieces of chicken.

Sorry for the raw chicken picture below.  It’s not the prettiest picture, but I wanted to show you all where to put the lemon wedges.
 
raw chicken in baking dish
 Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken’s internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Cooking times will vary depending on how large your chicken breasts are.
 
Note: If the chicken is finished cooking, but not browned to your liking, then place the chicken under your broiler for a few minutes to brown up the skin.
 
Make sure to pour some of the pan juices over each chicken breast when you are serving it up, as it’s amazing, and intensifies the flavor of the chicken. I actually poured all the pan juices into a serving bowl, and we added the sauce to our breasts throughout the meal.
Give this chicken a try and let me know what you think!
Chicken, Asparagus and rolls on table
 
Below are some other family favorite chicken recipes.
 
rosemary skillet chicken
 
citrus marinated chicken
 
The best oven baked crispy chicken. This is chicken is gluten-free!
oven baked crispy chicken
 
By the way, I’m still working out some kinks with the blog, so if you get 2-3 emails per post, please don’t unsubscribe to the Mail Chimp one. That one that will be my go-to moving forward. We still have emails stuck in WordPress for some reason. 
 
With love Jackie

Baked Lemon Chicken Breasts

0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Jackie
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

4

hours
Cooking time

40

minutes
Total time

4 hours 40

minutes

    Ingredients

    • For the brine
    • 4 bone-in or boneless, skin-on chicken breasts, or thighs

    • 3 tablespoons celtic sea salt - Don't use table salt! Table salt contains iodine, which doesn't work with brining.

    • 1 tablespoon honey

    • 1-2 quarts warm/room temp water - you want enough water to cover all the chicken

    • Lemon chicken breasts
    • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

    • 3 tablespoons minced garlic

    • ⅓ cup dry white wine - I used a Sauvignon Blanc

    • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (1-2 lemons)

    • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

    • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano

    • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves

    • 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt, plus more to rub on chicken

    • freshly ground pepper

    • 3 lemons total (1-2 for zesting plus lemon juice and 1 for cooking with the chicken)

    Directions

    • In a large (large enough to hold all the water and chicken) stainless steel or glass bowl, (don't use plastic) whisk together 3 tablespoons sea salt, 1 tablespoon honey and warm water to create a brine.

    • Place chicken into the brine, cover, and transfer to the refrigerator. Make sure that there is enough water to submerge the chicken, if not, add more water. Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

    • When the chicken is finished brining, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

    • Take out the chicken and pat each piece of chicken throughly dry with a paper towel, set aside on a clean plate. Drying the chicken will keep your chicken from getting soggy and help to create a crispy skin.

    • Prep all of your ingredients for the lemon chicken.

    • Warm ¼ cup olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-low heat, add minced garlic, and cook for 1 minute until fragrant, but don't allow the garlic to turn brown. Turn off heat and set aside.

    • Add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt to a large baking dish (I used a 9x12). Stir the ingredients together.

    • Place the chicken breasts skin side up over the sauce. Brush or rub the chicken breasts with the olive oil and garlic mixture (make sure to use all of the garlic here) and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper.

    • Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it in among the pieces of chicken.

    • Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken's internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Cooking times will vary depending on how large your chicken breasts are.

    • Note: If the chicken is finished cooking, but not browned to your liking, then place the chicken under your broiler for a few minutes to brown up the skin.

    • Make sure to pour some of the pan juices over each chicken breast when serving it up, as it's amazing, and intensifies the flavor of the chicken. I actually poured all the pan juices into a serving bowl and we added the sauce to our breasts throughout the meal.

    Tip

    • You have to plan ahead to make this, as the chicken will need 3-4 hours to brine before baking. You can skip this step, but it truly adds great flavor to the chicken.

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    23 thoughts on “Baked Lemon Chicken Breasts”

      1. Hi Linda! Wow, great to hear from an old friend all the way from Australia. Thanks so much for your kind words. You may “see” me more often in video form, as I’m going to try and figure that out next 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

    1. Thrilled beyond belief that you are back!
      You’ve come home, this is where you’re meant to be!
      All the best of luck Jackie!
      XXX

      1. awww…. Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words! I love that you said, “home” as this blog and this awesome community feels like home to me, so thanks for being part of my community! xoxo, Jackie

    2. Yeah!!! I’ve always loved your blog! (Can’t wait to see how big your kiddos got!)
      Good for you for going for joy in your life!!

      1. Hi Gloria! So great to hear from you! The kiddos have grown so much. I will be sure to share a picture of them soon, but I have to get approval from them first! I do post pics of them on my insta stories, so if you have insta, give me a follow there as well. xoxo, Jackie

    3. This is the best news ever! Congratulations! You have such a great talent and I’m so excited to see where your journey takes you! Yay!

      1. Thanks is much Marti! You made my morning! I’m taking a leap of faith here, but I’m excited to see what happens as a result of taking some action. I’ve been talking for years about getting back to the blog, and I’m finally doing it! So glad you’re here to share in the journey! xoxo, Jackie

    4. Congratulations my dear friend! I’m so thrilled for you about this next step on your joy journey. You’re an incredible talent and are successful in everything you do. Sending hugs. PS. I made two of your recipes in the last two days. Delicious!

      1. Hi Kimber! SO great to hear from you! Thanks for all your support and your gentle push over the past year. You were instrumental in getting me comfortable with leaving what felt safe and reliable to taking the leap of faith to follow my inner heart and guidance. I am grateful for your support and friendship over the years. We’ve been through a lot girl! love you! Xoxo, Jackie

    5. So glad you are back! Your warm and empathic blog was a real help to this working mom back when my kids were at home. It definitely turned me into a kale salad lover! Can’t wait to read what you post next!

      1. Hi MG, Awww…..Thanks for your super sweet message. I’m so glad that you came for more than just the recipes 🙂 Are both your kids in college, or out of college? As a long time reader, I do have a question for you, what are you looking for as far as recipes? Are you mainly cooking for yourself? Do you have any allergies such as gluten, dairy etc? I would love to hear what you would love to see as far as recipes on the blog. Thanks so much MG! xoxo, Jackie

    6. What a thrill to see you back Jackie! You were the first food blog I ever followed, many years ago. You are such a talented cook and photographer and struck me as such a genuine and kind person. And, like many, you got me eating kale! I try my best to eat vegan now, so would love vegan options in the future.

      1. Hi Lee Ann! Wow, I’m floored and honored that I was the first blog that you followed, and I’m glad you’re still following to this day! Thank you so much for your super kind message, it truly means a lot! It’s a strange thing having a blog, because you really never know whose reading you posts, or making the recipes unless someone comments or comes up and says hi. So thank you for saying hi. I will be sure to post some vegan recipes for you girl! I have a few in the works. xoxo, Jackie

    7. Thrilled to hear you are back! So many of your recipes are go to’s for me and I can’t wait to see all your new ones!

    8. Made this for our family tonight and everyone loved it – even the picky kindergartner! I’ve never tried brining before and it was so good. This one’s going on our rotation!

      1. Hi Anna, Yay! I’m super excited that you all loved the chicken! I have lots of “kid approved” items on the blog, so let me know if you’re looking for more inspiration. My kids grew up on these recipes and were very honest in what they liked and disliked. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and let me know how it turned out! xoxo, Jackie

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