Baked Lemon Chicken Breasts
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!
Baked Lemon Chicken Breasts
Recipe from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That
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: I have a video below which shows you how easy it is to brine chicken.
- 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)
Below is a video I created to take the fear away from brining 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.
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.