baked lemon chicken breasts
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
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 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)
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. When the chicken is finished brining, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  4. 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.
  5. Prep all of your ingredients for the lemon chicken.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it in among the pieces of chicken.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
Recipe by Marin Mama Cooks at