This Easy Baked Lemon Chicken is . . . easy! And it’s Paleo too!
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Fresh lemons, herbs and garlic make this easy Baked Lemon Chicken dish a quick weeknight meal and will have you dreaming of the sun-drenched Mediterranean.
I’m not always on the lookout for the easiest recipe ever. Just like other food bloggy people out there, I love playing around with food and changing recipes, and tackling something new that might be challenging to me. But if I tried to do that with every dish in a meal, my kitchen (and my meal) would likely be a disaster. So sometimes it’s great to find a short cut to a recipe and whip it up quickly so that you have time to concentrate on making an interesting side dish or salad or dessert.
Such was the case with this easy Baked Lemon Chicken dish. Usually, you would want to brown the chicken pieces in a skillet first before combining them with a sauce and baking them in the oven. Not this one. Simply mix up a little olive oil, garlic, lemon and herbs in a saucepan, pour into a baking dish, place the chicken on top and bake in the oven.
That’s it! Done. The skin turns out nicely browned and crispy, and there is no risk of it coming off and sticking to your skillet.
I adapted this recipe slightly from Ina Garten’s Lemon Chicken Breasts on the Food Network. I’ve made it several times, using both boneless chicken thighs and bone-in thighs. Make sure you keep the skin on to keep the chicken moist and tender while baking. I prefer thighs over chicken breasts for this recipe as the thighs have more flavour and don’t dry out like breasts tend to do, but either will work. If using boneless thighs, you can reduce your baking time. I also used Meyer Lemons for their sweeter, more intense flavour. This easy Baked Lemon Chicken goes well with my Thai Coconut Rice. Or try it with these crispy Apple Cider Roasted Root Vegetables . Bon Appetit!
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp minced garlic 6 - 9 cloves
- 1/3 cup white wine, optional, or use white grape juice
- 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest 1 or 2 lemons
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- sea salt and pepper
- 1 whole lemon
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs OR 4 boneless skin-on chicken breasts
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Prepare the sauce. Gently heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the minced garlic and heat until tender but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the wine, lemon zest and lemon juice, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper and stir.
- Remove from heat and pour into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
- Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Place skin side up in the dish. Spoon some of the sauce over top to coat completely.
- Slice the lemon and tuck it in, skin side down (otherwise it will scorch) between the chicken pieces.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, (less for boneless breasts) depending on the size of your chicken pieces. Check for doneness. If the skin isn't crispy, place the dish under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes until browned.
- Remove from oven, cover with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes. Spoon the sauce over top just before serving.
Kitchen tools used to make Easy Baked Lemon Chicken
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