Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ina Garten's Lemon Chicken Breasts

A few weeks ago I came down with a strep-throat like infection. I was miserable for several days and was pretty much surviving on  pudding and chicken broth until the antibiotics finally kicked in and brought relief. To keep me entertained, while trying to feel better and occupying the couch, I decided that watching some food-network was in order. Needless to say, it was also quite torturous watching the chefs prepare delicious looking dish after dish and not being able to eat. On the plus side though, I took tons of notes and ended up with several recipes on my "must-make list". One of the shows I watched was with Ina Garten aka the Barefoot Contessa, which had me and my husband (who kept me company) literally drooling watching her prepare a recipe for lemon chicken breasts. We decided right then and there that this recipe would make an appearance on our dinner table as soon as I was able to eat solid food again.

This recipe is a must for any garlic and lemon lover. There are no subtle flavors in this dish, it is a smack you in the face kind of recipe and will truly satisfy a craving for a "done right" chicken dish. Nine garlic cloves are heated in a bit of olive oil on the stove before lemon juice, lemon zest, white wine, oregano and thyme round out this flavor experience. The scented oil is then poured into a baking dish, de-boned, but skin on chicken breasts are placed on top of the lemon-garlic mixture and are brushed with more olive oil before receiving a final sprinkle of salt and pepper. For good measure and to ensure even more flavor a cut up lemon is tucked in between all of the meat into to the pan before baking. After a baking time of around 40 minutes, you are left with incredibly moist pieces of chicken and a sauce that is to die for.

I served this dish with rice, freshly grilled asparagus, and some crusty bread which helps to sop up all of the delectable sauce that is literally good enough to drink. This recipe is easily made on a weekday, but certainly would make for an impressive entree if entertaining as well. If you've been in a chicken "rut" and are always on the hunt to add a little excitement to dinner time, I highly recommend this dish. This is one of the few recipes that I've made recently that was good to go as written without me changing anything and that doesn't happen all too often. So far, none of the Barefoot Contessa's recipes have failed me yet and this one will be added to the list!

Ina Garten's Lemon Chicken Breasts
~serves 4~

1/4 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
1/3 cup dry white wine (I used a Chardonnay)
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme eaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don't allow the garlic to brown. Remove pan from stove, and off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.

Pat the chicken breast dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.

Bake for 30 to 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 about 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serve hot with the pan juices.

Adapted from: Ina Garten


  1. I have made this before and wholeheartedly agree that it is a must try. You can never go wrong with Ina!

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  2. I like to watch Barefoot Contessa when I get the chance, Ina is so entertaining and her recipes are always spot on. We love garlic and lemon on chicken and your photos are so beautiful, I will just have to make this soon.


  3. These look really really good. They seem like the perfect dish for entertaining.

    I also noticed your s'mores cupcakes in the 'you might also like' section - will definitely have to give those a whirl!

    Glad you're feeling so much better!

  4. Ina never steers me wrong. This recipe is in her latest cookbook, and I keep telling myself I need to make it. Now that I hear such glowing reviews...I plan to make it this coming week!! Looks and sounds so fantastic.

  5. Ina is my favorite chef on TV, just love her. This looks divine, as do all of your dishes.

  6. Good choice to watch food while curled up on the couch. I would have written this one down too, I love how crispy the skin looks. I'm glad you are better, the germs have been terrible this year.

  7. Good choice! This chicken dish looks amazing. I can understand why you would be drooling over it on TV. The flavors sound fantastic...I love lots of garlic!
    Glad to hear you're feeling better and back in the kitchen!

  8. Now that I've wiped all the drool off my keyboard, I'm going to bookmark this gorgeous recipe. Brilliant photos. Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. I love Ina's recipes. They are always so good. I can't say I watch food shows when I am sick but I do like to watch them with I am at the gym running.

  10. I love anything and everything INA! I just got her "How Easy Is That?" cookbook and am in love. These look delicious!

  11. I've made this one lots and it's always a favorite. In a pinch I've used skinless breasts and it's still tasted wonderful. They were surprisingly super moist, just not browned.


  12. Yum, I can see why these caught your eye, they look wonderful!

  13. I've made this before Suzi and it really truly is fab.

    Your photos are nicer than the ones in the book ! :-)

  14. I am glad you are better..your chicken look amazing, well all your dishes look amazing..I love your photos too! Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!!!

  15. I watch cooking shows all the time and have a mile long list of dishes that looked great! I've cooked a couple of Ina's before. This looks really delicious and I love lemon and garlic so i'm sure i would love it.

  16. You KNOW Ina is my fave :) I have yet to try this recipe, but it's in one of her cookbooks and it's on my list! Your photos are great!

  17. I love watching Ina cook. :) Glad you're feeling better now. That chicken looks fabulous! :)

  18. I can only imagine the aroma throughout your whole kitchen. The lemon zest, garlic, wine, and the herbs are my choice as well, and baking the chicken breasts at 400 degrees gives it such a gorgeous crispy skin, and oh, so tender.
    Susi, I just want to reach through the screen and grab them.
    Beautiful vivid photos, as well:D

  19. Watching Food Network is one of my favorite day off treats :) Glad you are feeling better and still had the chance to find great recipes like this one!

  20. Yum this looks good!! I LOVE the Barefoot Contessa and the Food Network is such a great channel to watch when you're sick. Glad you're feeling better and thanks for the great new recipe to try. Yum!

  21. I love lemon chicken! This one is different from those I have tried before. Looks delish!

  22. I don't cook with lemon enough, but it always works so well on chicken. Looks like a fantastic dinner!

  23. I love Ina, she has never failed me either. With all of your yummy pictures I think I will definitely have to add this one to my list as well!

  24. Susi, the chicken looks and sounds wonderful. Ina's recipes are almost letter perfect and I'm a huge fan of hers. I'm glad you are feeling better. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  25. That is one great looking chicken dish. Your photos could be in a magazine, they are so great.

  26. Yum, I love IMa and that looks amazing. Nice presentation as well! I am glad I found your blog.

  27. Oh my....this looks amazing!!! I have to make this this weekend...yum!

  28. Mouthwatering pictures! The color is amazing! You can't go wrong with Ina can you.


  29. I never met an Ina Garten recipe I didn't like, and these look like no exception! Beautiful photo, too :)

  30. Sorry for your throat. Are you ok now?
    Well, this chicken looks great and your pics literally made me drool... :P Yummy!!!!

  31. This looks wonderful! I'm always looking for new ways to prepare chicken breasts. Ina's recipes truly never fail.

  32. I just had a date who made me chicken. he kept apologizing for it. It wasn't that it was bad, but I'm sure it wasn't close to how good yours was!

  33. Oh, gosh, I thought I had decided on another chicken dish for dinner tomorrow, but your photos may have convinced me to change plans...this looks fabulous, Susi!

  34. This looks lovely! And the way you served it sounds perfect! It would make the best Sunday family dinner in my house. Hope you are feeling better!

  35. I'd love to douse some veggie chicken in lemon, white wine sauce! Mmmmmmm!

  36. You can't go wrong with garlic, lemon, and white wine! Looks like a fabulous dinner!

  37. Wow, Susi, great picture! Love how the chicken pops against the white plate. I hear yah, that Barefoot Contessa knows her stuff. I've never made anything I didn't like of hers either. My husband always makes fun of her because of how often she laughs for no reason on the show. :-p

  38. Thanks for sharing. This chicken looks incredible. I'm definitely bookmarking this page.
    Strep throat is the worst! I'm sorry you had to go through it..

  39. I had this dish at a friends small dinner party and it was amazing! I have all of Ina's books but the one that this is in....of course! But I searched online and luckily found your site, thank you thank you! I made it tonight sort of last minute as I had chicken I had to use and I blew my husband away....he said it was easily the best chicken dish I have ever made (and it was so easy!!) Glad I found this!!

  40. This is a very good blog and I like it a lot. I mean, I have never been so entertained by anything in my life! I would like to thank you for making such a nice website.

  41. What if you don't have any wine? Can you leave it out or what is a good substitute?

  42. That one looks so yummy! I'd love to try some of those. This is definitely a must-try recipe this coming weekend. Thanks for sharing!

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  46. I have this in the oven now..I used skinless chicken breast (that's what I had on hand)Smells delicious!!

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