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Lemon Chicken Breasts

From the book Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? by
Serves 4


When I need to get dinner together in a hurry, this is about as easy as it gets. White wine, garlic, and oregano give this chicken great flavor. I make some basmati rice or couscous with toasted pine nuts to soak up all those lemony juices, plus a vegetable like steamed haricots verts, and I’m done.


¼ cup good olive oil
3 Tbsp. minced garlic (9 cloves)
cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
~ Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
1 lemon


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. 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 turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt, and pour into a 9-by-12-inch baking dish.
  3. Pat the chicken breasts 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.
  4. 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 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.

This content is from the book Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? by Ina Garten.

There are 5 comments on this item
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Average Rating 4
40% recommend this recipe
1. by anonymous on Apr 27, 2012 at 6:06 AM PDT
Rating: four

Sounds easy and delicious BUT: One teaspoon of salt is A Lot of salt for four servings - And 30 to 40 minutes for a boneless breast at 400 degrees is A very long time. Id think, at that temp. 25-30 would be closer to done. Maybe it depends on the oven and dish- but most glass dishes don’t allow more than 350 degrees. Ceramic would be best here.

2. by Teno1010 on Apr 27, 2012 at 2:00 PM PDT

As a note to anonymous> I might just add that some chicken breasts are so huge these days. The ones I get a our Publix are enormous. So perhaps Ina’s are as well. And the 1 ts salt is kosher salt and therefore not as much as 1 ts table salt.

3. by Laura on Apr 27, 2012 at 6:30 PM PDT

I made these tonight and they were great! We used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and swapped Herbes de Provence for the thyme (because that’s what I had on hand). Tasty, easy and fast.

As a side note, I used the 1tsp of salt (kosher here, too) and didn’t find the recipe too salty at all.

4. by anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 4:45 PM PDT

One teaspoon is perfect for four breasts. Perhaps you meant to say one tablespoon is a lot. One tablespoon is three teaspoons and is easy to confuse.

5. by anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 5:46 PM PDT

One teaspoon is 2400 mg.
1/4 of that- (one breast-) is 600mg or aprox 1/3 a persons rec. TOTAL daily intake of sodium. (It used to be 2400- now they’re saying 1900, and 1500 for those over 45)

We KILL food- and ourselves with too much salt. Over salting is a learned behaviour- and taste- it can be curbed.
I’m not a no-salt advocate- just a concerned home cook.

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