Lemon Chicken

Easy to make and an absolute classic—Lemon Chicken is win-win!

Easy to make and an absolute classic—Lemon Chicken is win-win!

I don’t know who invented Lemon Chicken, but I’m sure glad they did.

It’s easy enough for a weeknight, but it’s elegant enough for company. It’s made with ingredients you probably already have on hand. And it’s delicious.

You’ll see some recipes that cook it on the stovetop, some that cook it in the oven, and some that start on the stove and finish in the oven. My method makes a simple lemony cooking sauce on the stovetop, then I pour it over my chicken and let the oven do the work. I like doing it this way because it leaves me hands-free to put together a side dish or just have a few sips of wine and relax.

Part of what makes a Lemon Chicken recipe good is a nice amount of lemon flavor without too much lemon tartness. So in addition to lemon juice, mine includes lemon zest—it’s a good way to boost flavor without risking tartness.

Both lemon and chicken go great with all kinds of herbs, so I include those in my sauce as well. You can use any of the heartier herbs like oregano, thyme, sage, or rosemary, or a combination. Whatever is in your garden or fridge. You could use more delicate herbs as well, like parsley, mint, or cilantro, but add them after baking because they’ll loose their oomph in the oven.

On the side, I like something simple that will also go with the lemony sauce—roasted or mashed potatoes, noodles, rice, and/or a simply cooked veggie like asparagus or broccoli.

Easy. Delicious. Classic. Done. Yay Lemon Chicken!


Lemon Chicken

  • Author: Allie McDonald
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4


Easy to make and an absolute classic—Lemon Chicken is win-win!


  • 3 lemons
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/4 cup white wine (or unsalted chicken stock)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, cut into 3 or 4 pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano (or thyme, sage, rosemary, or a combination)*
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • 4 (7-8 oz.) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 tsp. pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Meanwhile, zest two of the lemons, then squeeze the lemons to get 3 tablespoons of juice. Slice the remaining lemon. Set the zest, juice, and slices aside.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the butter, stirring until it melts. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, wine, herbs, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  5. Put the chicken in a baking dish smooth side up. Pour the saucepan mixture on top.
  6. Sprinkle the chicken with the pepper and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Bake until almost done but not yet browned, about 30 minutes, basting with the juices once or twice.
  7. Tuck the lemon slices on and around the chicken. Continue to cook until the chicken is cooked through and browned, about 10 minutes.
  8. Serve the chicken with the lemon slices and pan juices spooned on top.


*Note: Instead of the 1 Tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs, use up to 1 teaspoon of dried herbs. You can use 1 teaspoon of a single dried herb, or use a little bit of several dried herbs to make up 1 teaspoon’s worth.

Lemon Chicken

2 responses to “Lemon Chicken”

  1. Sabrina Templin says:

    This sounds delicious! I’m going to have to try it! :D

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