Was my last post seriously on May 27?! WOW. Time flies when you’re giant and pregnant and then you have a ridiculously adorable baby who wants your attention all the time! Geez, baby… you need a hobby or something.
Update on my life: I had my baby! My baby was born in June, and she’s a bundle of perfection. You know how much I love pie? Well, I love this kid even more than that. Crazy, I know.
While the first weeks of mammahood left me little to no time to even think about cooking, I’m now finding the time (with my husband’s help) to get back in the kitchen a few nights a week. I needed that for my own sanity. Hubby comes home from work and he takes over baby duty while I cook dinner. (HUGE sacrifice on his part, right? He gets to sit with the cute baby and he gets a healthy home cooked meal. Rough life, eh?) It is a great system.
I’ve already heard from friends who can’t believe that I’m finding the time never mind the energy to cook. Look, folks, everyone finds the time and summons the energy to do something for themselves in a day whether it is watching TV or exercising or whatever. We find the time to do what we enjoy doing or what we need to do — for me, I make the time to cook. I need that. As a new mom who has been in sweatpants for the last five weeks and who considers it a victory to get a shower, I need to have just a tiny bit of time in a day that makes me feel like me. Cooking does that. (How am I finding the time to blog? This is taking me hours to write with multiple breaks to feed baby, re-insert pacifier into baby’s mouth, change diapers, etc.)
I saw Ina Garten make this recipe last week and thought it both sounded great and very quick to make. While I am making time to cook, I don’t have that much time so quick recipes are a must.
Lemon Chicken Breasts
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
- 1/3 cup dry white wine (I used vino verde because that’s what we had open — use whatever you’ve got)
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (I used skinless — more on this below)
- 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
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. This is important! If it starts to brown it will start to get bitter. Turn off the heat and add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a baking dish.
For the chicken — Ina uses boneless chicken breasts with the skin on. Leaving the skin on will help keep the chicken moist, but it also adds lots of fat and cholesterol. I went with skinless chicken breasts. If you want to go with the skin-on chicken, you can always remove it before you eat. To make sure the skinless chicken stayed moist, I marinated it for a bit. This is totally optional, but I think it helped. I made a little marinade that matched the flavors of the sauce the chicken cooks in later. Some olive oil, lemon juice, dried oregano, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. I couldn’t tell you how much of anything I added. Just add a little of everything and taste it. You don’t want too much lemon otherwise the acid will make chicken tough.
Pour half of the sauce in the baking dish.
If you marinated the chicken, remove it from the marinade and put it in the dish.
If you didn’t marinate, 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.
Pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken. Just make sure no chunks of garlic are on top of the chicken breasts — they’ll burn. 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 (mine cooked for 35 minutes), until the chicken is done. If you’re use skin-on chicken, you’ll want the skin to be slightly browned. If the skin isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. No need to do this if you’re using skinless.
Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serve hot with the pan juices.
This chicken was delicious! I’m usually not a fan of baked chicken because it tends to be dry. This was far from dry! It was incredibly moist and super flavorful. Plus, it was incredibly quick and easy to make. And there were leftovers! The majority of the time spent on this dish was when it was in the oven — the perfect amount of time to get everything cleaned up before dinner is even ready. We had this chicken with some couscous and a salad of CSA veggies. It was a quick and easy weeknight meal, but it was delicious enough that I would absolutely make it for company. You gotta try this chicken!