The Ina Garten Chicken Recipe I’ve Been Obsessed with for Years
Have you joined the Ina Garten fan club yet? I’ll admit I was a little late to the party, but this lemon chicken breast recipe is what made me a card-carrying member. A few years ago I meal prepped an entire week’s worth of Ina’s recipes (mostly to see what all the fuss was about), and this is the one I return to time and time again.
Ina’s Lemon Chicken Breasts recipe as easy as throwing some chicken into a baking dish, but the resulting dish is anything but simple in flavor. Loaded with garlic and olive oil and punched up with loads of lemon, these chicken breasts come out tender and juicy with a serving sauce so tasty you might want to drink it on the side. It’s everything you want to eat right now: warm and comforting but also bright and flavorful. Trust me when I say it will make you an Ina-lover, too (if you’re not one already, that is).
Ina’s Lemon Chicken Breasts Are Equal Parts Easy and Fancy
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts can easily get rubbery in the dry heat of the oven, but this recipe prevents all of that with a simple garlic and lemon sauce. You’ll start by heating olive oil in a small pan over medium heat (Ina insists this should be good-quality olive oil, naturally). Then, add tons of chopped garlic to infuse the oil with garlicky goodness. Stir in lemon juice and zest, some dried and fresh herbs, and a splash of white wine (or a little chicken or vegetable broth), then pour the sauce into a baking dish and add the chicken on top. Bake at 400°F for 30 to 40 minutes. As it cooks, the lemon garlic sauce will perfume your kitchen, making your house smell like a fancy restaurant.
The resulting baked chicken is so tender and juicy, and loaded with lemon and garlic flavor. It even stays juicy during storage and reheating, making it great for meal prep (although it’s absolutely fancy enough to serve to dinner guests, too). As for serving, we often eat it over pasta, tossing the noodles with the sauce and serving with a little Parmesan cheese. It’s also incredible over polenta or risotto, and leftovers make for a bright and tangy chicken salad.
If You Make Ina’s Lemon Chicken, a Few Tips
You can easily memorize this recipe or riff on the sauce for baking chicken thighs or even tofu — no need to be exact here! But when you do try this recipe for yourself, here are a few tips.
- Use two whole lemons. Ina’s recipe doesn’t specify how many lemons you really need, but to get plenty of zest and juice and have a lemon leftover for slicing, grab two large lemons. Zest both of them, juice one, and slice the second lemon. You want a big punch of lemony flavor.
- Skip chopping the thyme. This arduous task won’t make the chicken taste any better, so just throw some full thyme stems into the sauce for cooking. The leaves will loosen as the sauce cooks, and you can pull out the stems before serving.
- Baste the chicken about halfway through cooking. Ina doesn’t call for this, but I’ve noticed that pouring just one or two spoonfuls of the lemon garlic sauce over the chicken as it cooks helps the chicken brown and become more flavorful in the oven.
At Kitchn, our editors develop and debut brand-new recipes on the site every single week. But at home, we also have our own tried-and-true dishes that we make over and over again — because quite simply? We love them. Kitchn Love Letters is a series that shares our favorite, over-and-over recipes.