I love it when I can make a meal that my family loves without all the additives that are in packaged foods or restaurant meals. So I try to experiment with different simple, FRESH flavors to bring interest and pizzazz to dinner. And that’s exactly what my Baked Lemon Chicken recipe does. Just a little lemon juice, zest, herbs, and seasoning can really make your chicken pop with only a few minutes of prep!
Also, this is a great recipe to practice your visual cooking skills. Unless you have NO idea of measurements, try using your hands and your eyes to put together the ingredients for this sauce. I promise—it will work out and turn out delicious. And developing these intuitive cooking skills will make you a MUCH more confident, quicker cook in the long run!
So try putting away those measuring cups and spoons, stock up on some humanely-raised, organic chicken, and pre-heat your oven. Your family is going to fall in love with YOUR new chicken recipe and will be asking for it again and again!
- 1 whole chicken cut into pieces or 1 pre cut-up fryer (see notes for boneless breasts)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- fresh ground pepper
- Juice of ½ lemon (about 1½ tablespoons)
- ½ cup chicken broth (we use homemade)
- 1 tablespoon dry white wine or sherry
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- dash of ground cloves
- dash of ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt butter in baking dish or rimmed pan that's large enough to fit a whole, cut-up chicken.
- Coat chicken in butter.
- Season with thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Bake uncovered for 40 minutes.
- In a small saucepan combine lemon juice, chicken broth, sherry, maple syrup, lemon zest, cloves, ginger, and cornstarch. Whisk together until cornstarch is completely dissolved.
- Stirring constantly warm for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until thickened.
- Remove chicken from oven and spoon over the sauce.
- Place chicken back in the oven and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes longer or until chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink in the center.
For boneless chicken breasts preheat oven to 400 degrees F and bake for 10 minutes uncovered. Add the lemon sauce and continue baking for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked (no pink in the center of the thickest breast).
This recipe doubles well if you're serving a crowd!
Kitchen Tips and Resources:
- I use my Lodge 15-inch carbon steel skillet to bake up this chicken. Any casserole dish will do, but I just love how these skillet cook in the oven.
- I love my Microplane zester/grater. It’s so easy to zest a lemon in seconds. Here’s a tip, though. Zest your citrus before you squeeze it for juice. It’s sooooo MUCH easier!
- A good quality whisk helps mix the cornstarch in quickly and easily!