My family is big on lemons, like my kids request lemons to suck on for movie snacks, big on lemons.
Through any ups and downs of picky eating we have encountered over the last 4 years, this has always been a favorite. The chicken maintains great moisture. There is a subtle tang, and a great blend of herbs and spices. I enjoy pairing this with oven roasted potatoes and salad. It also works well to slice and serve over fettucini, or with sweet potato fries. It is a great, basic meat recipe and can adapt to your needs well.
The tip I will camp out on for this post is the use of frozen chicken breasts versus fresh chicken breasts. I frequently buy frozen chicken for the price tag and it works wonderfully, I just mix up my order when using frozen. Frozen chicken breasts can easily become rubbery if exposed to high heat early on. If I were to do this recipe with frozen breasts I would season them, bake them from frozen, remove towards end of cooking time, then sprinkle with lemon juice, sear them and garnish. With fresh chicken breasts I do the opposite. I season, sear, sprinkle, garnish, bake.
So to recap. Fresh chicken; sear then bake. Frozen chicken; bake then sear. I always bake directly from frozen as I find it maintains a more palatable texture.
I’ll assume we are using fresh chicken for the rest of the recipe, but you can adopt this principle for all your chicken needs and say good-bye to dry or rubbery chicken breasts. It may take some playing around to find the best heat for your oven, but I promise it is worth it.
2 Tbl Butter
4 large chicken breasts
1 whole lemon
1 Tbl Garlic
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Oregano
1/4 tsp Paprika
1- Turn oven to 375* and mix your seasonings together
2- Preheat a Cast Iron skillet, let it heat up for a minute or two while un-packaging the chicken, then add the butter, let it melt, and place the chicken in to sear.
*If you are unsure it has reached searing temperature, you can test with a little splash of water. Stand back and watch for a sizzle. A good sizzle means it is ready*
3- Sprinkle half of your seasoning mixture over the chicken. You will sprinkle the other half on the other side.
4- Let cook for about 5 minutes or until there is a nice golden crust on the chicken. Use the cooking time to slice your lemon in half, save half for juicing and cut the other into rounds.
5- Flip chicken and season the other side.
6- Let cook for another 5 minutes, sprinkle with lemon juice, place lemon rounds on and turn off stove.
7- Place skillet with chicken in the oven and let cook for about twenty minutes or until an internal temperature of 165* is reached.
8- Remove chicken from oven and serve hot!