Easy Baked Lemon Chicken

This is hardly a recipe, more like dump everything in a bowl and stir- but sometimes those are nice. The flavor on this chicken isn’t near as strong as my fajita chicken, so feel free to add more lemon, more garlic etc. This is a pretty basic seasoned chicken thats great on its own grilled, baked, shredded into salads, sliced into pasta, diced up cold on a salad and more. I make a batch of this every week and bake it then keep it in my fridge for a quick easy protein option when I need it. I keep it mildly flavored so it can be used across the board in tons of different ways.

If you don’t plan on eating your cooked chicken in about 3 days, the cooked chicken freezes and thaws really well, making it a no brainer for meal prep. If you are looking for a completely healthy, low carb, low sugar, dairy free grain free meal idea- we always eat this with a diced roasted sweet potato and something green like broccoli, brussels or kale chips.

I came up with this recipe when I did the whole 30 and quickly realized there was an alarming amount of sugar and chemicals in even the simplest jarred lemon pepper seasoning, yes even the ones that have “natural” and “organic”. If you have attempted or completed the whole30 before you know you have no choice but to get really creative in adding flavor to your dishes. This marinade is added sugar free, gluten free, dairy free and paleo friendly.

Marinade in a covered bowl or dish, (or a plastic bag) for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Any longer than that and the acidity from the fresh lemon juice will cook the outside of the chicken (similarly to the way the acidity in ceviche cooks the fish.) Ick.

Remember the recommended portion of protein is about the size of your palm (4oz) so typically I cut our 2 large chicken breasts in half to make four servings.

Ingredients: Makes 4 Servings (from 2 Large Chicken breasts)

  • Two Large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 Teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
  • Zest of entire Large Lemon
  • Juice of the Lemon
  • 4 Fresh garlic cloves, peeled and minced fine
  • About 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

 

Recipe:

  1. In a Large bowl, combine the oil, the black pepper, salt and Cumin.

2. Using a zesting tool or Microplane, zest your ENTIRE lemon directly into the bowl. You want to be careful to only get the fragrant yellow skin and none of the bitter white pith underneath. Cut the same lemon in half, and juice the entire thing. I squeeze mine over a small fine mesh strainer seen below so that it catches the seeds.

3. Add the garlic cloves, the parsley and whisk to combine really well.

4. I prefer to add my chicken breasts to a ziploc bag with the marinade, but you can leave them in this bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the chicken marinade for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

5. I bake mine on 375 for 30 minutes. Its important to let the chicken rest for at least 5-8 minutes after removing from the oven and before you slice it. (Really with ANY protein- they get hot and tense up which pushes all the juice to the tops and sides. Letting it rest and relax a little allows the juices to redistribute.)

IMG_4450

This chicken will be decliately peppery, a little smoke/herby flavor from the cumin and a ton of freshness from the lemon. You could also slice lemon on top while you bake it, or squeeze another lemon directly on the hot chicken when it comes out of the oven.

Enjoy this one! Its basic, but versatile, freezes well after you bake it, and can be transformed into tons of dishes.

 

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