Chicken continues to be the most popular meat in America and for good reason; it is a versatile lean protein that can be prepared quickly for weeknight dinners and simple, healthy chicken recipes abound. No surprise that the most popular recipe on She’s Cookin’ is one that I shared by the beloved Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, when her cookbook, “BarefootContessa, how easy is that” was released in 2010.
Ina’s Lemon Chicken Breast fits nicely into my Low Sodium niche as it is enhanced by wine, fresh lemon and sprigs of thyme – three of my favorite replacements for salt to boost flavor. It also is not brined – something that many restaurants do to ensure a juicy chicken breast, but a process that adds a considerable amount of sodium to chicken, which is it makes it to The Salty Six by the American Heart Association. Shocker, I know!
Back in 2010, I was featuring Top Moms who loved to cook, and Ina’s Lemon Chicken Breast was contributed by my friend Kathleen who had attended a book signing at Williams and Sonoma and was beyond excited to meet one of her kitchen idols. Kathleen’s question for Ina was, “What is your favorite recipe from the book?”, and Ina response was the Lemon Chicken Breast, which made it the first recipe that Kathleen cooked. Always thinking, Kathleen, even brought a wooden spoon that Ina signed.
And now for Ina’s favorite recipe from “Barefoot Contessa, how easy is that?“.
- ¼ cup good olive oil
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic 9 cloves
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 boneless chicken breasts skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
- 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just one minute — but don't allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme and 1 teaspoon salt, and pour into a 9-by-12-inch baking dish.
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. Cut the lemon in eight wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn't browned enough, put it under the broiler for two minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.
Eliminate the salt for low sodium diets.
Add more wine if you prefer a saucier chicken.
Photo credit: Quentin Bacon, Barefoot Contessa “How Easy Is That?” by Ina Garten
Nutrition Analysis via MyFitnessPal.com. Eliminate salt for low sodium version.