Chicken breasts are brushed with a homemade lemon pepper rub then baked until golden and crispy on the outside but tender and juicy on the inside.
Baked chicken will always bring me right back to my childhood. We probably ate it for dinner at least 3 nights a week served alongside cooked bulgur wheat and a Syrian salad. And it was perfection every single time.
Now that I’m a mom myself, I love serving baked chicken to my boys who love juicy chicken with crispy skin. One of the many reasons baked chicken is such a wonderful dish is because it’s extremely versatile. You can truly season your chicken with any spice blends you have on hand. In fact, one of my favorite ways to season baked chicken is with cinnamon.
Preparing the chicken
To make this lemon pepper baked chicken I start by zesting one lemon into a small bowl. Then, I add in the juice of that same lemon, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Cooking Tip: Zest the lemon before you juice it! It’s too hard to zest the lemon once you’ve squeezed it to death.
Next, brush the lemon pepper mixture over both sides of each chicken breast. Be sure to season the chicken liberally because chicken is quite flavorless on its own.
Baking the chicken
To bake, pop the chicken in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour. If you think of it, baste the chicken with some of the juices about midway through the cook time. This will help you get crispy skin at the end.
Can I Use Chicken Thighs or Boneless Chicken Breasts?
Yes, you can but the cooking time will shift based on the type of chicken you decide to bake. The best way to know when the chicken is done is to use a meat thermometer.
How to tell when the chicken is ready
Chicken is done when it reaches an internal cooking temperature of 160 degrees.
The end result? Tender, juicy chicken with crispy skin on the outside and flavorful chicken meat on the inside.
If you have leftover they are delicious the next day on a salad or in a sandwich. You can also shred the meat to use in soups, stews or pasta.
Your fork is waiting.
Lemon Pepper Baked Chicken
- 4 bone-in, split chicken breasts skin-on
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lemon juice and zest of
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet and pat dry with a paper towel.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients (oil through pepper) and brush evenly on both sides of each chicken breast.
- Bake until juices run clear, 45-60 minutes.
Find more healthy and EASY dinner recipes on my Pinterest Board!