Recipe: Tuscan Lemon Chicken

We almost always have boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders in our freezer.  They are one of those items that I pick up in bulk when they are on sale.  Generally, I don't have a plan for how I will use them, but they are great to have for baking, grilling, shredding into a recipe, etc.  A few weeks ago I pulled some chicken tenders from the freezer and flipped open a Barefoot Contessa cookbook.  I decided to try her Lemon Tuscan Chicken, despite the fact that her recipe called for a chicken with "skin-on."  Even with my modifications, the chicken was delicious - the mark of a really good recipe if it had been followed exactly.  The original recipe calls for a little more pre-work and planning than I had time for when I made my modifications, but based on my result I would say the original recipe is worth the effort.  Give it a try and let me know what you think...or just invite me for supper.

Tuscan Lemon Chicken
Original Recipe from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

  • 1 (3.5lb) chicken, flattened  (I used boneless, skinless chicken "tenders" since this was what I had on hand.  They were good, but I think having a "skin on" chicken would be even better!)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 1/3 C fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • Pepper
  • 1 lemon, halved.


  1. Sprinkle chicken with 1 tsp. salt on each size.
  2. Combine olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and 1 tsp. pepper in ceramic or glass dish, just large enough to hold the chicken.  Add the chicken and turn to coat.  Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, turning once or twice.  (I didn't wait the four hours and the flavors were still OK.  I trust Ina though, so if you have time - cover and wait!)
  3. When ready to grill, prepare a hot charcoal fire on one side of grill.  Spread 1/4 of coals across the other side of grill.  Place chicken on the cooler side, skin side up, and weight down with the dish you used for marinating.  Cook for 12-15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown.  Turn the chicken to skin side down, weight with dish, and cook for another 12-15 minutes until skin is golden brown and chicken is cooked through.  Place lemon halves on cool side of grill, cut side down for the last 10 minutes of cooking.*
  4. Remove chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes.  Cut chicken, sprinkle with salt, and serve with grilled lemon halves.
*Once again, I varied the recipe here.  I simply baked my chicken for 25 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  I didn't have the skin on the chicken, so I didn't have the crispy factor that the original recipe would have produced, but the overall result was still very good.  If you have time, grill and follow the original recipe.  If you are short on time, however, baking the chicken with the original flavors is still delicious!



1 comment:

  1. I am making this chicken recipe tonight! It look AMAZING. Thanks for sharing! xo