Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lemon Basil Chicken

Lemon Basil Chicken

A few weeks ago I was in Costa Mesa and came across this hidden gem called Chicken Maison. It’s a little Mediterranean chain restaurant with generous portions and flavorful rotisserie chicken. They make a Lemon Basil Chicken that I just loved, so I did my best to recreate a healthier version here. The secret to keeping the chicken moist is to brine it in advance. You’ll never believe the difference it makes! XOXO....little j Y

Lemon Basil Chicken
*Serves 5

5 Chicken Breast Filets {boneless, skinless}
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp garlic, minced or chopped fine
1/3 cup white wine
2 Tbsp lemon zest
1 large bunch of basil, julienned & chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp pepper
juice of 1 lemon {slice & reserve leftovers}

{General Brining Formula: ½ gallon H2O + ½ cup table salt + ½ cup sugar} 
*If brining with kosher salt, use 1 cup for this formula. Note: Brining is OPTIONAL.

To obtain more flavorful & juicier meat, always brine it in advance. For boneless, skinless chicken breasts you only need to let the chicken brine for 30-60 minutes. Brine bone-in or skin-on meat for 1-2 hours. For an entire chicken, you’ll want to brine for 4-8 hours. Also be sure to brine meat in a non-reactive container. I use a large plastic bag, but brining in glass bowl or dish also works. Learn more about the Basics of Brining at Cooks Illustrated.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat olive oil in small pan over medium heat. Add garlic and let cook for less than 60 seconds {you don’t want to burn the garlic}. Remove from heat. Stir in wine, lemon zest, basil, kosher salt, and pepper.

Arrange the chicken filets in a baking dish. Season filets with kosher salt & pepper. Pour lemon basil sauce over chicken filets. Slice leftover lemon {that you used for juicing} into wedges or slice a fresh lemon & toss the pieces into the baking dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes depending on the size of your filet. Boneless & skinless chicken breasts are done once they reach 140F. {Dark meat is done when it reaches a temperature of 160F.} Remove from oven and cover with foil. Let sit 10 minutes before serving. 


  1. This looks delicious!!! I'm going to have to make this sometime :)

  2. Thank you for including a link about brining - what a great read! I like the lemon zest & white wine you've included with this recipe instead of using the juice. Looks and sounds delicious. =)

  3. Cristina, thanks for pointing that out. In fact, I DID put the juice of 1 lemon into this recipe. I wasn't going to let that zested lemon go to waste! I must have forgotten to include it in the recipe, but will change it now :) I guess I should write things down as I go instead of writing by memory!

  4. Can't wait to try this recipe..thanks!