Skillet Roasted Lemon Chicken – this is kind of like the little black dress of cooking – super easy to throw on, but can be dressed up and down easily. 10 minutes to make, and an hour to bake a gorgeous one pan dinner.
I wouldn’t hesitate to serve this to even the most special of company – but it’s easy enough to be a super weeknight dinner for family. Use plain old potatoes and diced tomatoes and it’s homey and beautiful; try cherry tomatoes and baby potatoes for a gorgeous presentation.
While I think Skillet Roasted Lemon Chicken is perfect as is: garlic, lemon and rosemary are such a delicious, classic combo, this is also a versatile dish. If rosemary isn’t your thing, try a little oregano, basil or tarragon. If you’d rather use thighs instead of breasts, go for it. If you’d like to add in other vegetables instead of potatoes or in addition to, feel free to riff. It’s hard to go wrong.
Skillet Roasted Lemon Chicken is easy to stretch; just add a little more of this or that. If you’d like your potatoes crunchy, use a larger 12″ skillet & leave more room in the pan; if you’d like them soft and roasty, pile it all in a slightly smaller skillet.
While this is an easy, one pan meal, a simple salad would be a nice accompaniment.
Skillet Roasted Lemon Chicken
- 1 large lemon, finely zest 1 teaspoon of zest, squeeze one tablespoon of juice from lemon, then thinly slice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1/4 teaspoon dried
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved or one large tomato, chopped
- 10 kalamata olives, pitted if desired
- 4 red potatoes quartered or small-sized russets, cut into chunks or equivalent amount of very small baby potatoes
- 4 six ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Water if needed
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of a cast iron skillet. Use a large 12″ skillet for crunchy potatoes and a smaller skillet for a softer, oven roasted potato.
Combine oil, zest & the tablespoon of juice, salt, pepper, garlic & rosemary in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, olives, and potatoes and toss to coat.
Arrange chicken in a single layer towards the center of the skillet on top of the lemon slices. If one end of the breasts is thicker, place with the thinner portion toward the center, thicker part toward the edge of the skillet.
Arrange vegetable mixture over and around chicken, potatoes toward the outside. Pour any remaining olive oil/lemon juice mixture over the chicken breasts, scraping out the herbs and garlic and smearing it over the chicken.
Bake at 450 for 50 to 55 minutes or until chicken is done to 165 degrees.
Depending on how juicy the tomatoes and lemon are, this chicken will form its own sauce but check after about 25 minutes of cooking time. If it seems to be dry and is starting to stick to the pan, add about 1/4 cup of water and nudge the potatoes around just a bit. Check again at about 45 minutes of cooking time. If the skillet is dry, add a bit more water, stir the vegetables, baste, if desired.
It’s your choice toward the end if you’d like to add enough liquid in the form of water to have a gorgeous sauce in the bottom or just a little so the potatoes will be crunchy. Just be sure to add enough water to prevent any burning.
- A teaspoon of zest and a tablespoon of juice don’t seem like much, but really are plenty for this dish – it is surprising how much flavor is picked up from the lemon in the bottom of the skillet.
- If there are leftovers, discard any rinds from the bottom of the skillet before storing in the fridge – they begin to taste really strong and overpower the dish.
Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
- Use a coupon matching site! Every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings!
- Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
- Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
- Read strategies applied for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.