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January 05, 2012

Pan-Seared Lemon Garlic Chicken Recipe | Healthy Comforting Dinner

Yesterday I mentioned that I'm so over comfort food.  I should have clarified - heavy, unhealthy comfort food.  

This Pan Seared, then Roasted Lemon Garlic Chicken has all of the makings of a healthy dinner, but it is warm and cozy comforting all at the same time.  Here's to feel good food in the New Year that will actually make you feel good... and help you fit into your clothes.   You're welcome. 

Lemon Garlic Chicken
pan seared goodness

1 whole chicken, split or flattened (backbone removed)
1/4 cup of olive oil
10 cloves of garlic, minced
2 lemons, juiced
sea salt & cracked pepper

In a shallow dish (large enough for the chicken), stir together olive oil, garlic and lemon juice.
Generously season the chicken with sea salt and pepper.  Place the chicken in the lemon garlic marinade, and toss to coat.  Marinade for a couple of hours (if possible).

Heat a dutch oven on the stovetop on high for a minute.  Remove the chicken from the marinade (saving the marinade) and place it in the dutch oven, searing it on each side for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add the marinade into the dutch oven, then place it in a 400 degree oven for 25-40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken.  Remove from the oven, let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Be sure to use a real lemon... no juice from a bottle!

If you have time, marinade the chicken for a couple of hours.  If not, go ahead and make it anyway... the lemon and garlic flavor will still do its 'thing' in the oven.

When I made this lemon garlic chicken, I served it with Pancetta Sugar Snap Peas and Mashed Potatoes (made with my amazing new potato ricer... best kitchen gadget I've ever purchased.  No exaggeration.  I'll warn you, only purchase one if you'd like to be addicted to mashed potatoes and make them every night for dinner.  Like me.).

Here are the links for the recipes to complete the meal.

Pancetta Sugar Snap Peas (recipe coming soon!)
Perfect Mashed Potatoes

And... do you know what goes great with Lemon Garlic Chicken?  Lemon Cream Mousse!  I promise, it is not lemon overload - merely complimentary!  

Lemon Cream Mousse


  1. This looks delicious! I can just imagine how fabulous it smells. ;) I definitely would like to try it. :)

  2. Jenny2:20 PM

    Gina - that is what Mike said when he got home yesterday... it smells so good in here!

  3. Anonymous12:50 PM

    I have a variant of this recipe you might want to try. I use a whole chicken, put lemon wedges in the chicken cavity and put LOTS halved garlic cloves under the skin (all over) and roast it in the oven.

  4. Jenny, I made this chicken tonight for dinner. It was fabulous! I will make it again for sure. I put the chicken in a bag in the morning and kept flipping it during the day while it sat in the fridge. Took the marinated chicken out to cook it and the aroma filled the house. Kids loved it! I added the juice of one additional lemon also at the end while it sat cooling, cause my family loves lemon. A hit!!

  5. I'm so glad I discovered your blog, Jenny... it's amazing.

  6. Jenny8:08 AM

    Leviheart- I am so glad they liked it! I should've mentioned that you should spoon the pan drippings over the carved chicken when serving. You can also squeeze the lemons from the pan onto the cooked chicken - the cooked lemon has great flavor!

  7. Ooh...have you added the pancetta sugar snap peas recipe to your site yet? My family is dying to try those!

  8. I am actually finding the best birthday gift for my girlfriend. I'm not much of a cook, Jen. I want to prepare her the most delicious food I can do. And upon seeing this recipe made me say, "Wow it's so simple!" Thank you very much for sharing this one. This really looks delicious. I'm craving for a plate of that right now. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe again.

    Food Safety Certification.

  9. Anonymous11:12 AM

    You didn't state in the recipe but it looks like in the 1st pic you threw the lemons after you juiced them into the pot. Did you put them in the marinade too or just when you cooked it? I'll be making it today on this chilly wet Sunday - my mouth is watering just looking at the pics!! Thank you:-)
    P.S. Did you post the shrimp in pockets recipe somewhere? I tried to click on the pic from your Valentine's post and it's not there. Can't wait to try that too!
    Congrats with the addition of Emma to your family - she is adorable~~


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