Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

$6.40 recipe / $1.6 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.30 from 40 votes
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Split chicken breasts were on sale at Whole Foods this past week, so I couldn’t resist the chance to make some more low and slow roasted chicken (because that Herb Roasted Chicken Breast that I made was SO good). This time, though, I wanted to try a different, yet classic, flavor combo. This Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken is incredibly simple, but seriously scrumptious!

Oven Roasted Lemon Garlic Chicken

Front view of Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken in a white casserole dish, garnished with lemon slices

Why Bake Chicken “Low and Slow”?

This low and slow oven roasting technique creates a deliciously tender meat, similar to what you get with a rotisserie chicken. It also creates a delicious pan juice that I like to spoon over the meat after slicing for even more flavor and moisture. It’s just to die for.

But be aware, this recipe is specifically for “split breasts” which means the breast has bones, skin, and rib meat intact. The only thing that has been done to this chicken breast is that it has been “split” into two pieces.

Can I Use Boneless Chicken Breast?

Boneless skinless breasts will not work the same way. You can potentially do other bone-in, skin on cuts of chicken, but the cooking time will be different because of the size of the pieces. I’ve only done this technique with split breasts so far, so that is the only cut that I can really provide correct cooking times and temperatures for.

How to Serve Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

Once this chicken is roasted, I like to carve the meat from the bone, place it in a container, spoon the juices over top, and keep it on hand to use like rotisserie chicken. I use it to snack on, make quick wraps, or to add to salads.

What to Serve with Roast Chicken

Roast chicken is such a classic meal, I suggest keeping the side dishes pretty simple and classic as well. Try serving your roast chicken with: Lemon Butter Green Beans, Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes, or Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes.

Front view of sliced Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken on a plate with green beans

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Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

4.30 from 40 votes
This low and slow cooking method makes this Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken incredibly tender, juicy, and flavorful!
This low and slow cooking method makes this Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken incredibly tender, juicy, and flavorful! BudgetBytes.com
Servings 4
Prep 10 mins
Cook 2 hrs
Total 2 hrs 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 small or 1 large lemon ($0.30)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil ($0.78)
  • 6 cloves garlic ($0.48)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • Freshly cracked pepper ($0.05)
  • 2 lbs split chicken breasts* ($4.77)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 275ºF. Squeeze about 3 Tbsp lemon juice from the lemon(s) and slice the remainder. Mince two cloves of the garlic, and peel the remaining 4. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel. Place them in a glass or ceramic casserole dish. Pour the prepared lemon marinade over the chicken, using a spoon to redistribute the marinade and make sure the surface of the chicken is fully covered. Add the remaining cloves of peeled garlic and sliced lemon around the chicken. If you're sensitive to bitter flavors, add the additional lemon slices after baking. Cover the dish tightly with foil.
  • Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for 90 minutes. After 90 minutes, turn the oven up to 425ºF, remove the foil, and baste the chicken with the juices from the bottom of the dish. Return the chicken to the oven and roast for an additional 20 minutes without foil at 425ºF, or until the skin is golden brown and crispy.
  • Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm with the pan drippings spooned over top.

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Notes

*Split chicken breasts are bone-in, skin-on, and rib meat attached.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 187.73kcalCarbohydrates: 3.45gProtein: 3.45gFat: 24.03gSodium: 256.3mgFiber: 0.7g
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up of pan juices being spooned over Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

How to Make Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken – Step by Step Photos

Lemon Garlic Marinade in a small white bowl

Begin by preheating the oven to 275ºF. Squeeze about 3 Tbsp of lemon juice from a small lemon or half of a large lemon, and slice the remaining lemon (I used two mini lemons, but you could use just one large lemon). Mince two cloves of garlic and peel four more, but leave them whole. In a small dish, whisk together the lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 minced cloves of garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper.

Marinade being poured on Chicken in the casserole dish

Place two split chicken breasts (split chicken breasts are skin-on, bone-in, and rib meat attached) in a ceramic or glass casserole dish. Pat the skin dry with a paper towel, then pour the marinade over top. Spoon excess marinade from the bottom of the dish over the chicken to make sure the surface is fully covered.

Marinated Chicken Breast in the casserole dish with lemon and garlic, Ready to Roast

Place the remaining four cloves of peeled garlic and lemon slices around the chicken. If you’re sensitive to bitter flavors, you may want to just add the lemon slices after cooking. The white pith can have a bitter flavor, which some people like, but others can not tolerate.

Chicken Roasted for 90 Minutes, foil partially removed in order to view chicken in casserole dish

Cover the dish tightly with foil to hold in the moisture, and then roast for 90 minutes at 275ºF. After 90 minutes, turn the oven up to 425ºF, remove the foil, and baste the chicken with the juices from the bottom of the dish. (You can see how much moisture comes out of the chicken as it roasts. If the foil is not tightly covering the chicken, this juice will evaporate.)

Chicken Breast Roasted without Foil and browned on top

Roast for an additional 20 minutes at 425ºF without foil, or until the skin is golden brown and crispy. Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Make sure to spoon some of that delicious liquid over the meat, too!

Finished Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken garnished with fresh lemon slices and parsley

I added a little chopped parsley to add color to the photos, but it’s not necessary for flavor.

Sliced Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken on a plate with cooked green beans

That crispy brown skin is TO DIE FOR! 

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  1. The best baked Chicken my family has everrrrrr eaten!!!!! so unbelievably delicious and easy…thank.tou for sharing

  2. I tried this with 3 breasts and surrounded by Yukon Gold potatoes on my Green Mountain electric smoker, mesquite pellets!!!!

  3. I actually cooked this using a 3lb whole chicken cut in half (that’s what happened when I sent my husband to the store, haha!) I seasoned the whole chicken with salt + pepper, then poured the marinade on it (top + bottom). I didn’t have whole garlic, so I used only a tsp of my jar minced garlic in the pan with the marinade juice, and did not use the extra lemon in the pan. Cooked the chicken with the instructions (no time added), and it came out perfectly! It was very juicy, and had lots of flavor! Super easy! So happy my husband got the wrong chicken! Lol! 

    Thanks for the recipe! 

    1. Yeah, mine was the tiniest bit dry. I will do it again, though. I think maybe check the temp of the chicken at 60min, and determine cook time from there. It was delicious and beautiful! I can’t wait to get the cook time perfected!

  4. Prepared this recipe by the book and I was very disappointed. Quality bone in breasts from a good butcher and it turned out dry and very bitter. I can’t recommend it and won’t make it again. A waste of good chicken. Sorry. 

    1. But be aware, this recipe is specifically for “split breasts” which means the breast has bones, skin, and rib meat intact. The only thing that has been done to this chicken breast is that it has been “split” into two pieces.

    2. I followed the receipt but it came out dry. I will not make it again. I think the time baked is to long as this is chicken breast even if the bone is in.

  5. I would actually give this recipe no stars
    Totally tasteless…the only thing that allowed us to eat this chicken is that it was extremely tender and moist. But that is not a result if the recipe. I used kosher split breasts that are always juicy and tender.

    1. Instead of olive oil use Imperial Margarine, I promise you it’ll taste soooo much better.. the olive oil makes it extremely tasteless and disappointing.. also use Salt, pepper, and seasoning salt

  6. Looking forward to trying this! To save wasting foil, is it ok to use a covered Dutch oven? Sorry if this is a silly question 😅

    1. You could probably do something similar in a slow cooker, but I haven’t tested it to know the exact amount of time it would need. I would guess 6-8 hours on low. But also be aware that you won’t get the nice browning on top that you get with the oven, since a slow cooker is a moist cooking environment.

  7. This is a HUGE favorite in our house (seriously we make it every week) – it’s so simple, so delicious, and SO nice to be able to cook it in the oven (with an infant in the house) with some garlic couscous and green beans – amazing! I do wonder – do you have tips for how long to cook it if you’re doubling the recipe? At this point it’s just my husband and I with two split chicken breasts, but if we have people over and make four breasts, does the cooking time change? Thank you for your amazing site!

    1. Yay! Cooking time should still be about the same. Just keep your eye on it.

  8. My wife likes to cook pasta to add to what ever leftover juices to what she cooks, usually spicy juices.

    As she is Chinese. So I laid the chicken breast on some leftover pasta and cooked it and didn’t tell my wife. And she loved it!!!!!

  9. I have made this recipe twice and it is very delicious and totally tender. I also made the herbed version and it was the same. It really pays off to cook these low and slow. Thank you for the recipe!

  10. Can this recipe be prepared in advance and then put in the freezer? I am getting ready to have surgery and want some meals done in advance.

    Thanks, SHERRI

    1. This would be a great freezer meal. Best of luck on your surgery Sherri!