My appreciation of meals that are straightforward but brimming with flavor is likely influenced by my Mediterranean ancestry. Fresh tomatoes, herbs, and lemon give the chicken its excellent flavor.
With some spaghetti and salad and a drizzle of olive oil, I serve this. Most definitely a family favorite. Everyone is drawn to the kitchen while it is cooking to inquire about what is for dinner and when it will be ready because it smells so good!
The ease of preparation, lack of mess, and deliciousness of the leftovers on a salad are further benefits. You will certainly enjoy it, as will everyone else who has the good fortune to join you for this meal. They will believe you worked for hours on it when you didn’t because it has a lovely presentation suited for serving to dinner guests!
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
Salt and pepper
2 tsp. fresh oregano – finely chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme– finely chopped
1 tsp. paprika
4 garlic cloves – minced
3 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
1 medium red onion – halved and thinly sliced
5 to 6 Campari tomatoes, or small Roma tomatoes, halved
Handful chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Fresh basil leaves for garnish
Preheat oven to 425° F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with oil or butter.
Pat chicken dry.
Place a chicken breast in a large zip-top bag and zip the top (make sure to release any air in the bag first), then place it on a cutting board. Using a meat mallet, pound to flatten the chicken.
Repeat the process with the remaining chicken breast pieces.
Season the chicken with kosher salt and pepper on both sides and place in a large mixing bowl or dish.
Add spices, minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and lemon juice.
Combine and ensure the spices evenly coat each piece of chicken.
In the prepared baking dish, spread the onion slices on the bottom.
Arrange seasoned chicken on top, and then add the tomatoes.
Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 10 minutes covered, then uncover and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes or so. Watch carefully.
This bake time can take longer depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts. To be sure the chicken fully cooked, use a meat thermometer to ensure the thickest part of each chicken breast is 165° F.
Remove from the heat, Cover the chicken again with foil, and let the chicken breasts rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Garnish with fresh parsley and basil. Serve and Enjoy!
• Pounding the Chicken: Do not skip pounding the chicken – you want an even thickness for the chicken to cook faster and more consistent. This also tenderizes the meat which means it will be juicer and tastier.
• Seasoning the Chicken: When flavoring the chicken, the first key is to be sure it is well seasoned. Start with salt and pepper on both sides. Then, layer more flavor using spices and aromatics – tap into your inventive mind and use seasoning that you love.
• Do not Overcook: When chicken is overcooked, it is no longer juicy and delicious. It gets tough and dry which is what you want to avoid. Keep your meat thermometer on hand during the last part of the cooking time and monitor until the chicken reaches 165° F. Boneless skinless chicken breasts are delicious but easily overcooked.
• Resting the Chicken: Always let the chicken rest before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute making the chicken juicier.
• Leftovers: Transfer any leftover chicken to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 4 days.