Recipe courtesy of Marie Simmons

Famous Lemon and Basil Chicken

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  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 4 servings
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4 chicken breast halves with skin and bones (8 to 10 ounces each), fat trimmed or 1 whole chicken (about 2 pounds) cut up

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 large basil leaves

4 cloves garlic, bruised with the side of a knife

4 thin lemon slices

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the chicken in a baking dish; sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper and arrange skin side up. Loosen the skin from each chicken breast and slip a basil leaf between the skin and the meat. Add the garlic to the baking dish. Place a slice of lemon on top of each piece of chicken. Drizzle with oil. Bake, basting occasionally with pan juices and turning the chicken and the baking dish occasionally so the chicken browns evenly, 35 to 40 minutes. If using a whole chicken, the baking time will be about 50 minutes. To serve, place a browned lemon slice and garlic clove on top of each portion of chicken.