Don’t you just love the role that lemons play in Greek food? They’re not just backstage, floating in a glass of ice water or zested into a pound cake. Greek recipes are not afraid to put lemons center stage, right there in the main course! It turns out, they add a whole lot of flavor when you put them in a savory dish. Greek lemon chicken is a medley of flavors, all working together to bring out the very best in each ingredient. It’s easy to make, and when you serve it over a bed of Greek lemon rice you’ll have a complete meal…the vegetables are baked right in!
The secret to this dish is to go ahead and be bold with the lemons. You’ll slice them into very thin slices and then cook them, peel and all. You’ll want 6 boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts. Cut each breast into two parts, dividing them where the breast starts to get thick. Then cut the thick parts of the breast in half lengthwise, so that they’re thinner (you should have 3 pieces of chicken per breast, all about the same thickness). Sprinkle them with some Greek seasoning (recipe below) and set them aside. Then, slice a lemon into very thin slices crosswise, and cut each slice into fourths. Wash a carton of grape tomatoes and cut them in half, and set these aside as well.
Wash and trim a pound of organic Brussels sprouts, and cut them into fourths. Saute these in a little oil (olive, butter or coconut oil) until they start to soften and are a bit browned. Set the sprouts aside.
Heat some olive or coconut oil in a pan until it’s hot, then add the chicken and cook until it is brown on both sides. When it’s all been browned, remove it and add a cup of chicken stock and 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Use a spatula to scrape up the browned bits of chicken from the bottom of the pan as you heat the juice and stock. Add three pressed garlic cloves and bring the sauce to a simmer.
Now, add the sprouts, tomatoes, lemon slices and chicken back to the pan. If you’d like, you can add some Greek olives or some artichoke hearts to the pan as well. In our family, the people over the age of 18 love Greek olives and those younger than that loath them…so this time the younger set won and we went with artichoke hearts instead of olives.
Put a lid on the pan and place it in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the chicken is completely done and the vegetables are soft. Then, remove the pan and stir it well…yum! Serve over a bed of rice (Greek lemon rice is amazing with this). You’ll be surprised how much the lemons add, without anyone noticing that they’re eating lemon with the peel. So savory and good!
- 6 boneless, skinless organic free range chicken breasts
- 2 organic lemons (one juiced, one for slicing)
- 1 pound organic Brussels sprouts
- 1 pint organic grape tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup organic chicken or vegetable stock
- ½ cup organic lemon juice (from one of them lemons)
- Greek Seasoning (see below)
- Oil for cooking (olive, butter, or coconut)
- ½ cup Greek olives and/or ½ cup chopped artichoke hearts (optional)
- 2 teaspoons organic garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons organic dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons organic dried parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon organic dried basil
- ½ teaspoon organic dried marjoram
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix all the ingredients for the Greek seasoning together in a bowl (or, use your favorite pre-made Greek seasoning blend).
- Prepare the chicken by cutting each breast in half to make one thick piece and one thinner piece. Then, cut the thick piece in half lengthwise to form three pieces that are about the same thickness. Do this with all the chicken, and then sprinkle each side of the chicken with Greek seasoning. Set aside.
- Wash one lemon and slice it into very thin slices. Cut each slice into fourths. Juice the other lemon and set it aside.
- Wash the grape tomatoes, and cut them in half (you can skip this step, I just wanted to make sure that the tomatoes cooked through).
- Wash and trim the Brussels sprouts, then cut them in fourths. Heat some oil in an oven-safe pan, and cook the sprouts until they are browned and just beginning to get soft. Remove them from the pan and set them aside.
- Add a little more oil to the hot pan and then brown the chicken on both sides. Remove the chicken and set it aside.
- In the same pan, add the chicken or vegetable stock, the lemon juice and the pressed garlic. Use a spatula to scrape the bits of brown chicken off and combine it with the sauce as you bring it to a simmer.
- Add the chicken, Brussels sprouts, lemon slices, and tomatoes to the pan. If you'd like, add the olives and/or artichoke hearts. Stir well, and then put the pan in the oven.
- Put the pan in the oven and bake the chicken and vegetables for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is done through and the vegetables are soft. Stir well, and serve over rice (Greek lemon rice is great with this meal).
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What’s your favorite Greek food?