Lemon Basil Chicken

Lemon Basil Chicken Breasts
Grilled Lemon Basil Chicken Breasts. Diana Rattray
  • 27 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 12 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings
Ratings (38)

Here's a simple chicken recipe flavored with a quick marinade of garlic, lemon, and basil. These tasty grilled or broiled chicken breasts are great with rice, pasta, or baked potatoes.

The garlic and lemon flavors stand out, and the basil not only adds flavor, but it adds color to the dish. If you don't have fresh basil, use dried leaf basil. Fresh chopped chives or parsley could be substituted.

A fresh basil pesto would be an excellent sauce to serve with the chicken.

What You'll Need

  • 4 boneless chicken breast halves, without skin
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped basil, or 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
  • juice of 2 lemons, or about 1/3 cup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • fresh basil or fresh parsley for garnish

How to Make It

  1. Put a chicken breast in a small plastic food storage bag and gently pound to an even thickness using the smooth side of a meat tenderizer or similar tool. Or, place a chicken breast on the counter and place a piece of plastic wrap on it. Pound it gently to an even thickness.  Repeat with all of the chicken breasts. Alternatively -- especially if the chicken breasts are large -- carefully slice each of chicken breast horizontally to make two cutlets.
  1. Combine the basil, lemon juice, olive oil, and chopped garlic in a plastic food storage bag or container; add the chicken breasts and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  2. Heat a clean, oiled grill rack over medium-high heat (about 375° F to 425° F), or heat the oiled rack of a broiler pan. 
  3. Arrange chicken over direct heat on the hot grill or broiler rack and grill or broil for about 10 to 12 minutes, turning frequently. Chicken must be cooked to the minimum safe temperature of 165° F (74° C). To be sure, check with an instant-read thermometer.
  4. Serve with fresh basil leaves or parsley, if desired.

Expert Tips

  • Pounding the chicken breasts to a uniform thickness means they will cook evenly. If you don't pound them, you could end up with dry chicken, because while the thinner part will be done, it will take longer to cook the thicker parts.