Photo by T. Mike Fletcher
This is one of the easiest and most versatile chicken recipes in my repertoire. Quick to put together, it requires overnight marinating for the best flavor. A quick turn in the oven, and you have a chicken that can be used as a main course, in a salad, or as a well-remembered sandwich.
The lemon flavor is enhanced with cucumber, tomato, lettuce, and a dressing made with mayo, lemon zest, basil, and a splash of lemon juice.
It's all quick, easy and do-ahead—perfect for the times you don't want to cook!
- 4–6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts*
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
*It is difficult to obtain 6-ounce chicken breasts. So get what is available and adjust the cooking time if necessary.
These need to marinate the day before baking.
- Trim any noticeable fat from the chicken breasts, if needed.
- Whisk all but the chicken breasts together.
- Place the breasts in a glass or plastic container, preferably with a lid.
- Pour the marinade over, making sure to lift the breasts so the marinade goes underneath.
- Marinate overnight, turning once or twice.
- Line a sheet pan with foil. Spray lightly.
Roast 20 to 25 minutes, or until a thermometer registers 165 F.
Lemon Basil Mayonnaise
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup fresh basil, finely cut (about a .67-ounce package)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 large lemon, zested, then grated
Whisk all together. Chill. This will keep for a week in the refrigerator.
Lemony Chicken Sandwich
- Brioche buns, or any good sandwich bun
- Lemony Chicken Breast
- Leaf lettuce
- 3–4 slices cucumber
- 1–2 slices tomato
- 2 tablespoons Lemon Basil Mayonnaise
Slice bun in half. Cut the chicken into 5 or 6 slices. Spread half of the mayonnaise on the bottom of the bun. Layer lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and chicken. Spread the top of the bun with the remaining mayo.
Yields: 1 sandwich
Helen Fletcher has more than 25 years of experience owning and operating a wholesale specialty bakery that services hotels, restaurants, and caterers. She is the pastry chef at Tony's and runs the blog Pastries Like a Pro.