Breast of Chicken in a Light Lemon-Herb Sauce

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: Bring a bit of Italy to your kitchen table with this recipe for Breast of Chicken in a Light Lemon-Herb Sauce! This chicken recipe is easier than it looks and includes an assortment of flavors that everyone at the dinner table is sure to love. Consider serving this beloved Italian recipe on a bed of just-cooked pasta and a crisp green salad on the side for a full meal. You can easily serve this recipe for any occasion on your calendar, so put it on the menu for your next weekend dinner with the family, a birthday party, or a milestone event.

The finished sauce will be lightly thickened by the bread crumbs that fall into it as the chicken bakes. My favorite way to serve this is with simply steamed green beans: set the chicken on top of the beans and pour the tasty sauce around the chicken, not over it; you want the bread crumbs to stay crunchy.

Makes4 servings



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionBirthday, Buffet, Buffet Meal, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get Together, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe CourseMain Course

EquipmentBaking/gratin Dish


Taste and TextureCrisp, Garlicky, Herby


  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 5 ounces each)
  • ½ cup fine, dry bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano, preferably the Sicilian or Greek type dried on the branch, crumbled
  • Salt
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup Chicken Stock  or canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled


  1. Cut each chicken-breast half in half crosswise on a diagonal, to yield two pieces of roughly equal size. Place two pieces at a time between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound gently with the flat side of a meat mallet or the bottom of a small, heavy saucepan to flatten them slightly, to about ½ inch thick.

  2. Toss the bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the chopped parsley, 1/2 teaspoon of the oregano, and salt to taste together in a bowl until blended. Spread 1 teaspoon of bread-crumb mixture over each piece of chicken, reserving the remaining crumbs. Roll each chicken piece into a compact shape with the bread crumbs running in a spiral through the center and fasten securely with a toothpick.

  3. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

  4. Arrange the filled chicken breasts side by side in a 13×9-inch, preferably flameproof baking dish. (There should be some space between the pieces of chicken.) Stir the wine, stock, lemon juice, hot pepper, the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, the remaining teaspoon of oregano, and salt to taste together in a small bowl. Pour into the baking dish. Whack the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife and scatter them among the chicken pieces. Bake 10 minutes.

  5. Top the chicken with the remaining bread-crumb mixture. Return to the oven and bake until the bread-crumb topping is golden brown, about 5 minutes.

  6. If the roasting pan is flameproof, place it directly over medium-high heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and bring the pan juices to a boil. Boil until lightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. (If the roasting pan is not flameproof, transfer the chicken rolls to a warm platter and pour the juices into a skillet before bringing them to a boil.) Remove the garlic cloves, or leave them in if you like. Gently transfer the chicken pieces to plates with a slotted spoon. Pull the toothpicks from the chicken without loosening the bread-crumb topping.

  7. Pour the sauce around, not over, the chicken pieces, and serve immediately.

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Does cooking the chicken on such high heat dry it out any? I never make chicken over 375 degrees unless I am trying to brown it because it always turns out so hard and chewy, almost like a rubber texture. What are your experiences with it at this heat? Did you see this texture too?

Great Recipe. I love spicy, but I'd cut back on the Red Chili.

I used dry vermouth instead of wine. Before serving, I also thickened the sauce with a little butter flour rue...delicious and tender!


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