We all need a chicken recipe to have in our back pocket that wows us time and again. This Lemon Tarragon Thyme Chicken is always juicy and loaded with flavor. Use it to top salads, pastas, or just eat it on its own – it won’t disappoint!
When we first got married, my husband wouldn’t *really* eat the chicken that I served. He is not a very picky person but he would take a few bites and tell me that he wasn’t hungry. I just assumed he didn’t really like chicken. The problem was, that I loved chicken and needed it in order to have a variety of lean proteins in my diet. After awhile, I found some amazing chicken breasts at our butcher. They sit in a marinade all day until you order them. Then you grill them, bake them, or sear them and they are juicy, tender, and delicious. Whenever I served those types of chicken breasts, but husband would eat the entire thing and go for seconds. I am not the smartest person out there, but it didn’t take me long to realize that he was too polite to tell me that he didn’t like the way *I* prepared chicken.
Enter my brother. We were all out in Arizona visiting each other and Stevens made the most delicious chicken breast! Graham ate it greedily. I needed the recipe. I couldn’t handle anther chicken failure. Stevens gave me the recipe and it was like WOW! I can finally make great chicken! I am now a success. 🙂 Sweet relief. If you have ever felt this way about chicken, please try this recipe! It can turn you into a kitchen star.
What Is the Best Way to Cook This Chicken?
Our favorite way to cook this chicken is the grill. It caramelizes the sugar in the marinade beautifully and leaves a little crunch on the outside while leaving the inside SUPER juice and tender. Make sure to use a meat thermometer though because chicken is one of those things that is easy to overcook and make dry. We like this one here. Also, if you aren’t sure on chicken or other meat temperatures, here is a chart for reference.
If the grill isn’t an option (winter, heavy rain, apartment, etc.) then we suggest pan searing the chicken at a high temperature for 3 minutes on each side in a heavy duty pan. This will also have the happy effect of caramelizing the marinade while sealing in the juices. You can then cover the chicken and continue cooking for 5-8 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Let the chicken sit for 5 minutes and it will be ready! If you need a few more details, here is a great article by our aunt at Cafe Sucre Farine on stovetop cooking chicken breasts. Skip her dry rub and use our marinade, otherwise you can follow the cooking steps.
How Should I Serve This?
- If serving this chicken on it’s own, slice an additional lemon thinly and grill pieces or place in oven safe pan. Serve chicken with lemons and a side of rice and preferred vegetable
- Top a wonderful salad such as our Herby Garden Salad (to come at the end of the week!)
- Add this chicken with some homemade beans to these Holy Grail of Corn Tortillas
- Add it to a wrap with some fresh basil, bacon, tomatoes, mayo and lettuce
Tips and Tricks for Making Lemon Tarragon Thyme Chicken
- We know it’s a pain to let chicken marinade when you don’t plan ahead. You can get away with 1 hour, but it’s much better if it’s more than 5. Also, if you leave it overnight, it’s even better!
- We don’t always go for organics, but when it comes to chicken, it’s a great option. The breasts are *usually* a little smaller and more tender. If your breasts are large, try butterflying them before marinating so they can soak up more marinade and are easier to cook thoroughly without drying out
- If you are wanting to prep these ahead of time, you can put the chicken in the marinade, freeze it, and then place them in ore refrigerator the night before cooking. Let de-thaw on counter for several hours and then proceed with cooking instructions.
- We have said that the chicken marinade is for 4-6 chicken breasts, but it can handle up to 8 if need-be. If you go above that, double the marinade.