Bright and briny flavors are captured in these chicken breasts baked with artichoke hearts, capers, whole garlic cloves, Parmesan cheese and lemon slices plus a big glug or two of extra-virgin olive oil to help all the flavors shine.
The lemon slices add just the right amount of tartness without being overwhelming so it won’t make you pucker up. The garlic cloves soften, mellow out and sweeten up making it easy to pop them right in your mouth whole. You’ll wish there were more and it doesn’t hurt to throw in a few extra. I call them garlic candy.
This is easy enough to throw together on a busy weeknight using only one pan. Score. The chicken is laid down in a big roasting pan then the artichokes, capers, garlic and lemon slices are arranged around it after being tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper. A blizzard of Parmesan cheese is sprinkled over the entire thing before being baked.
There’s no sauce for serving with pasta or rice. Not sorry. I meant for this to be on the lighter side, a meal that won’t weigh you down. The kind of meal that says hello spring, are you here yet?
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 + ½ - 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
- coarse salt and fresh black pepper
- 12 ounces artichoke hearts, jarred or frozen (thawed), cut in half lengthwise
- ¼ cup capers
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 lemons, 1 of them zested and thinly sliced, seeds removed
- ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- about ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large roasting pan or non-stick baking sheet with sides - spread it out so the pan is greased from edge to edge.
- Pound the chicken breasts out to an even thickness with a meat mallet - place them on a cutting board and cover them with saran wrap first.
- Cut the chicken in half and season them well with salt and pepper then place them in the pan, spreading them out so they're not touching.
- In a medium-ish bowl toss the artichoke hearts, capers, garlic and lemon slices with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, the zest of the lemon and a few generous dashes of salt and pepper. Arrange them all around the chicken in the pan, filling in the empty spaces.
- Sprinkle the Parmesan all over, especially on the chicken, then sprinkle with Italian seasoning, followed by a light sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Bake until the chicken is cooked through anywhere from 25 - 45 minutes, depending on their size (internal temperature should read 165 - 174 degrees F.).
- Cut the remaining lemon into wedges for serving.