A Spicy Perspective

Retro French Chicken (Baked Lemon Garlic Breasts)

Lemon Garlic French Chicken – A classic French-inspired recipe for oven-baked garlic and lemon chicken breasts. It’s easy to prepare in just over 30 minutes, and fabulous to serve with comfort food sides!

french chicken breast with garlic and lemon on a bed of mashed potatoes

Oven Baked (Lemon Garlic) French Chicken Breasts

If you like saucy, rich, and garlic-y foods, get ready – because you are going to love every single thing about this dish.

(In fact, you might like it so much that you’ll be putting this on your meal plan week after week… after week after week. No judgment here, I just want you to be prepared for what’s gonna happen.)

Classic French Chicken, a recipe from my mother-in-law, is an old-school baked chicken breast recipe. And it’s easy to see why this one has stayed popular! But keep in mind, as is with most retro American recipes, the word French is used liberally. *wink*

Boneless skinless chicken breasts are coated in a spice dredge. Then they’re covered with tangy lemon herb sauce and oven-roasted to golden perfection in just over 30 minutes. It seems so impressive and luxurious, but this recipe is seriously that easy to make!

overhead top view oven baked french chicken breasts on plates with fork

Ingredients You Need

Oven-baked French chicken is a very simple recipe that packs in lots of vibrant flavors from just a few key ingredients. To make this dish you need:

  • Chicken breastsboneless and skinless
  • All-purpose flouror gluten free flour alternative
  • Spicessalt, paprika, ground black pepper
  • Olive oil or preferred high-heat neutral-tasting cooking oil
  • Fresh lemon juicenone of that bottled stuff
  • Water
  • Scallionschopped
  • Fresh thyme leavesor dried thyme
  • Garlicminced
  • Buttermelted
plastic zipper bag filled with seasonings and flour

How to Make Retro French Chicken

First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set out a large 12-14 inch cast iron skillet (or a 9X13 inch baking dish.) Pour the melted butter into the pan and swirl around.

In a large zip bag, combine the flour, salt, paprika, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Mix well. Then add the chicken breasts and toss to coat.

Place the coated chicken in the buttered dish, top side down, and place in the oven for 15 minutes.

cast iron skillet overhead view 4 flour coated breasts in butter

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, water, scallions, thyme, garlic, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Stir well.

Get the Complete (Printable) Retro Oven Baked French Chicken Breast Recipe Below. Enjoy!

measuring cup with oil, garlic, lemon, and seasonings

Once the timer goes off, flip the chicken over and pour the lemon garlic sauce over the top of the breasts.

Place back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

cast iron skillet with golden chicken breasts ready to go in the oven, lemon garlic sauce being poured on top

Use a meat thermometer to check the thickest part of one of the French chicken breasts. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

When the chicken has cooked through, remove it from the oven and serve warm with any extra pan sauce.

overhead top view oven baked chicken breasts coated in lemon garlic sauce, in a cast iron pan

Serving Suggestions

Personally, I could eat French chicken right out the pan with a straw for the sauce. But that might not be the most family-friendly way to serve…

Golden, savory, sauce-a-licious lemon garlic chicken breasts are scrumptious with mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower. It’s also lovely over a fluffy bed of couscous or herbed rice.

Bring some healthy goodness to the table, too, with veggie side dishes like steamed or roasted broccoli, peas, green beans, or asparagus. Or serve with a simple fresh green salad!

overhead top view of oven baked lemon garlic French chicken breasts on mashed potatoes, on two plates with cast iron skillet in the background

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make this a gluten-free baked chicken recipe?

Simply use your preferred GF-friendly all-purpose flour alternative for coating the oven-baked French chicken breasts.

Can French chicken be made with bone-in chicken?

Definitely! Follow the directions as-is but increase the bake times to 20 and 15 minutes, respectively.

How long do leftovers last?

Lemon garlic chicken breasts will keep well for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Let the French chicken cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container – and don’t forget the pan drippings!

up close side view chicken breasts with lemon garlic pan sauce on mashed potatoes, with cut taken to show the juicy chicken

Looking for More Fabulous Retro Recipes?

Retro French Chicken (Baked Lemon Garlic Breasts)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
A classic recipe for saucy, bright and savory oven baked lemon garlic French chicken breasts. Ready in just over 30 minutes, French chicken is delish to serve with fluffy mashed potatoes for a quick and satisfying weeknight meal!
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour could be GF flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground black pepper divided
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set out a large 12-14 inch cast iron skillet or an 9X13 inch baking dish. Pour the melted butter in the pan and swirl around.
  • In a large zip bag, combine the flour, salt, paprika, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Mix well. Then add the chicken breasts and toss to coat.
  • Place the coated chicken in the buttered dish, top side down, and place in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, water, scallions, thyme, garlic, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Stir well.
  • Once the timer goes off, flip the chicken over and pour the lemon garlic sauce over the top. Place back in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Once the chicken has cooked through, remove from the oven and serve warm with extra pan sauce.

Notes

Make a gluten-free version by swapping the all-purpose flour with your favorite GF baking mix. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1pc, Calories: 349kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 87mg, Sodium: 1346mg, Potassium: 499mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 696IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 28mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: dinner, Main, Main Course
Cuisine: American, French
Author: Sommer Collier

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