I’ve Been Making Ina Garten’s Tuscan Chicken for 15 Years—It’s Impossible to Mess Up

It's the juiciest, most bewitchingly delicious chicken ever.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images / Myo Quinn</p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images / Myo Quinn

If you love roast chicken but would sooner take a trip to Costco than fiddle with a whole bird in a hot oven yourself, what you need is an easy recipe that comes together quickly, won't fail you, and is more than worth the little trouble it asks of you.

The recipe I'm pointing you to is Ina Garten's Tuscan Lemon Chicken—it's the juiciest, most bewitchingly delicious chicken recipe that I've been making for over 15 years. The chicken is marinated in a lemon, garlic, and rosemary magic potion. It's the best part of the recipe and what guarantees the meat to be juicy and tender. Without counting salt and pepper, it calls for only five ingredients.

Ina's recipe is tagged for "intermediate" cooks—she asks you to snip the spine off the chicken, flatten it, and fire up the grill. Before you run in the opposite direction, know that I too have no time for culinary shenanigans (Three kids! Soccer practice! Oil changes!), so I cull those hard parts. Instead, I use whole chicken legs and opt for roasting in the oven.

<p>Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn</p>

Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn

How I Make Ina Garten's Tuscan Lemon Chicken

To make enough chicken to feed four to six, you'll need:

  • 6 whole chicken legs (4 to 4 1/2 pounds total)

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons

  • 3 large cloves garlic, grated

  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt)

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

<p>Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn</p>

Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn

In a large zip-top bag, combine the chicken legs, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, rosemary, salt, and black pepper. (I keep the rosemary on their stems for a mellower flavor. You can chop them finely like Ina does if you love rosemary.)

Zip the bag tightly and massage it to evenly coat the chicken in the marinade. You can do this in a large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.

Place the bag on a large plate just in case it leaks and refrigerate it for at least four hours or up to 24 hours. Any longer, you'll end up with mushy and stringy meat because it has been exposed to the acid in the lemon for too long.

When you're ready to eat, preheat the oven to 425°F and take the bag out of the fridge. Let excess marinade drip off the chicken into the bag and transfer the chicken onto a large baking sheet. As the chicken bakes, it'll release a lot of liquid, so you must use a rimmed baking sheet; otherwise, you'll end up with chicken juice all over the bottom of your oven.

<p>Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn</p>

Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn

Bake the chicken for about one hour, until it's golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the center without touching a bone registers 165°F.

There's zero chance your chicken will be dry even if you accidentally leave it in the oven for a little too long. I've made this nearly a hundred times under the most dire conditions—in a postpartum cloud and while all three of my kids were having the most epic meltdown at the same time. If I can pull it off, you can too!

Get Recipe with Title: Ina Garten's Tuscan Lemon Chicken

<p>Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn</p>

Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn

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