This Gluten-Free Baked Chicken Recipe in Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce is also a Keto baked chicken recipe and I love it because it’s really easy to make. I have several gluten-free baked chicken recipes that I regularly make. I love how easy they are and how they get deep, rich flavor and I don’t have to mess with the food very much. But a lot of gluten-free baked chicken recipes want you to brown the meat or make the sauce separate. That’s just too many steps for me. So I’ve gotten pretty good at simplifying recipes. I mean, I’m a dad. I don’t need extra steps, like browning the chicken, picking out bones or even unthawing the chicken. I hope you appreciate how simple I was able to get this recipe (cause I sure do!).
There are basically three parts to the recipe – the herb sauce, the garlic and optional extras and the cream sauce. Yes! The garlic is so important that it has it’s own part. Don’t skimp on the garlic. Nothing but whole, real garlic cloves will work. Trust me. It’s insanely delicious when you can smash the garlic with your fork and get a big bite of roasted garlic mixed with the cream sauce and roasted chicken.
Everyone I’ve made this gluten-free baked chicken recipe for loves it. My sister heard I was finally ready to take photos of it, after testing it at least 10 times, and she begged me to come over and have it again. My son literally held the plate up to his mouth and shoved it in. I thought about taking a video, but it really wasn’t pretty. It’s that good, though. Seriously.
Here are some tips and tricks and answers to questions you may have:
- I pretty much always use frozen chicken thighs from Costco. It just takes about 10 minutes longer than unthawed chicken and tastes the same. If you want to sub in chicken thighs with bones and skin, it tastes even better, but it’s a bit more work. You need to brown the skin on the chicken first after you put the herb sauce on and before you put it in the oven. You may also need to drain the fat off unless you’re doing Keto, and then you may want to leave it on. If you’re cooking with the skin and bones, add about 10 minutes to the cooking time.
- Yes, you can sub chicken breasts or chicken tenders. I don’t generally bake chicken tenders. I save those for the stove top. It’s easy to overcook chicken tenders in the oven. Plus, they just don’t have the depth of flavor. If you don’t cook with chicken thighs often, I encourage you to try them in this recipe. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. With chicken tenders, I would take about 10 minutes off the cooking time.
- I like to use regular, old yellow mustard. It has a stronger flavor. However, if you want it a bit more mild and more refined, try a dijon mustard, or even a whole grain dijon.
- To get more juice out of your lemons, roll them before you cut them.
- You don’t HAVE to have fresh basil, but it really is better. If you don’t have it, I usually just sub 2 tsp. of Italian seasoning.
- I have only used this recipe with heavy cream because I’m afraid the lemon will curdle with anything else. However, I’ve read similar recipes to mine and some people use light cream, half and half or milk. I can’t guarantee the results because I haven’t tested it myself. Just try it with the cream. Don’t be scared of fat. It’s so rich and creamy and you really don’t eat that much of it.
- This recipe is the amount of sauce I like per pan of chicken. I usually end up making two 12″ pans for my family, so you would need to double the sauce.
- The sauce isn’t particularly supposed to be thick, but it gets pretty thicken just by using cream and because it reduces in the oven.
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I love the rich, creaminess of this gluten-free baked chicken recipe and how it gets a deep, roasted sweet flavor. The best part? Smashing a whole garlic with my fork and mixing it in the lemon basil cream sauce. This doesn’t last long!
- 4-8 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (It just depends on how big the thighs are. I generally buy mine at Costco and they are pretty big. Basically, just use however many you can fit in a 12″ enameled dutch oven or a 9×13 pan)
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Yellow Mustard (or dijon mustard)
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Basil (minced)
- 1/2 tsp Real Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (or more or less, to taste. For a more mild flavor, you could use paprika.)
Garlic and Optional Extras
- 10 Cloves Garlic (whole, peeled)
- Onion, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash (optional)
Lemon Cream Sauce
- 1 Lemon (juiced, about 1/4 cup or a little more)
- 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth (or water)
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Basil (minced)
- 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- Lemon Slices (for garnish)
- Fresh Basil (for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- While the oven is pre-heating, place chicken in a 12 inch enameled cast iron dutch oven. (You could also use a 9×13 baking pan, but it will probably take about 5 minutes or so longer because it doesn’t conduct heat as well.)
- Combine the herb sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix with a basting brush.
- Brush the herb sauce evenly over the top of the chicken. Place in the oven. If frozen, cook for 20 minutes. If not, cook for 10 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, peel all the garlic cloves, then throw them randomly in the pan at the end of the 10 or 20 minutes mentioned above.
- Put the chicken back in the oven for 10 more minutes while you prepare the lemon cream sauce in the same bowl you used for the herb sauce.
- Dump the lemon cream sauce in the pan over the garlic but not over the chicken.
- Cook for another 20 minutes. (I usually take a 5 minute break, then start the rice cooking in my Instant Pot so it will be done at the same time as the chicken).
- Remove from the oven, stir in the butter until it’s melted, spoon the sauce over the chicken and garnish with the lemon slices and basil.
- Serve with cooked rice, pasta, zoodles, quinoa or cauliflower rice – depending on your diet.