Saturday, April 4, 2015

Honey-Lime Baked Chicken with Fresh Basil

My husband and I have been making this easy roasted chicken for years. We enjoy it at least twice a week, sometimes swapping lemons for limes. It's a foolproof dinner that everyone loves. The crispy and juicy chicken is lightly seasoned with honey and chili pepper, giving it a sweet and spicy vibe. Lime adds a fresh finish. Simple baked potatoes, Chopped Salad with Honey Lime DressingFrench Peas or Coconut Rice  are nice side dishes. This homey meal is one of life's deliciously simple pleasures. If you're interested in roasting a whole chicken, I provide instructions for that too.

Honey-Lime Baked Chicken Recipe

Serves 2

Some Notes & Tips:

I have been roasting chicken for years. I've found that there's no need to baste it. Constantly opening the oven is not ideal. What works is a hot oven and quality, humanely-raised chicken. To make juicy, flavorful and tender roast chicken you must start with the best brand. I have been purchasing Bell & Evans chicken for a long time. It's my favorite, even surpassing fresh chicken that I've bought at farm markets. Bell and Evans recently earned Cooks Illustrated's highest recommendation. The chickens are raised humanely, which is also very important to me.

The honey gets drizzled on during the last 10 minutes to prevent burning. It helps brown and crisp the skin.

Thai basil is strong, sweet and peppery. I love it with this chicken. Regular basil will work too. Lemons can be swapped for limes. Meyer lemons are delicious.


  • 1 package of bone-in split chicken breasts halves weighing 1.75 pounds. I use Bell & Evans Brand.
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • A handful of fresh Thai basil or regular basil 
  • A drizzle of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil (optional)
  • A pinch of dried red chili flakes, ground red chili pepper or black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste. I use sea salt 
  • To Serve: flaky sea salt, sriracha sauce


Place the rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450. Line a baking pan with foil.

Season the chicken with salt. Put the chicken in the pan and sprinkle the dried basil and some dried red chili flakes on top. (Rubbing the dried basil between your fingers will release its flavor.)  Bake the chicken in the oven for 30 minutes. Drizzle it with honey. Place it in the oven for 8-12 more minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Squeeze some lime juice over it and serve with more lime wedges and fresh basil. Enjoy!

Instead of split chicken breast halves, you can also roast a whole chicken. A small, 4-pound  Bell & Evans Chicken is deliciously tender and flavorful. It's juiciest one you'll ever eat! The company is not paying me to write this. Preheat the oven to 425. Season the chicken with salt and pepper or chili flakes. Slice a lime or lemon in half and put it in the cavity, along with some fresh basil. Line a roasting pan with foil and put the chicken on a rack in the pan. If you don't have a roasting pan with a rack, just put it in a baking pan lined with foil. It'll work out just fine. Roast for one hour and 15-20 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, drizzle it with honey. Take the chicken out of the oven, squeeze some lime or lemon juice over it. Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes, before carving. Spoon some of the pan sauce over the carved chicken. A 4-pound chicken will serve two hungry people with leftovers.

Bon Appetit!

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