Smoked Olive Oil Chicken Breasts

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  6 servings
Prep Time:  5 minutes Cook Time:  15 minutes

Smoked Olive Oil Chicken Breasts

Smoked olive oil is a revelation. In a world where nothing much is new under the culinary sun, smoked olive oil is an innovative, healthy, and simple way to add taste in a snap, northern California–style. Paired with a little smoked paprika, it transforms that simple skinless chicken breast you bought for a quick weekday meal into a celebration-worthy dish. I serve it with simple simmered white beans and garlic, a grain cooked in chicken broth, any fresh greens, sautéed or raw, and a huge bowl of grapes for a quick, luscious, California-style family meal that meets every need.


2 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika

1 tablespoon dried granulated garlic

1 tablespoon dried granulated onion

1 teaspoon kosher salt

⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper

3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

¼ cup smoked olive oil

Juice of 1 large lemon

¼ cup chicken broth, preferably low-sodium


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, granulated garlic, granulated onion, salt, and pepper.
  2. Rub the oil into the chicken well. Sprinkle with the spice mixture. Place a rack in a deep (at least 3 inches), rimmed baking dish. Spray the rack with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Arrange the chicken breasts on the rack, place in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. With tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter. Remove the rack from baking dish. Add the lemon juice and chicken broth to the baking dish, stirring and scraping any browned bits from the bottom to release them. Return the chicken to the baking dish, cover, and return to the oven for an additional 15 to 18 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts. The chicken is done when it is no longer pink, its juices run clear, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into it reads 160°F.
  4. Transfer the chicken breasts to another platter, cover, and set aside. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon so that any browned bits are incorporated into the drippings. Pour the drippings into over the chicken. Serve immediately.

Kitchen Tips

  1. Those browned bits at the bottom of the baking pan are full of flavor, so scraping them into the sauce will enhance it exponentially.
  2. If you would like a thick sauce, you can pour the drippings into a small saucepan. Make a slurry of 1 teaspoon starch and 1 tablespoon chicken broth and whisk vigorously into the pot. Bring to a boil and  simmer for 2 to 3 minutes as you stir. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer and serve.

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