Lemon Rosemary Chicken Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Lemon chicken couscous
The last weeks brought us an early taste of summer with the arrival of an unusual heat wave, which lasted for almost 10 days with a little break in between when the chilled salty breeze was able to caress your sun kissed face. When we woke up on Saturday morning and smelled the fresh ocean air, we both decided not go after our individual errands.

Corina had wanted to head to the Sephora beauty store to look for new makeup and Judit planned to visit Sur La Table for more pretty kitchen props, which we need more of for our cookbook and blog. Instead the sweet smelling balmy air immediately prompted us to go for a brisk walk and not waste it indoors.

Santa Barbara CorinaLemon Rosemary Chicken Ingredients
So of course we had to go for a nice long California beach walk, starting in the park and ending by the breakwater wall at the harbor. The swells were good and so we watched the surfers skimoboarding on the waves for a while, but then we remembered we will not get trimmer just by watching the cute California surfer boys…(perhaps Corina disagrees with that).

Once we got to the harbor the smells of the restaurants foods wafted in the air, but since it was a lovely summer day the wait was quite long to get a seat so we decided to stop at the store on the way home and pick up organic chicken breast, some fresh vegetables and other ingredients. We craved something light and healthy that would not take too long to make since we were quite hungry from the salty ocean breeze so the idea of a Lemon Rosemary Chicken accompanied by fluffy Couscous Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Broccoli sounded so good.

Santa Barbara Beach SurfLemon Surfers California
With our ingredients in hand we returned home and picked a few lemons from one of the darling little lemon trees then snippy sniped fresh rosemary from the garden hedges. The chicken got to rest for about half an hour in a lemony olive oil, herb and Sauvignon Blanc marinade. We almost forgot to add the lemon – rosemary sea salt, which is homemade too and we should share that recipe as well. This salt is so versatile and tasty that it has become a staple seasoning in our dishes. We used to buy flavored salts, which as you know can be quite pricey, so we experimented with making our own and even give it as gifts to friends. When the chicken cooked in the oven it infused the house with rosemary and lemon aromatics. To cook chicken in the oven in a little olive oil and wine it transforms the meat into tender succulent bites, just like in the Mediterranean, we are in the “American Riviera” after all.

Rosemary Salt FlowersRaw Chicken Ingredients
From the first bite to the last this chicken was juicy and satisfying, and could not wish for any other side dish on our palate then the airy couscous with broccoli and cherry tomatoes. Of course the lips smacking delicious Sauvignon Blanc was utterly charming companion to this whole meal.

Lemon Rosemary Chicken recipe
Santa Barbara Judit Corina rosemary
Judit: I love using fresh rosemary and lemons from the garden to give a little zippy flavor to my dishes. I’m in love with the fresh citrus and the invigorating piney smell of this two together and in Santa Barbara you can find rosemary around the town, and I can spot these fragrant brushes everywhere. If you eve wondered how does Santa Barbara smell like there you have it!

Corina: The lemon zest ads another level of complexity to this simple and light recipe. I have to say Lemon chicken “baby you’re the best,” to borrow the phrase from Lana Del Ray’s “Summertime Sadness” lyrics. Her voice is so spectacular it can shift you to another sphere where time stands still, just like at the edge of a black hole in outer space, and you forget that some of the stars you see at night may not be there anymore. This chicken dish is also so tasty that you forget that time is passing when you take a savory bite.

Santa Barbara people food
This light and healthy Lemon Rosemary Chicken Santa Barbara will give you the Summertime, summertime gladness (not sadness) as the deeply moving voice of chanteuse Lana Del Ray sings it and we will have it with a glass of “Summer Wine” We are definitely glad for the summer-like days we have recently had! They call you outdoors to walk on the sweltering beach sands, amble along State Street window shopping while basking in the sun, or lounge by the pool with an ice cream and good book while hiding under a giant straw hat.

Lemon Rosemary Chicken Santa Barbara

Lemon Rosemary Chicken Santa Barbara

Lemon Rosemary Chicken Santa Barbara

Judit + Corina


  • 4 Organic Chicken Breast
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup White Wine - we used Sauvignon Blanc
  • 4 Garlic Cloves - minced
  • Lemon- Rosemary Sea Salt
  • Multi Colored Pepper freshly ground
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Lemon - sliced
  • 4 Fresh Rosemary Sprigs


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Wash chicken breast and pat it dry with a kitchen towel.
  • Pour the oil and wine into a large ovenproof casserole dish or baking pan and sprinkle in the minced garlic.
  • Season the bottom side of the chicken breast with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  • Place the meat seasoned side down into the marinade and evenly season the top side as well.
  • Sprinkle the minced garlic over and place the lemon slices and rosemary sprigs on top. Let it rest for 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.
  • Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the chicken breast is light golden brown. If you like the chicken to be more golden brown, then place for 2 minutes under the broiler. Please do watch closely it can burn very quickly and in addition the garlic will taste bitter.
  • Remove pan and cover with aluminum foil for at least 10 minutes. Serve with the delicious pan juices and a slice of lemon.


Serving: 4g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Wine Pairing: Pair the Lemon Rosemary Chicken with a Santa Barbara Winery Sauvignon Blanc or any white wine that is nicely balanced and not too acidic with crisp citrus notes. This Santa Barbara County Sauvignon Blanc has tropical fruit and citrus aromas with flavors of stone fruit and more tropical fruits on the palate. Refreshing with a clean minerality it makes an ideal warm weather wine and is food friendly enough to pair with light meats, couscous, salads and even fruity desserts. It also has a good price point for what you get. We give this wine a personality of the singer Lana Del Ray, hip with a nostalgic note and slightly edgy.

Lemon Rosemary Chicken Couscous
We posted the Couscous Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Broccoli recipe here!judit-corina

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  1. says: Alexander

    This chicken with couscous looks awesome! Just right for dinner after a day at the beach surfing or sunning.

  2. says: Kelly A.

    Delicious and so healthy! I love your quick lemon rosemary chicken and the photos of California surfers of course! Not to forget all those beautiful flowers and ocean. Looking forward to more posts!

  3. says: Juliana

    I love Santa Barbara…and you just reminded me that I have not been there for a couple of year…beautiful pictures.
    The chicken sound and look delicious…packed with flavors.
    Hope you both are enjoying the week 😀

  4. I love the Santa Barbara area. Your wonderful photos remind me that it has been far bar too long, since I have been there. Isn’t chicken wonderful? There are so many many marvelous and delicious ways to fix it. All of those ways are so different. Some of the differences are subtle. Others are wildly ‘out there’. Thinking about it. I really can’t think of a chicken recipe that I haven’t liked on some level. I have rosemary growing in my garden, so this recipe is talking to me.

  5. says: Gabriella

    What a wonderfully healthy and delicious chicken recipe with such a Mediterranean flair! Makes me think of summer vacation!

  6. I love living the California lifestyle vicariously through this blog, girls! And you completely sold this lovely chicken dish to me. It’s so beautifully light, simple and healthy and yet with some lovely flavours added. Will be bookmarking this one to try later! (on a lovely sunny day if we ever get another one over here in the rainy, grey UK!)

  7. says: marcie

    Your trip sounded wonderful, and this chicken looks phenomenal — perfect for a summer evening! I need to give this a try very soon! 🙂

  8. says: Amelia

    Hi Judit & Corina, excellent posting. Enjoyed looking at all your beautiful pictures, very well taken. And your chicken dish is wow……fantastic. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe.

    Have a nice day to both of you. Regards

    1. Hello Lindsey, we are definitely ready for summer with this lemon rosemary chicken and hope to be cooking outdoors more. The ocean air does make one hungry so this at least is a meal you can indulge in without feeling guilty. 🙂 J+C

    1. Thank you Christin, hope you do get to visit the Central Coast soon! The weather is beautiful most of the year, we do have quite a lot of fog in June though, which is known as the “June Gloom.” We love having an abundance of fresh rosemary since it is so nice to cook with. J+C

  9. says: Larry

    That lemon rosemary chicken looks great and all the photos too! I often make plain chicken for dinner and this reminds me that I should try rosemary for more flavor next time.

    1. Fresh herbs do add a lot of flavor Larry, and the combination of lemon and rosemary is marvelous. We have to admit to admit there were no leftovers and this dish is so easy and quick to make you can enjoy it during the week. J+C

    1. Hello Daniela and thank you. There is nothing like lemons to bring forth the aromas of summer! This lemon chicken recipe is so easy to prepare that is ideal even for a larger party. J+C

    1. Thank you Shelley, glad you liked our light and simple recipe and the Santa Barbara beach photos! We will be posting the couscous very soon. We like this lemon rosemary chicken even alongside a simple salad that is drizzled with a little bit of the pan-juice for a salad dressing. J+C

  10. says: Beverly

    I love chicken with lemon and yours looks so good, especially with the fresh rosemary! What a fun day at the beach. It’s making me think about having to take a vacation soon.

    1. Hope you get that summer vacation very soon Beverly! We are happy you liked the Lemon Rosemary Chicken Santa Barbara recipe and will be posting the side dish soon! J+C