by Olena

Lemon Chicken

Olena Osipov
4.9 from 10 votes

Lemon Chicken is quickly pan seared until crispy and then coated in lemon butter sauce. This 30 minute restaurant quality chicken recipe is perfect for a weeknight!

Chicken Parmesan is another dish that makes my family swoon at its sight. 🙂

Lemon Chicken

Lemon Butter Chicken

Lemon chicken! Whenever I see crispy coated thin chicken breast cutlets, smothered in sauce and dotted with garlic bits, caper or lemon wedges, I think of a luxurious Italian Restaurant. Are you the same?:) Well, friends, you can make this lemon butter chicken at home.

All there is to it is to quickly pan sear thin (not pounded – yes!) chicken cutlets, make sauce by deglazing the pan and garnish with lemon slices. Literally, 6 ingredients besides oil, salt and pepper, and 30 minutes. Let’s do it!

Lemon Chicken garnished with lemon slices and dill

Ingredients You Will Need

  • Chicken: Boneless and skinless chicken breasts is default. Thighs will work and depending on their size, you might or not have to cut them thinner and cook longer. Chicken tenders are great too!
  • Flour: Any flour works. I used almond flour for more healthy option. It did crisp up in oil on the non-stick skillet. Might have soaked up more oil than regular one though. Maybe not. 🙂
  • Lemon: Amount of lemon depends on how tart you like your chicken. Not sure? Start with less.
  • Butter and oil: I use olive oil for searing chicken and butter is to “sweeten” the sauce and offset lemon tartness.
  • Chicken stock: Low sodium chicken stock/broth creates volume for the sauce. Worst case scenario, you can use water. I would not use a lot of white wine, if any, because we have acidic lemon here.
  • Garlic, salt and pepper: Garlic sauteed in a bit of butter is always a good idea for any sauce.

Let’s make this lemon butter chicken, finally. 🙂

How to Make Lemon Chicken

  • Prep chicken by cutting into thin cutlets lengthwise – this step eliminates messy pounding. Yay!
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper generously on both sides.
  • Cook chicken in well pre-heated ceramic non-stick skillet, dredging each cutlet in flour and adding more oil as chicken soaks it up. It takes 4-5 minutes per side and you can pack them tightly.
  • Add a bit of butter and garlic and saute until fragrant.
  • Deglaze skillet with stock, lemon juice and zest, and more butter. Let mixture boil for 2 minutes to make luscious sauce.
  • Pour lemon butter sauce over chicken and that is all to scrumptious lemon chicken!

Lemon Chicken in blu serving dish garnished with lemon slices and herbs

Tips for Best Lemon Chicken

  • Chicken tenders would work. Also boneless chicken thighs – cook time might be a tad bit longer.
  • My lemon was from Costco. 🙂
  • You can use less lemon juice if you don’t like very tart lemon chicken.
  • Add more garlic for lemon garlic chicken. If you grate garlic, dish will be more garlicky. If you mince it – more lemony.
  • You can replace some of chicken stock with a bit white wine. I wouldn’t use only wine because dish is already acidic from lemon.
  • Feel free to cut recipe in half to feed 2-3 people. Leftovers taste cold very good though and last for days. Just sayin’. 🙂

Variations and Serving Chicken

Eat cold. As a kid growing up in Ukraine, deli meat was expensive and no microwaves. We often ate leftover chicken patties and cutlets cold on a slice of bread as a sandwich. I still enjoy chicken dishes this way besides freshly cooked, of course.

Serve warm with:

Lemon Chicken sliced and texture inside shown

How to Store and Make Ahead

Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. It tastes very-very good cold but you can reheat it by simmering on the stove with a splash of water or chicken stock covered.

Make ahead: You can refrigerate seasoned chicken in a container covered for up to 2 days. Also store lemon zest and juice in another container. Get ingredients ready while skillet is preheating and voila.

Freeze: In an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw completely on a counter for a few hours or in the fridge overnight before reheating.

Enjoy, friends and bea healthy!

More Healthy and Easy Chicken Recipes

Lemon Butter Chicken in serving dish garnished with sauce, garlic and lemon

lemon chicken

Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken is quickly pan seared until crispy and then coated in lemon butter sauce. This 30 minute restaurant quality chicken recipe is perfect for a weeknight!
4.91 from 10 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 259kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs 4 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1 large lemon zested
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice approx. from 1 large lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup any flour I used almond flour
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock low sodium
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced or grated
  • 3 tbsp butter unsalted
  • Parsley or basil lemon wedges, for garnish

Instructions

  • Slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise. Thicker parts can be sliced one more time. This step eliminates the need to pound the meat.
  • Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate.
  • In a shallow plate add flour. Prep other ingredients. Everything has to be ready before you start cooking.
  • Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat and swirl 2 tsp oil to coat.
  • Dredge chicken in flour on both sides and add to the skillet as many as you can fit.
  • Cook chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side and transfer onto a plate.
  • Repeat with remaining chicken, adding more oil as necessary and reducing heat as skillet gets hotter.
  • Add 1 tbsp butter and garlic, saute for 20 seconds, stirring often.
  • Add chicken stock, lemon zest and juice, 2 more tbsp of butter and bring to a boil while scraping the bottom. It is called deglazing. 🙂 Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add chicken back to the skillet and spoon lemon butter sauce over it. Alternatively, if you placed chicken in a serving dish after pan searing, you can pour sauce over it right there.
  • Sprinkle with parsley or basil and garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. It tastes very-very good cold but you can reheat it by simmering on the stove with a splash of water or chicken stock covered.

    Make ahead: You can refrigerate seasoned chicken in a container covered for up to 2 days. Also store lemon zest and juice in another container. Get ingredients ready while skillet is preheating and voila.

      Freeze: In an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw completely on a counter for a few hours or in the fridge overnight before reheating.

        Notes

        • Chicken tenders would work. Also boneless chicken thighs - cook time might be a tad bit longer.
        • My lemon was from Costco. 🙂
        • You can use less lemon juice if you don't like very tart lemon chicken.
        • Add more garlic for lemon garlic chicken. If you grate garlic, dish will be more garlicky. If you mince it - more lemony.
        • You can replace some of chicken stock with white wine. I wouldn't use only wine because dish is already acidic from lemon.
        • Feel free to cut recipe in half to feed 2-3 people. Leftovers taste cold very good though and last for days. Just sayin'. 🙂

        Nutrition

        Serving: 2cutlets | Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 461mg | Potassium: 487mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 167IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
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        olena osipov in the studio

        Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

        My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

        14 comments on “Lemon Chicken

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        1. 5 stars
          Oh my gosh. I needed a quick recipe to meal prep for the week so I landed on this one….I have to go buy more chicken because I ate most of what I cooked. It was THAT good. I served with brown rice and steamed veggies. Really great and easy recipe.

        2. 5 stars
          Loved it, very easy to do and my husband loved it as well.
          I added garlic/onion seasoning on the chicken.
          Im definitively making this dish again, side mashed potato and avocado/tomato/corn salad.

        3. 5 stars
          Loved this. I have never sliced the chicken breast in half lengthwise before. Also, I had an open jar of capers in my refrigerator so threw a few into the sauce.

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