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In this Lemon Chicken recipe, chicken breasts are browned in a skillet and then baked in a bright, fresh lemon sauce. Serve it with pasta or rice for an easy dinner.
Easy Lemon Chicken Recipe
This lemon chicken recipe checks all the boxes for a tried-and-true dinner favorite. It’s quick and easy to make, family-approved and worthy of serving to dinner guests. With its short ingredient list and simple preparation, this impressive meal is easy enough to make any day of the week.
A simple pan sauce made with lemon, garlic and white wine is the perfect complement to boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The chicken is first seared in a skillet to create a golden brown crust and lock in the juices. Then it finishes cooking in the sauce in the oven until it’s tender and flavorful.
Lemon Chicken Recipe Ingredients
- Chicken Breasts: I like to use boneless skinless chicken breasts that are on the smaller side so that they don’t take as long to cook through.
- Salt and Pepper: For seasoning the chicken. I like to use freshly ground black pepper for the best flavor.
- Flour: Dredging the chicken in flour before cooking it in the skillet helps to create a golden brown crust.
- Olive Oil & Butter: For browning the chicken and creating the base of the sauce. Using a combination of olive oil and butter provides a nice balance of flavors and keeps the sauce from being too rich.
- White Wine: For deglazing the pan and adding flavor. If you prefer to not cook with wine, you can substitute chicken broth.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic and lemon are a delicious pair.
- Lemons: You’ll need 3 medium lemons for this lemon chicken recipe: one for zest and juice, a second for more lemon juice, and a third to slice and place on top of the chicken before baking. (This adds additional flavor and makes for a beautiful presentation.)
How to Make Lemon Chicken
Pound the chicken. Place the chicken breasts in a zip-top bag and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound them to an even thickness.
Brown the chicken. Pat the chicken dry and season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet. Coat the chicken breasts in flour and then place them in the hot skillet. Brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove chicken to a clean plate.
Deglaze the pan. Add the minced garlic and white wine to the skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes, scraping up any flavorful browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice.
Bake. Return the chicken to the skillet. Spoon some sauce over the chicken and arrange the lemon slices around/on the chicken in the skillet. Bake at 350° F for 10-20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Use a non-reactive pan when cooking with lemon juice. For this recipe I recommend either a stainless steel or enameled cast iron skillet, braiser or Dutch oven that can go from stove to oven.
- Pounding the chicken breasts to an even thickness before cooking helps them to cook more evenly. It also makes the chicken more tender.
- Be careful to not overcook the chicken so that it stays moist and juicy. The best way to tell when it is done is to use an instant read thermometer to measure the internal temperature. Chicken is done when it reaches 165° F.
This lemon chicken pairs well with pasta or rice, or you could even serve it with mashed potatoes. I like to add a green vegetable to the plate as well; try Sautéed Zucchini, Roasted Green Beans or Air Fryer Broccoli. A sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese is the perfect finishing touch.
If you have leftover lemon chicken, it’s delicious served on a salad. Or warm it in a covered dish in the oven and serve with your favorite side dishes.
Easy Lemon Chicken Recipe
- 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about four 6-ounce chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup dry white wine, or chicken broth
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, from 1 lemon
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, from about 2 lemons
- 1 lemon, sliced
- chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Place the chicken breasts in a zip-top plastic bag and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness. Remove chicken from the bag.
- Pat the chicken breasts dry and season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a large non-reactive oven-safe skillet (such as stainless steel or enameled cast iron) over medium heat.
- Place the flour in a bowl or shallow baking dish. Coat each piece of chicken in the flour, gently shaking off any excess flour.
- Add the chicken breasts to the hot skillet and brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.
- Remove the chicken to a clean plate (it will not be fully cooked yet).
- Add the minced garlic and white wine (or chicken broth) to the skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice.
- Return the chicken and any juices from the plate to the skillet. Spoon some of the sauce from the skillet over the chicken. Arrange the lemon slices around/on the chicken in the skillet.
- Place the skillet in the preheated oven. Bake chicken for 10-20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. The center of the chicken should register 165° F on an instant read thermometer.
- Serve lemon chicken garnished with chopped fresh parsley.