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Lemon Chicken Recipe

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Lemon Chicken Recipe

Are you searching for a delicious and refreshing dish to add some zest to your dinner table? Look no further than our mouthwatering lemon chicken recipe! This simple yet flavorful dish combines tender chicken with the tangy brightness of fresh lemons, resulting in a tantalizing blend of flavors that will leave your taste buds begging for more.

This savory Lemon Chicken Recipe will quickly become a family favorite. Smothered in lemon butter sauce the delicate blend of flavors is a fantastic combination. This is a light and tangy dish that is perfect with over rice or pasta or with a side of Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts.

Whether you’re looking to impress guests or simply treat yourself to a delectable meal, this recipe is guaranteed to be a hit. So gather your ingredients and get ready to embark on a culinary journey filled with citrusy goodness!

Lemon Chicken Recipe

What is lemon chicken?

Lemon chicken is a popular dish that combines the tanginess of lemon with the savory flavors of chicken. It is a versatile and refreshing meal that can be enjoyed in various cuisines around the world.

The dish typically involves marinating chicken pieces, such as breasts or thighs, in a mixture of lemon juice, garlic, herbs, and spices. The acidic nature of lemon juice helps to tenderize the meat while infusing it with a bright and zesty flavor.

Once marinated for some time, the chicken is usually cooked by grilling, baking, or pan-frying until it reaches an appealing golden-brown color and deliciously juicy texture. Lemon zest or additional lemon slices are often added during cooking to enhance the citrusy taste further.

The result is a delightful combination of succulent chicken with a burst of tangy citrus flavor. The acidity from the lemon not only adds freshness but also acts as a natural tenderizer for the meat. This makes lemon chicken incredibly flavorful and moist.

Recipe Ingredients

The ingredients for this lemon chicken recipe are often on hand in my home. Keeping chicken breast or tenders in the freezer is something most of us do. And on those nights when you are trying to figure out a fresh new way to cook that chicken I hope this simple dish comes to mind.

When I am in a pinch and trying to figure out what I am going to cook for dinner this is one of my go to recipes. So if you are like me and need some delicious and easy meals to be your go to, then give this a try.

Pan Seared Chicken

  • 2 Large Chicken Breasts Cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Salted Butter

Lemon Marinade

  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper

Lemon Butter Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup Chicken Broth
  • 6 tbsp Salted Butter
  • 2 Garlic Clove minced
  • 1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper

Garnish (optional)

  • 1/2 tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 Lemon Sliced

Chicken Marinade:

I prefer to marinade my chicken prior to cooking to give it a chance to absorb some of the flavors and seasonings. This also helps the chicken to tenderize.

Marinating the chicken for a minimum of 30 minutes is preferred. I have thrown chicken into the marinade in the morning when I am headed out to work. That way it has all day to bask in the goodness of the seasonings and flavor of the lemon.

This is a lemon chicken recipe and I love a strong lemon flavor. If you do not then do not marinate it as long.

  • Chicken Breast: I like to cut the chicken breast in half lengthwise for this recipe. I find that a thinner cut of meat that is about 1/2 inch thickness cooks best in the skillet.
  • Lemon Juice: In my opinion this is the subtle but shinning star of this recipe. Bringing the acid and the sweet to this recipe makes this lemon chicken one of my favorites.
  • Seasonings: Garlic salt, Italian seasoning, and Ground black pepper, are the simple seasonings that bring a balance of flavor.

Lemon Butter Sauce:

This sauce is perfect over a variety of meats, including fish, and perfect over pasta.

I recommend perfecting it and keeping the ingredients on hand. When you want to impress a crowd or throw together a quick meal this sauce will allow you to do both.

  • Butter: I prefer salted butter for the lemon butter sauce as it adds extra flavor.
  • Chicken Broth: Bringing the flavor of salty and savory this is the prefect balance in this sauce.
  • Lemon Juice: Light and refreshing lemon juice brings all the flavor to this sauce.
  • Minced Garlic: Can you really have to much garlic, I don’t think so.
Lemon Butter Sauce

Cooking Lemon Chicken

I use a large non-stick skillet that has a lid to cook the chicken. Using a lid helps the chicken to cook all of the way through and keeps the work area clean from splatter.

When cooking this lemon chicken recipe using a Large Deep Skillet works best. It is able to hold a significant amount of food and allows me to mix ingredients easily.

This is the skillet that I have and I love it. It is nonstick and significant in size. And the best part is that it is dishwasher safe. So when it comes to clean up I am not standing scrubbing a pan for forever.

I will add the butter and oil to the pan over medium high heat. Once the butter is melted I add the chicken and place the lid on top. Cook for 5 minutes, turn and replace the lid. Cook another 3-5 minutes or until cooked through and browned on each side.

While the chicken is cooking I will prepare the lemon butter sauce in a separate pan. I will let it simmer for 3 minutes and then add it to the cooked chicken.

Once all of the ingredients are in the pan I will lower the heat, put the lid back on, and let the ingredients simmer for a few minutes.


Frequently Asked Questions

What does lemon juice do to chicken?

Lemon juice is a versatile ingredient that can add a burst of flavor to various dishes, including chicken. When it comes to poultry, lemon juice offers not only taste-enhancing qualities but also several other benefits. Let’s explore what lemon juice does to chicken:

  1. Tenderizing properties: Lemon juice contains citric acid, which acts as a natural meat tenderizer. The acid breaks down the proteins in the chicken, resulting in more tender and juicy meat. Marinating chicken with lemon juice helps soften tougher cuts or dry pieces.
  2. Flavor enhancer: Lemon juice brings a refreshing tangy flavor to chicken dishes. Its bright acidity beautifully complements both white and dark meats, enhancing the overall taste profile of your meal.
  3. Natural preservative: The high acidity content in lemon juice can help preserve the freshness of raw chicken by inhibiting bacterial growth for a short period of time. However, this is not meant as a substitute for proper food safety practices like refrigeration.
  4. Marinade base: Lemon juice serves as an excellent base for marinades due to its acidic nature. Combined with other ingredients like herbs, spices, olive oil, and garlic, lemon juice creates flavorful marinades that infuse the chicken with deliciousness while helping lock in moisture.
  5. Health benefits: Lemons are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants that offer numerous health benefits when consumed regularly. Incorporating lemon juice into your chicken recipes allows you to enjoy these advantages while adding zing to your meals.

What is lemon chicken sauce made of?

Lemon juice, chicken broth, salted butter, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and ground black pepper all join together to make this dish sing.

It is a delicate blend of flavors that are not very spectacular on their own, but together in the right proportions they are delicious.


Lemon Chicken Tips and Tricks:

I like to use a Meat Mallet to pound the meat into 1/2 inch thickness. This tenderizes the meat and flattens it for easier cooking.

I prefer to make my sauce separately from the main dish that I will be adding it to. This is possible to do in a Non-Stick Skillet or in a Saucepan.

When stirring this sauce I use a Wooden Spoon. I found that when I need to leave a spoon in a sauce or pan to stir it that using a wooden spoon is best. Because it is not metal the handle will not get hot. And because it is not plastic I do not have to worry about the spoon melting.

For the first minute of cooking this sauce I like to have just the butter and minced garlic together. I find that cooking the garlic on its own with the butter brings out the flavor more.

What to Serve with Lemon Chicken

Lemon chicken can be served in numerous ways depending on personal preferences or cultural variations. It pairs well with rice or pasta dishes, making it an excellent choice for a hearty main course. Some recipes even incorporate creamy sauces or glazes infused with lemon to add richness and depth to the dish.

I have tried this lemon chicken recipe over rice and pasta and found both to be delicious. But if neither on are things that you like I can recommend some side dishes for you. Here are a few recipes that I love to have with lemon chicken.

Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken Recipe

Tangy and Savory this lemon Chicken recipe is easy to make and packed full of flavor.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 1 Non-Stick Skillet


Pan Seared Chicken

  • 2 Large Chicken Breasts Cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Salted Butter

Lemon Marinade

  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper

Lemon Butter Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup Chicken Broth
  • 6 tbsp Salted Butter
  • 2 Garlic Clove minced
  • 1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper

Garnish (optional)

  • 1/2 tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 Lemon Sliced


  • Cut chicken in half lengthwise. Use a rolling pin or meat mallet to beat the chicken tenderize it and flatten them to an even thickness. Pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Place the chicken, and ingredients for the marinade into a ziploc plastic bag. Seal the bag and mix together. Set aside in the refrigerator and let sit for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  • In a non-stick skillet add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter. Heat on medium high heat until butter is melted. Add the chicken and cover for 5 minutes. Lift the lid and turn the chicken over, replace the lid for another 3-5 minutes. Remove the lid and make sure that the chicken has browned on both sides and that it is cooked through.
    *While the chicken is cooking prepare the lemon butter sauce.
  • In a separate sauce pan add the ingredients for the lemon butter sauce and simmer for 3 minutes. The simmering will bring out the flavor of the garlic.
  • When the chicken is fully cooked add the Lemon Butter sauce to the same pan as the chicken. Stir the sauce in the pan and loosen the particles from the bottom of the pan. Cover and reduce the heat to let it simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Place chicken on plates, pour the remaining Lemon Butter sauce over the chicken

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