Easy lemon chicken is cooked in a flavorful brothy sauce until perfectly juicy and tender. This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and ready in 30 minutes.
I wish there was a scratch and sniff feature on food photos. This lemon broth smells and tastes out of this world. It's so good, that I could easily just drink it by the mugful.
And it's really this liquid gold that attributes to both the amazing flavor and tenderness of the chicken. As we all know, chicken breast can easily get overcooked making it dried out and tough, but with the help of lemon juice and a simple cooking method, the chicken comes out juicy and tender every time.
Plus, no marinating is required and it's ready in under 30 minutes. This makes it a great weeknight (or any time) meal when you don't have much time.
- chicken breasts
- salt & pepper
- olive oil
- broth (vegetable or chicken) - this is forndeglazing the pan, making the sauce, and braising the chicken.
- garlic - for flavoring the broth.
- Italian seasoning - alternative you can use dried thyme
- dijon mustard - flavor for the broth
- unsalted dairy-free butter - the combination of butter and olive oil is really nice, but you can also just use all olive oil if you'd like.
- lemon zest & juice - the addition of the zest helps to really enhance the lemon flavor.
- organic cane sugar - a small amount helps to balance out the lemon juice.
How To Make Lemon Chicken
First, we're going to season the chicken breasts and sear them on each side to develop the flavor and cook it a little now before we cook it the rest of the way through later on.
Now, it's time to create the flavorful lemon broth that the chicken will finish cooking in, all in the same pan.
The final step is adding the chicken back into the pan to finish cooking in the flavorful broth we just made.
- skillet with a lid (I just used a lid from another pan that fit)
- chef knife
- cutting board
- measuring spoons and liquid measuring cups
Helpful Tips For Making The Best Lemon Chicken
Don't forget to season your chicken breasts on both sides with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. This helps build a lot of flavor early on and also helps to bring out all the flavors in the broth.
What To Do If Your Chicken Is Too Thick
Unless your chicken breasts are already thin, cut them in half lengthwise, cover with a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap and tenderize them with the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin. This will help them cook more evenly.
If you go this route, sear them for just a minute or two on each side, otherwise, they'll overcook in the broth.
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Quick & Easy Lemon Chicken
- 1 ½ pounds chicken breast see notes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chicken broth, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning or dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons unsalted dairy-free butter or olive oil
- zest of 1 small lemon about 1 teaspoon
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- fresh parsley for garnish
- lemon slices for serving
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. While the pan is heating up, generously season your chicken breasts on both sides with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Once the pan is hot, add the olive oil and the chicken breasts. Sear on each side for 3-4 minutes (if your chicken is really thin, aim for about 2 minutes). It'll finish cooking later. Remove the seared chicken breasts from the pan, set them aside on a plate, and reduce the heat to medium.
- Add two tablespoons of the broth, scraping up any of the browned bits stuck on the bottom of the pan and add in the minced garlic. Cook, stirring frequently for about 30 seconds before adding in the Italian seasoning (or thyme), mustard, and butter. Stir together and continue to cook until melted before adding in the rest of the broth, the lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar. Give the sauce a quick stir and add the chicken back in the pan.
- Cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF. Serve with freshly chopped parsley and thin slices of lemon or freshly grated lemon zest.