One pan restaurant-quality creamy lemon chicken is easy to make in 30 minutes. Pan seared chicken fillets are smothered in a delicious creamy lemon sauce. Serve over pasta or rice.
You’re going to love this French bistro-style chicken recipe. The creamy sauce is full of flavor with some beautiful citrus tang. You can add some greenery with capers and spinach, or serve with a side of potatoes, pasta, or green beans.
Creamy Lemon Chicken
You’re going to feel just like a cordon bleu chef putting this meal together. The sauce is packed with flavor, but because it doesn't have butter it won’t be super heavy. It’s got a great balance of citrus, cream, and savory tastes. You’ll be making a surplus of sauce with this recipe, too, and you can save that to serve drizzled over some pasta or roast potatoes.
- Heavy cream or half and half
- Chicken stock
- Pecorino Romano
- Lemon juice
How To Make Creamy Lemon Chicken
- First, you’re going to cut your chicken into two thinner slices. This means you don’t have to pound it for as long, and it will make your chicken cook quickly. Once you’ve sliced the chicken, place it on a cutting board or in a gallon freezer bag or between some saran wrap and pound it with a meat hammer or rolling pin to about a ¼ inch thickness.
- Next, you’ll pat them dry, season with lemon pepper and dredge the sliced and pounded breasts in your seasoned mix of flour and Pecorino Romano. Tap off any excess, and heat up the oil in your pan. When the oil begins to glisten and glimmer, sear your chicken in batches for about four to five minutes per side. The chicken should turn a golden brown color when it’s properly seared. Set the chicken aside and leave the little brown bits in your pan.
- Next, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the chicken stock and cook until it has reduced by half, using a silicone spatula, scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan in a “cleaning” motion.
- Once you’ve reduce the heat to low, stir in your cream and lemon juice. While stirring, sprinkle in your Pecorino Romano cheese, allowing it to melt into the sauce and combine with it. Return your chicken to the pan, spooning your sauce on top, and allow the chicken to heat through. This shouldn’t take too long with your chicken being nice and thin from the pounding and slicing, and the flour from your breading process will blend into the sauce, thickening it.
- While you’re doing this, you can boil some water and cook about three quarters of a pound of spaghetti. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it, and place the chicken on serving plates. Add your pasta to the sauce pot, and stir it to achieve your desired pasta-to-sauce ratio.
- Garnish your dinner with a slice of lemon and some parsley and it’ll be good to go.
Creamy Lemon Chicken vs Chicken Piccata
Chicken piccata is served in a buttery wine reduction sauce. This creamy lemon chicken recipe uses cream and pecorino cheese to achieve a nice, thick, creamy consistency. The texture of this meal is absolutely divine!
Why Does Garlic Turn Blue?
Garlic, if it isn’t super fresh, react to the acid in lemon juice and turn blue. Blue garlic, fortunately, is safe to eat despite the color change. If you don’t like the color, be sure to use a fresh clove of garlic in order to avoid this chemical reaction.
- You should use a meat tenderizer to achieve a beautiful textured surface on your chicken. This not only gives the breading more surface to cling to, but it improves the flavor of your chicken. The pounding of the chicken also breaks down the muscle fibers in the chicken, making it more tender when it’s time to eat.
- Chicken tends to plump up when cooked, so be sure to pound your chicken thin. If you need to err on the side of caution, too thin is better than too thick.
- You should use fresh lemon juice, particularly if you’ve squeezed it from a lemon yourself. This has far more flavor than bottled or pre-packaged lemon juice.
- Likewise, fresh garlic, rather than jarred or canned, has the best flavor. Using fresh ingredients is the best way to guarantee an awesome flavor for your dinner.
- You can throw some capers or spinach into your sauce at the end of the cooking if you like. The capers will bring a pleasantly salty flavor to the sauce, and spinach will help bulk up your sauce and add some fiber and greenery.
- You don’t want the base of your sauce to be too hot when the cheese goes into the pan. This can cause the cheese to separate and become “grainy”.
Can You Store Creamy Lemon Chicken?
You can store your chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. It will keep in the freezer for up to two months.
What Tools Do I Need?
- You’ll want a nicely sized skillet that has good heat conduction and a high enough rim to prevent the sauce from slipping over the sides.
- To pound your chicken, use a meat tenderizer to get the thin, melt-in-your-mouth texture we all love. This will also provide some texture on the surface of the chicken.
- Use kitchen tongs to handle the chicken when searing it. This makes flipping the chicken and ensuring an even sear very easy.
- A garlic twister is a great tool for making mincing your garlic quick & easy.
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