With this lemon chicken recipe, it's simple to prepare a meal of restaurant caliber at home. The sauce has a hint of tang and is creamy and flavorful. Spinach and capers are optional additions to this dish.
Creamy Lemon Chicken
The recipe you're about to make is superior to what you'll find in many restaurants, so get ready to cook like a gourmet chef. The sauce has a perfect balance of savory, creamy, and tangy ingredients and is incredibly flavorful despite not using a lot of butter.
Continue reading for all the details on the recipe, which yields a generous amount of sauce that can also be served with a side of spaghetti.
How to Make It
Chicken should be cut into two thinner slices. This shortens the time spent pounding. Pound the chicken to a ¼-inch thickness and put it in a gallon freezer bag or between two pieces of saran wrap.
Dry thoroughly before dredging in seasoned flour and Parmesan. Tap excess off. Chicken should be seared in batches for 4-5 minutes per side in hot olive oil. Brown remains should be set aside and kept in the pan.
White wine and garlic are added, and the mixture is gently bubbled for 4 minutes or so until it has reduced by half. The pan's bottom can be "cleaned" using a silicone spatula.
Add the mustard powder, chicken broth, and chicken bouillon. Approximately 5 minutes after bringing it to a gentle boil, allow it to reduce and concentrate. Turn down the heat.
Add the cream and lemon juice after stirring. Add the Parmesan cheese gradually and combine by stirring. Place the chicken back in the dish and top with sauce. Let the chicken heat through; the additional sauce thickening from the flour in the breading will result.
Optional: When the chicken is added back to the sauce, boil up to ¾ lb. of spaghetti. Drain. Once the pasta/sauce ratio is achieved, arrange the chicken on serving plates and keep adding pasta to the pot of sauce.
Lemon slices and parsley are served as garnish.
Creamy Lemon Chicken vs. Chicken Piccata
- This creamy lemon chicken uses cream and Parmesan cheese for a creamier consistency in contrast to my Chicken Piccata recipe, which has a more buttery wine reduction sauce.
Why Does Garlic Turn Blue
- If you combine less-than-fresh garlic with acidic foods like white wine or lemon juice, it can turn blue.
- If the color does change, the good news is that you can still eat it.
- To avoid this problem, try to use a fresh clove of garlic.
- Parmesan cheese: For this recipe, I use Belgioioso Parmesan cheese and add 1 cup to the sauce.
- Given that some varieties of Parmesan cheese might have a stronger flavor, start with ½ cup and add more if preferred.
- To give the chicken a textured surface, use the meat tenderizer. As a result, the breading has something to cling to and you get a nice sear. The chicken becomes more tender when it is pounded.
- Don't be afraid to pound the chicken thin because it will plump up more when cooked.
- Bottled lemon juice lacks the flavor of fresh lemon juice.
- If possible, use fresh garlic rather than jarred.
- Redmond's Lemon Pepper Seasoning Actual Salt My favorite brand of lemon pepper seasoning, which also contains sea salt and has a ton of flavor, is what I use to season this chicken.
For up to 3 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer, store in an airtight container.
Creamy Lemon Chicken
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Lemon pepper seasoning
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup dry white wine, like chardonnay or pinot grigio
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- ¾ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1 chicken bouillon
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons cold salted butter
- ¾ lb. spaghetti, optional
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- Freshly sliced lemon
Cut, Pound, Dredge, and Sear the Chicken:
- Slice the chicken in half to create 2 thinner slices. Place the chicken in a gallon freezer bag (or in between saran wrap) and use the textured side of a meat mallet to pound it to ½ inch thick.
- Season with lemon pepper seasoning. You may also season with salt if desired, the Redmond Real Salt brand of lemon pepper seasoning that I use already contains sea salt.
- Combine the flour, Parmesan cheese, and garlic powder, on a large plate. Set aside.
- Pat the chicken dry and dredge each side in the flour mixture. Tap off excess.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken in batches for 4-5 minutes per side, until a golden crust has developed. Set aside and leave brown remnants in the pan.
Prepare the Sauce:
- Add the wine and garlic. Set heat to medium. Bubble gently for about 4 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half. Use a silicone spatula to “clean” any remaining brown flecks on the pan while the wine reduces and incorporate it into the liquid for more flavor.
- Add the chicken broth, chicken bouillon, and mustard powder. Bring to a gentle boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes or so, to thicken and concentrate the flavor. Reduce heat to low.
- Add the heavy cream slowly, stirring continuously.
- Stir in the lemon juice and slowly sprinkle in the Parmesan, stirring continuously, until combined. Add the chicken back and let the chicken warm through.
- Optional: Swirl in 2 Tbsp. cold butter to give the sauce a smooth, velvety finish.
To Serve with Pasta:
- Boil up to ¾ lb. of spaghetti once the chicken is added back to the sauce. Drain.
- Remove chicken and set on serving plates. Use kitchen tongs to add the spaghetti to the pot with the sauce until your desired sauce/pasta ratio is obtained. Toss to coat. (OR, serve this with my easy Buttered Noodles.)
- Garnish with parsley and lemon slices and serve!
- Parmesan Cheese: I use Belgioioso Parmesan cheese in this recipe and put 1 cup in the sauce. Some Parmesan cheese varieties may have a stronger taste, consider adding ½ cup at first, then add more if desired.
- Use the meat tenderizer to create a textured surface on the chicken. This gives the breading something to cling onto, which also gives you a nice sear. Pounding the chicken also makes it more tender.
- Chicken plumps up more when cooked so don't be afraid to pound it thin.
- Fresh lemon juice is much more flavorful than bottled.
- Use fresh garlic (vs. jarred) if possible.
- Lemon Pepper Seasoning: Redmond Real Salt lemon pepper seasoning is my favorite brand for seasoning this chicken, it also contains sea salt and has a lot of great flavor. (Use promo code ‘COZY‘ for 15% off!) Some brands (like McCormick) can be potent so be aware of that.
- Capers and/or spinach can be added to the sauce at the end of cooking if desired.
- ½ Cup chicken broth and 1 Tbsp. butter can be used instead of white wine if needed.
- Be sure to serve this with my easy Roasted Asparagus!