Easy and Quick Lemon Chicken

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    25 mins
Ratings (8)

The fresh, clean taste of lemon chicken (also called chicken piccata)  is appealing all year-round. Lemon does as much for chicken as it does for fish, and this recipe is a good example of that. The lemon shines through and highlights the other flavors in this dish as well. The best part about this easy lemon chicken recipe is that it's ready in less than 30 minutes, and it can also be easily doubled to feed more people.

What You'll Need

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 4 ounces each), tenderloins removed and pounded to an even thickness (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth or dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

How to Make It

  1. On a sheet of waxed paper or in a shallow dish, mix the flour, salt and pepper. Coat each breast with the mixture, shaking off the excess.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned and no longer pink in the center. Remove to a serving platter and place in oven at about 200 F to keep it warm.
  1. Add the chicken broth or white wine and lemon juice to the skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring to scrape up any browned bits in the pan, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced slightly. Stir in the capers and parsley. Stir in the remaining butter.
  2. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve right away with lemon slices and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.

Recipe Notes

• The tenderloin runs just beneath the chicken breast meat. It's a tender piece of meat, but it's removed for this recipe so the chicken breasts will be even thickness and will cook quickly. To remove the tenderloins, just pull or cut them from the breast. Remove the tendons if desired and reserve for another use.
• To pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness, place them between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap and using the flat bottom of a meat pounder or the handle of a chef's knife (wrap the blade in a kitchen towel), pound meat to an even thickness. For this recipe, around 1/3- to 1/2-inch thick is fine.
• When buying lemons, look for those that are brightly colored with a glossy sheen. Lemons that feel heavy and are slightly soft with thin skins are fresh and full of juice. If you're looking for zest, thicker-skinned lemons have more flavorful zest and will also be easier to grate.
• Store lemons at cool room temperature for up to one week or in the refrigerator for up to six weeks. For juicing, let lemons come to room temperature before using.