This One Skillet Chicken with Lemon Sauce dinner may look like it took hours to make but can be on the table in a little over 30 minutes. Simply brown the chicken in a skillet with garlic then add the wine, seasonings and lemon juice. The lemon sauce is so good you might want to use it on everything! Great for easy weeknight family dinners and yet special enough for company.
Chicken is a staple in our house. It's inexpensive, easy to store frozen and is a healthy, lean protein for any diet. It adapts easily to many different flavors and makes some pretty delicious quick and easy dinners. Three of the most popular recipes on my site and my standard go-tos are Chicken Stir Fry, Baked Honey Garlic Chicken and Chicken Fiesta. Now, I've got one more to add to the list. This deliciously easy Chicken with Lemon Sauce.
Even though the list of ingredients looks long, it is really an easy dish to make. Plus, it's all made in one skillet which means cleanup is short and sweet. What makes it cook so quickly? The chicken is pounded to about ¼-inch thickness which speeds up the cooking time tremendously. Why is the sauce so over-the-top delicious? It starts with garlic browned in butter which gives the wine sauce a delightful butter-garlic base. Once the lemon juice and wine is added, it is cooked down to intensify the flavors. And oh what flavors they are!
Just a tip, when cooking with wine, choose a wine you like to drink. Please don't opt for those cheap bottles of cooking wine (ever) as the flavor of the dish is based solely on the quality of wine used. In other words, if you won't drink it, don't use it!
What type of wine should I use
I like to use a dry Chardonnay, which pairs amazingly well with the lemony sauce, but a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio would work as well. On the other hand, if you are not a wine drinker, you can substitute chicken broth for the wine but it will come out with a slightly different overall taste.
Options for Lemon Chicken
How do I make this sauce less intense?
This lemon sauce has a very strong tart flavor. If you want to make it milder with a little brighter flavor, just reduce the amount of lemon juice to 2 Tablespoons and the lemon zest to 1 teaspoon. Children tend to like it a little less lemony.
Can I make this into a creamy sauce?
Yes you can! Take the chicken out of the sauce after warming it up. Then add about ¼ cup of half and half or cream to the skillet and stir until it has warmed through. Place chicken on serving platter and drizzle sauce over it. Voila! Creamy Lemon Chicken that goes perfect over pasta.
How long does this Chicken with Lemon Sauce keep?
This dish will easily keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready for dinner, just cover and reheat in microwave until warm.
Gather the simple ingredients and a large skillet.
Pound chicken with a tenderizing mallet to a thickness of approximately ¼" to ½" thick.
Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper then dredge with flour. Dredge just means to coat all sides well with all purpose flour.
How to cook chicken
- Melt butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. (photo 1)
- When butter starts to turn slightly brown, add garlic. (photo 2)
- Add chicken with garlic and brown each side for 3 minutes. (photo 3)
- Chicken will be close to done and should have a nice golden brown golden. (photo 4)
Making lemon sauce
- Remove chicken from pan and add wine. Scrape all the goodies off the bottom of the pan and let wine sauce reduce by ⅓ to ½. This gives the sauce a richness and allows some of the alcohol to evaporate and the flavor of the wine to be incorporated into the sauce. (photo 5)
- Add chicken broth, seasoning and chicken broth and stir. (photo 6)
- Add lemon zest. (photo 7)
- Combine the egg with lemon juice and whisk. (photo 8)
Pro Tip: To keep the egg from cooking too quickly, add a little of the wine broth to the lemon-egg mixture. This is called tempering and will bring the egg mixture closer to the sauce temperature and prevent clumping.
- Whisk well to combine. (photo 9)
- Add chicken back to pan, turning once, and simmer for five minutes or until chicken is cooked through. (photo 10)
This One Skillet Chicken with Lemon Sauce is so easy to make that you'll be making it whenever time runs short around dinner time. I like to serve mine over rice, to absorb all that over the top, to die for, lemon sauce with a serving of vegetables on the side. Make it for those hectic weeknight dinners, special occasions, date night or even girls night in. Enjoy!
More chicken recipes
Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken Tacos is just what Taco Tuesday ordered. Citrusy, not too spicy, chicken with a touch of tequila served with flour tortillas and all your favorite taco fixins'. Of course, they're fine by me any night of the week.
Crockpot White Chicken Chili is a dump and cook dinner that is stuffed full of moist chicken, white beans, corn and green chiles. In other words, the perfect one-pot comfort meal.
Easy French Onion Chicken is like French Onion Soup made into a casserole. Tender chicken covered in sweet caramelized onions and a rich gravy is topped with crusty bread just oozing with melted gruyere cheese.
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Chicken in Lemon Wine Sauce
- 2 large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Pinch of salt
- Dash of cracked black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 2 teaspoons light olive oil
- 1 ½ Tablespoons minced garlic
- ½ cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 ½ teaspoons oregano
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves chopped
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ⅛ cup fresh parsley chopped
- Garnish: Parsley sprigs, lemon slices
- I use very large chicken breasts which I slice in half horizontally before flattening. You can also opt to use 4 small chicken breasts.
- Flatten each chicken breast with a meat mallet by placing in resealable plastic bag and pounding until ¼" thick. Take out and season with salt and pepper then dredge (cover) in flour.
- In a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil. When butter just starts to turn brown, add the garlic and chicken pieces and cook for 3 minutes per side or until brown.
- Remove chicken breasts from skillet and cover to keep warm.
- In same skillet, add wine and stir to incorporate any browned bits from pan. Boil until reduced by almost half, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth, oregano, thyme and lemon zest and return to boil.
- Combine the egg and lemon juice and stir into wine-broth liquid. Stir until sauce is smooth and has thickened slightly.
- Add chicken back to pan and simmer for five minutes, turning once, until chicken is warm and thoroughly cooked.
- Sprinkle with parsley then remove to serving platter.
- Pour sauce over chicken then garnish with parsley sprigs and lemon slices.