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Lemon chicken recipe

Lemon chicken recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Cuts of chicken
  • Chicken breast
  • Pan fried chicken breasts

Chicken is coated with lemon juice, ginger and garlic before frying, an easy dish for a midweek supper.

Chandigarh, India

6 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 1 lemon, squeezed
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • some capers
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 500g chicken breast
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons oil

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:30min ›Extra time:15min › Ready in:50min

  1. Pour the lemon juice, ginger, capers and garlic over the chicken breast and massage in.
  2. Heat the oil, then cook the chicken on high until it's browned, then slowly for 1/2 hour or until it's cooked through.

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Chinese Lemon Chicken Recipe

Classic Lemon Chicken with crispy battered chicken thighs in a sweet and tangy sauce makes this Chinese Lemon Chicken Recipe a treat. You can skip the delivery and the wait and make it at home!

Chinese Lemon Chicken is a close match to the super popular Orange chicken in flavor but not presentation. The classic orange chicken is made with chunks of dark meat chicken that are tossed in a sweet, tangy and spicy sauce which lemon chicken is a fried chicken cutlet that is sliced and covered in a freshly made lemon sauce.

Though they may have similar flavors many people have very strong feelings about which dish is better. Many love that lemon chicken is the healthier version of orange chicken because of the use of white meat chicken, similar to Sweet and Sour Chicken.

If you’d like to make the sauce more yellow (some restaurants have it looking incredibly neon yellow), you can add 2-3 drops of yellow food coloring. I don’t suggest it, but if you’re looking to match the colors that would be the way to do it.

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As others noted, I lightly coated with seasoned flour (add white and black pepper, paprika), added chicken stock and cut down on the lemon rind. Added sun dried tomatoes and julienned red bell pepper toward the end. Served with lots of fresh parsley. Delicious comfort food!

I have made this recipe several times, my brother in law has requested this instead of Thanksgiving dinner this year. My variation is I bread the chicken in dried bread crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper. I follow the rest of the recipe, omitting the mushrooms since they aren't my families favorite. I have also started this the night before by breading and saute'ing the chicken, putting it in a baking dish and covering it overnight. I deglaze the pan and reserve the jusices for the next day. Pre-heat the oven to 350, pour the juices and wine around the chicken, layer with lemons and bake until cooked through about 30 - 40 minutes. You may need to cover this for a bit so it doesn't dry out, but it is an excellent easy meal.

I didn't have fresh mushrooms so I substituted a cup of dried reconstituted mushroom mix. While the mushrooms were a little tough, the flavor was definitely there. I agree to more cooking time and more wine. My husband loved it.

Very easy. I added more lemon juice and used a touch of corn starch to thicken the sauce. I'm thinking this sauce would also be good with fish.

This has been in my recipe box for years -- one thing I do find is that it needs more cooking time, and more sauce, so I add an extra 1/2 cup of wine and 1/2 cup of chicken broth. My family loves this dish.

Really easy to make and very delicious! My husband cleaned his plate.

Very simple and basic recipe that tastes great. Didn't have any normal white wine, so I used vermouth instead. Also rubbed a little thyme onto the breasts in addition to tri-colored pepper and sea salt.

Loved it. Can't ask for better results from ordinary ingredients you have around the house. I did sub chopped shallots for the garlic and I did add a little Wondra at the end. Served over angel hair, asparagus on the side.

This is a good basic recipe, which allows for alterations for individual taste. I use a total of three tablespoons of unsalted butter and double the white wine, since my husband likes a lot of sauce. THICKENING: use a few shakes of WonderGravy thickening flour - it's lighter than flour and doesn't add a pasty taste to the sauce. Cut down on the lemons to cut down on bitter taste. It's the peel which adds the bitterness, so just cut down on the # of lemons you use (don't worry, there will be no lacking in flavor). It will come out smooth and lovely and not overpowered by the bittery lemon flavor. I also use white pepper. I make the sauce by itself (I add four tablespoons of chicken stock) for a nice, light but velvety sauce on broccoli Or lobster. (I use a few more "shakes" of the Wonder Gravy for broccoli and a little more butter for seafood - but I always add the chicken stock).

I wasn't super impressed with this recipe. It bordered on bitter tasting.

I make this all of the time. However, instead of leaving the chicken in big pieces, i cut it into bite size pieces and lightly coat with flour. I brown the chicken in butter and then follow the recipe. This results in a slightly thicker sauce that lightly clings to the chicken. I sometimes add capers and/or shallots to the sauce if I have them on hand.

This was a fabulous recipe! I didn't add the pieces of lemons or the white wine. Instead I added more lemon juice then the recipe called for and that combined with the chicken's juices made an exellent meal.

Has anyone tried thickening the sauce? I've made this dish many times, all successfully, but I agree. the sauce is a little runny. Just wondering what works for people.

I might try this again, however, I would make sure that I browned the chicken much more than I did. (The two minutes per side didn't do it.)It was cooked through when done, but as it didn't brown any more once I added the liquid, it had the appearance of poached chicken. Not too appetizing! The sauce was good, especially on the mushrooms.

Disappointing! I followed the recipe and was left with chicken on the dry side and a thin and insubstantial "sauce" (if you can call wine and lemon juice a sauce). There must be a better way to do lemon chicken!

We served this on our black dishes, so it looked pretty even though it's rather blah looking. The taste is fabulous, though, and don't leave out the mushrooms as they are the best part!

This is a family favorite. My children request it at least once a week. I serve over pasta with steamed spinach. It is very quick and even healthy.

Made this last night for dinner, and while OK for a weeknight dinner, it was missing something. It was rather bland, I thought.

I didnt use the mushrooms because I am not a fan of them.This dish came out very good and I will make it again.

What a great week night meal. So simple to put together. Served it over wild rice and added fresh rosemary to the pan as the sauce simmered. Defnitely a keeper! Could easily be a company meal

Very easy-although all the mushroom prep is slightly tedious. My boyfriend loved the tangy lemon and has requested it again. Next time I will add 2 additional minced garlic cloves and will saute them and mushrooms along with the chicken to add colour to the mushrooms and roated garlic taste. Given the time to cook and ingredient list, really easy and tastes as if one has gone to much more trouble. Will make again!

This dish is fresh, light and yummy. It is very good over pasta and fairly quick and easy.

My husband LOVED this recipe and I thought it was O.K. I used Beringer white wine.

nice! be sure to add enough lemon juice, and be generous with the parsley.

This has the potential to be an excellent dish. I had extra thick boneless chicken breasts and they were not done cooking per the alloted time in the recipe. Cooking them longer resulted in a dish with a very pronounced bitter lemon aftertaste. Next time, I will cook everything sans the lemon slices and add them closer to the end. I think the lemons cooked too much and imparted the bitter aftertaste. Aside from that, the chicken was extremely moist and tender and it did look pretty.

Chicken Breast Sautéed in Sweet Red Onion and Lemon

Yield Serves 1 (with enough for leftovers)

  • alcohol-free
  • egg-free
  • low-carb
  • fish-free
  • peanut-free
  • shellfish-free
  • pork-free
  • sugar-conscious
  • gluten-free
  • wheat-free
  • soy-free
  • tree-nut-free
  • red-meat-free
  • Calories 343
  • Fat 20.7 g (31.8%)
  • Saturated 7.0 g (34.8%)
  • Carbs 4.1 g (1.4%)
  • Fiber 0.6 g (2.4%)
  • Sugars 2.6 g
  • Protein 34.3 g (68.7%)
  • Sodium 360.4 mg (15.0%)


large boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1/3 pound), sliced into 1/2-inch strips

small red onion, sliced in thin wedges ("frenched")

small organic lemon, peel intact, ends discarded, sliced in 1/8-inch thick rounds


Season the chicken with salt and pepper and set aside.

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter, and swirl the pan until the butter is melted. Add the onions with the salt and sugar, and stir to coat. Spread them out evenly across the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, then add the lemon slices — if there's lemon juice on your cutting board, slide it into your skillet — and a splash of water if there is already a lot of build-up of dark caramelized material on the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until the onions are a deep reddish-brown color. You may need to decrease the heat to medium-low to prevent burning. Add a splash of water if you feel they might burn imminently.

Add the strips of chicken to the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until the centers are no longer pink, about 6 to 8 minutes depending on size of the strips, turning occasionally to prevent burning. Serve immediately.

Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. She is most recently the co-author of The Kitchn Cookbook, to be published in October 2014 by Clarkson Potter.


  • 8 (7-ounce) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 medium lemon, plus more for serving
  • 16 peeled garlic cloves, divided (from 1 large head)
  • 1 (1/2 ounce) package fresh thyme sprigs, divided
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons honey, plus more to taste

Preheat oven to 425°F. Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels set aside. Cut lemon in half lengthwise, then into thirds crosswise discard seeds. Finely grate 4 garlic cloves on a Microplane grater.

Arrange lemon slices, grated garlic, remaining 12 garlic cloves, and half of thyme sprigs in a single layer in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish toss briefly to disperse the grated garlic. Place chicken thighs over lemon mixture, skin side up, in a single layer. Drizzle chicken thighs with olive oil, and season evenly with 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper.

Bake until chicken skin is a deep golden brown and a thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 165°F, about 1 hour. Transfer chicken to a serving platter, reserving lemon mixture in the baking dish.

Remove lemon pieces from baking dish and discard. Pour remaining drippings, including garlic cloves and thyme sprigs, into a blender. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until smooth, about 30-40 seconds. Add honey and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to sauce mixture and stir to combine, adding more salt or honey as desired.

Remove thyme leaves from remaining sprigs and sprinkle evenly over chicken thighs. Serve thighs with sauce and additional lemon wedges, if desired.


  • 1 -1 .5 lb thin-sliced chicken breasts or two large boneless skinless chicken breasts *
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano or Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lemon, zested (and a squeeze of lemon juice to finish dish)
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (optional)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (optional)
  • Pinch crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Serving ideas: over pasta, mashed potatoes, or rice or simply with thick crusty bread if desired.

Instructions to make easy lemon butter chicken

Using a sharp kitchen knife, slice the chicken breasts into strips. Season to taste with paprika, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Melt half of the butter in a skillet over medium high heat.

Add the chicken to the hot melted butter and sear on both sides for about 5-7 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Remove the chicken to a plate and add the remaining butter to the skillet.

Add the garlic, then 30 seconds later add the chicken broth, Parmesan, lemon juice and thyme. Give it a good stir and let it start to bubble before adding in the heavy cream, stirring or whisking often.

Cook until the sauce becomes creamy, about 5 minutes, and then add the chicken fingers back to the skillet and spoon on a bit more sauce.

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How to make Lemon Chicken

GLAZE. Begin my making your glaze. Combine the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 10-12 minutes. It should be slightly thickened.

OIL. In a large skillet, heat 1 cup oil over medium high heat. ( Be mindful of the oil temperature. For an even cook keep the oil in the 350-375° F range. This way the chicken does not burn or become too greasy.)

BREADING. Place flour in a ziploc bag and pour milk into a small bowl. Add 8-10 pieces of chicken to your bag of flour and shake around, then dip in milk and throw back into the flour bag to coat a second time. Repeat until all chicken is coated in flour and milk.

FRY. Fry chicken in oil for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

COAT & SERVE. Toss chicken in your glaze mixture and serve warm over rice, noodles or salad.

Other Cooking Methods

Using an air fryer will give a similar texture, but you can also bake the lemon chicken. Either one is a great alternative.

  • To air fry: preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. Spray the basket and line the chicken pieces in the basket. Be sure they are not touching. Depending on how many pieces you are making You may need to do multiple batches. Fry for 4 minutes, turn and fry for another 4 minutes.
  • To bake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and. spread the chicken out in a single layer. Bake for 6-8 minutes, turn and bake for another 6-8 minutes. You may want to broil the chicken for about 2 minutes to give a crispier texture.


  • Chinese food and veggies go hand in hand. For this recipe you can easily stir fry veggies such as asparagus, broccoli florets, snap peas, bell peppers. Serve on the side or mix it with lemon chicken.
  • You can also top with lemon zest, sesame seeds and green onions.
  • Kick up the heat with red pepper flakes or sriracha.

Peel or zest the thin, yellow skin (zest) from 1 lemon, and then juice the lemon so that you have 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice. (Use half of the second lemon to make up the 1/4 cup of juice if the first lemon was not enough).

Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper together until the salt has dissolved. Stir in the garlic, lemon zest, and parsley (if using). Refrigerate and use within 1 to 2 hours.

Add the chicken breasts to the marinade and marinate for 1 hour and up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Oil a baking dish large enough to fit the chicken breasts arranged in one layer. Oil one side of a sheet of parchment paper that is large enough to cover the baking dish.

Quarter the second lemon. Transfer chicken breasts to the prepared baking dish and remove any large pieces of garlic that might be stuck to the chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, scatter lemon wedges around the chicken then cover with parchment paper — oiled side down towards the chicken. Loosely tuck the parchment paper around the chicken.

Bake until the chicken is opaque all the way through and an internal thermometer reads 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the breast. Check for doneness around 25 minutes then go from there. Most chicken breasts will take 35 to 40 minutes.

Let chicken rest about 10 minutes then serve drizzled with some of the liquid left in the baking dish or slice the chicken and place back into the baking dish with all the leftover cooking liquid (our favorite).