If you're a home cook looking to elevate your weeknight dinner or impress your guests, you’ve come to the right place. Lemon Butter Chicken is a classic dish with a delicate balance of tangy and savory flavors. In this extensive guide, you'll learn how to make this beloved recipe in your own kitchen – from scratch.

Lemon Butter Chicken

Introduction to Lemon Butter Chicken

Lemon butter chicken has its roots in Italian cuisine, renowned for its simplicity and use of fresh ingredients. It’s particularly popular among home cooks due to its straightforward yet rewarding preparation. The key to a successful lemon butter chicken is the quality and balance of its core flavors. The dish marries the zest of fresh lemons with the richness of butter, creating a bright and satisfying meal.

Ingredients Required

To craft a Lemon Butter Chicken that sings with flavor, you'll need the freshest ingredients. Here's what you'll need:

  • Chicken Breasts: Opt for high-quality, boneless, and skinless chicken breasts.
  • Lemons: Fresh lemons provide the zesty taste and acidity that make this dish pop.
  • Butter: A rich, creamy butter that can handle the heat is crucial for the sauce.
  • Flour: Used for dredging the chicken, it helps achieve a golden-brown crust.
  • Garlic: The aromatic punch of fresh garlic complements the acidity of the lemons.
  • Broth (Chicken or Vegetable): Provides flavor and helps deglaze the pan.
  • Fresh Parsley: Adds a refreshing burst of herbaceous flavor and color to the dish.
  • Salt and Pepper: For seasoning, ensure you have these kitchen staples at hand.
  • Olive Oil: For cooking the chicken and sautéing the garlic to infuse the oil with flavor.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Step 1: Prep Your Ingredients

  • Begin by gathering and preparing all ingredients. Set up your cooking station with the flour in one shallow bowl, and a mixture of freshly squeezed lemon juice and minced garlic in another.
  • Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

Step 2: Dredge the Chicken

  • Dredge each seasoned chicken breast in the flour until coated evenly, shaking off any excess.

Step 3: Sear the Chicken

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, add the chicken. Cook until golden brown on each side, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.

Step 4: Create the Lemon Butter Sauce

  • In the same skillet, melt the butter. Add the lemon juice and garlic mixture. Cook for a minute, stirring constantly.
  • Pour in the broth and let simmer until the sauce thickens slightly.

Step 5: Finish Cooking the Chicken

  • Return the chicken to the skillet. Cook in the sauce, over medium-low heat, for an additional 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through.

Step 6: Garnish and Serve

  • Before serving, garnish with freshly chopped parsley to add a burst of fresh flavor and color.

Tips for the Perfect Lemon Butter Chicken

  • Control your heat. Don’t crank up the heat too high – you run the risk of burning the delicate butter sauce.
  • Don’t overcrowd the skillet when searing the chicken. Cook in batches if necessary.
  • Use fresh lemons for the best flavor. Avoid using bottled lemon juice if possible.
  • Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes after cooking to lock in the juices and ensure tenderness.

Serving Suggestions

Lemon Butter Chicken is incredibly versatile and pairs well with a variety of sides. Here are some great accompaniments:

  • Pasta: Angel hair pasta or fettuccine is great for soaking up the sauce.
  • Rice: Plain white rice or fragrant jasmine rice is a good, neutral base for the dish.
  • Vegetables: Steamed broccoli, asparagus, or a simple garden salad adds a healthy balance to the meal.
  • Bread: A crusty Italian or sourdough bread is perfect for mopping up the delicious sauce.

Health Benefits

Lemon Butter Chicken, when prepared with a focus on fresh ingredients and portion control, can be part of a healthy diet.

  • Lean chicken breast is an excellent source of protein and low in fat when prepared without the skin.
  • Lemons are a rich source of vitamin C, which can support the immune system and promote skin health.
  • Garlic is known for its potential health benefits which include combating common illnesses, reducing blood pressure, and improving cholesterol levels.
  • When enjoyed with a side of vegetables or a healthy grain, this dish makes for a well-balanced meal.


This lemon butter chicken recipe is a delightful homage to fresh, light flavors and simple cooking methods. Whether you're serving friends and family, or simply treating yourself, follow these steps to bring the vibrant tastes of Italy straight to your table. With just a few pantry staples and a bit of patience, you can experience the joy of creating a gourmet meal at home. Start slicing those lemons and enjoy the zesty aroma that fills your kitchen as you master this culinary favorite. Remember, the secret to a great lemon butter chicken is the love you put into making it!

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