Easy garlic lemon chicken, classic flavours, and a perfectly cooked moist chicken breast in a delicious sauce all cooked on the stovetop.
No messing with finely chopping ingredients, just cut them in half, sear in a hot pan, add some stock and then wait for dinner.
You Can’t Beat Lemon Chicken
I love this simple chicken thigh recipe for a host of reasons. Sure it is easy, of course, it is delicious and it is cheap too!
But it is also one of those magical dishes that straddle the seasons so well.
In the height of summer, the lightness of the lemon makes it feel gloriously summery. But in the depths of winter, it adds some much-needed brightness and fake sunshine to the dinner table.
The flavours in this chicken with garlic and lemon recipe are European in influence rather than Chinese like my crispy lemon chicken recipe.
And don’t worry about all of the garlic, when cooked slowly like this it goes almost sweet and mellows a lot. It is a technique that I use in my roasted garlic pasta recipe to great effect.
Frequently Asked Questions.
Do the lemons have to be unwaxed?
No, but I do prefer them that way, the wax used to coat lemons is a food-safe product. It also has no flavour, but it just does not sit well with me.
Don’t worry if you cannot find unwaxed lemons! Run them under hot water and gently scrub them with a nail brush, this will remove most of it.
Can I use skin-on chicken breasts?
Yes, although the skin will shrink a little. Also, as it is cooked with the lid on in a “wet environment” it will not crisp up.
If you want to keep the skin crisp you will need to transfer to an oven without a lid to finish cooking.
You will also need to add 50% more stock to account for the evaporation that the lid prevents.
How do I tell when the chicken is cooked?
I’m not a gadget kinda guy but I swear by using a meat thermometer for cooking all meats.
It is especially useful for chicken! This is because the minimum safe temperature is right at the point where chicken is at its best.
There is no need to rest this chicken, so place the probe in the thickest part of the breast and look for 73°C or 165°F.
Be aware of using digital thermometers over an induction hob. They can give screwy results, just slide the pan off the heat before taking the temperature.
The seasons will very much define how I serve this garlic lemon chicken breast.
As the weather breaks in late spring, I’ll serve it as it is here. New potatoes and broad beans, a combination that I also use with my Spanish pork chops recipe.
But it also works really well with garlic butter asparagus or garlic green beans.
In summer I’m much more likely to go with a simple salad something like this shaved fennel salad would be perfect.
I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- 28cm or 11″ frying pan or skillet.
- Chopping board.
- Kitchen knife.
- Measuring jug and or measuring spoons.
- Stirring and serving spoons.
- Fork for mashing.
- Kitchen tongs.
- Quick read meat thermometer. Not essential but I swear by mine!
To call this lemon and garlic chicken recipe simple would be an understatement, just as calling it delicious would be!
- 2 Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 1 Large Unwaxed Lemon
- 1 Head Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 15g (1 Tbsp) Butter
- 2 Sprigs Rosemary
- ½ Tsp Salt
- ½ Tsp Black Pepper
- 175ml (¾ Cup) Chicken Stock
- 1 Tsp Cornflour/Cornstarch (Optional)
- 1 Tsp Water (Optional)
- Slice the garlic head in halfacross the garlic and not from tip to root.
- Cut the lemon in half in the wame way that you did with the garlic.
- Heat a 28cm or 11" skillet or frying pan over a medium-high heat and when it's hot add the oil.
- Season the chicken breasts with the salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken breasts in the pan presentation side down in the centre.
- Then add the garlic head and lemon both cut side down around the outside of the pan and the two sprigs of rosemary and allow everything to cook for 7-8 minutes.
- Flip the chicken breast over and pour in the chicken stock and add a lid.
- Cook on a gentle simmer for another 10-13 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 73°C or 165°F.
- Remove the garlic just before the chicken is ready, place on a cutting board skin side down and push and squeeze, the cloves will pop out.
- Mash the garlic with the prongs of a fork and return them to the pan.
- Have a taste of the sauce before serving and decide if you want to squeeze in the lemon juice from the cooked lemons. Alternatively, serve a lemon half on the plate for diners to decide.
- If you want to thicken the sauce remove the solids from the pan before serving, form a slurry with the cornflour and water and whisk it in whilst the sauce is simmering. I personally do not bother.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 580Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 211mgSodium: 982mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 75g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.