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Garlic Lemon Chicken Breasts on the Stovetop

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.

Garlic lemon chicken breast served with potatoes and broad beans.

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.

They taste amazing and feature in dishes as diverse as my creamy garlic lemon chicken pasta, and preserved lemon chicken tray bake to my take on chicken piccata.

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.

If chicken breast is your thing then check out my maple syrup glazed chicken breast, marmalade chicken breast, pesto mozzarella chicken breast and gochujang chicken breast recipes.

Close up garlic lemon chicken breast served with potatoes and broad beans

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.

Garlic lemon chicken breast cut open to show the moist perfectly cooked meat.

Serving Suggestions

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 slaw or salad, a classic celeriac remoulade would be perfect.

In winter I am more inclined to go with grains something like a buttered couscous or even better a toasted millet.

Garlic lemon chicken breast served with potatoes and broad beans in a sauce.

Equipment Used

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.

  • Stovetop.
  • 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!
Garlic lemon chicken breast served with potatoes and broad beans in a sauce.
Yield: 2 Servings

Garlic and Lemon Chicken Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

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)


  1. Slice the garlic head in halfacross the garlic and not from tip to root.
  2. Cut the lemon in half in the wame way that you did with the garlic.
  3. Heat a 28cm or 11" skillet or frying pan over a medium-high heat and when it's hot add the oil.
  4. Season the chicken breasts with the salt and pepper.
  5. Place the chicken breasts in the pan presentation side down in the centre.
  6. 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.
  7. Flip the chicken breast over and pour in the chicken stock and add a lid.
  8. Cook on a gentle simmer for another 10-13 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 73°C or 165°F.
  9. 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.
  10. Mash the garlic with the prongs of a fork and return them to the pan.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


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.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Tuesday 5th of June 2018

Wonderful photos! Looks like such an easy dinner recipe!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 6th of June 2018

Thanks Amanda, you are right, insanely simple and really tasty!

Jacqueline Debono

Tuesday 5th of June 2018

This chicken dish sounds divinely delicious. I love the combo of lemon and garlic and the fact that it can all be done in one pot! Fab!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 6th of June 2018

They are classic simple flavours that really do just work.

Angela @ Allergy Free Angela

Tuesday 5th of June 2018

This chicken dish looks and sounds amazing! I love the combination of lemon and garlic. I will be trying this recipe.

Brian Jones

Wednesday 6th of June 2018

Thanks Angela, enjoy!

Brian Jones

Monday 4th of January 2016

Hey Skip...

Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed comment and thank you very much for flagging up a couple of areas where I could have done better... I love doing this but proof reading my own work is one of those things I really dislike and as you can tell I am not very good at ;)

I'll go through your points one by one and hopefully improve on something you liked.

1: I cut the onion into 8 wedges (Updated in the recipe)... I do this as I like the onion to maintain a little shaped and texture but sliced thinly will work. 2: This is one of those Whole Garlic clove dishes, I have confirmed it in the recipe, you can either peel the garlic or leave it in the paper like skin. In the cooking time this garlic will become very soft and mellow, if cooked in the skin it will need squeezing out as I find the paper like skin unpleasant to eat. 3: I guess this is a case of two nations separated by the same language, in all fairness the UK is separated by the same language too... Singing something is a high fast burn so you end up with little caramalised sections. Sounds like you got it spot on. 4: I'm working on a conversion plugin at the moment and have largely settled on using the °C to denote Centigrade, not sure how I missed this when I went back and to clarify my early recipes. I am really struggling getting my conversions to work with Cups but may abandon that notion and just run it with temperatures and weights.

I hope you enjoy the recipe and thank you very much once again for taking the time to give me some pointers.

Brian Jones

Monday 14th of September 2015

Indeed it is, unfortunately it is a time that dominates my summers :( Glad you like the recipe :)

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