Skillet-Roasted Chicken Breasts in Lemon Sauce

Skillet-Roasted Chicken Breasts in Lemon Sauce

I found a recipe on America’s Test Kitchen that looked perfect to use up the chicken breasts in my refrigerator. I liked that the chicken had a quick brine and I thought the lemon sauce sounded simple and delicious. I adapted the recipe to work with what I had on hand and I also used less chicken than the original recipe called for but kept the same amount of sauce because we like saucy chicken. The house smelled incredible while the chicken roasted and it turned out tender, juicy, and flavorful. This skillet-roasted chicken in lemon sauce was served with crusty bread, basmati rice, and roasted asparagus for a healthy and delicious meal that my entire family enjoyed.

Skillet-Roasted Chicken Breasts in Lemon Sauce

How to Make Skillet-Roasted Chicken Breasts in Lemon Sauce

Dissolve the 1/4 cup of salt into a quart (four cups) of cold water in a large bowl. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Place the rack in the center of the oven.

Heat the olive oil in an OVEN SAFE skillet over medium-high heat. Season both sides of the chicken with freshly cracked pepper, dried oregano, and garlic powder, to taste. Place the chicken skin side down in the HOT skillet and cook until skin is golden brown and crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer breasts to a large plate.

Pour off any excess fat in the skillet then return to the heat. Add the butter, shallot, and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30-45 seconds. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until flour is lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. Slowly add the broth and lemon juice, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes to thicken and reduce the sauce a bit. Add 2 teaspoons of lemon zest and remove the skillet from the heat; stir until well combined. Return chicken skin side UP (skin should be above the surface of the liquid), and any chicken juices from the plate to the skillet and transfer to the oven. Cook, uncovered until the breasts register 160 degrees, 10-12 minutes.

While the chicken cooks, chop the parsley and one teaspoon of lemon zest together until finely minced and well combined.

Remove skillet from the oven and let the chicken stand for 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a serving platter.

Whisk the pan sauce, incorporating any browned bits from the sides & bottom of the pan, until smooth, about 30 seconds. Whisk half of the parsley-zest mixture into the sauce. Taste & season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste, if needed.

Slice the chicken breast then sprinkle the remaining half of the parsley-zest mixture over the sliced chicken. Serve sauce on the side. Enjoy.

Skillet-Roasted Chicken Breasts in Lemon Sauce

Skillet-Roasted Chicken Breasts in Lemon Sauce

Skillet-Roasted Chicken in Lemon Sauce

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Main
Servings: 2 -4
Author: Adapted recipe by Pam - For the Love of Cooking / Original recipe by America's Test Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 skin-on chicken breasts boneless
  • Dried oregano to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 4 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tsp grated lemon zest (divided)
  • 1/4 cup fresh juice 1-2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley leaves chopped
  • Sea salt to taste

Instructions

  • Dissolve the 1/4 cup of salt into a quart (four cups) of cold water in a large bowl.
  • Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Place the rack in the center of the oven.
  • Heat the olive oil in an OVEN SAFE skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Season both sides of the chicken with freshly cracked pepper, dried oregano, and garlic powder, to taste.
  • Place the chicken skin side down in the HOT skillet and cook until skin is golden brown and crisp, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Transfer breasts to a large plate.
  • Pour off any excess fat in the skillet then return to the heat.
  • Add the butter, shallot, and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30-45 seconds.
  • Sprinkle the flour evenly over the mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until flour is lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Slowly add the broth and lemon juice, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes to thicken and reduce the sauce a bit.
  • Add two teaspoons of lemon zest and remove the skillet from the heat; stir until well combined.
  • Return chicken skin side UP (skin should be above the surface of the liquid), and any chicken juices from the plate to the skillet and transfer to the oven.
  • Cook, uncovered, until the breasts register 160 degrees, 10-12 minutes.
  • While the chicken cooks, chop the parsley and one teaspoon of lemon zest together until finely minced and well combined.
  • Remove skillet from the oven and let the chicken stand for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer chicken to a serving platter.
  • Whisk the pan sauce, incorporating any browned bits from the sides & bottom of the pan, until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  • Whisk half of the parsley-zest mixture into the sauce. Taste & season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste, if needed.
  • Slice the chicken breast then sprinkle the remaining half of the parsley-zest mixture over the sliced chicken.
  • Serve sauce on the side. Enjoy.
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12 Comments

  1. It sounds really good. I never understand recipes where you end up with 1/4 cup of sauce for 4 servings. If you want sauce on your chicken and starch, and most people do, there’s never enough that way. I always try to make more sauce and if I throw it out, that’s fine. I like lemon with chicken, so this sounds like a winner.

  2. Jovina Coughlin says:

    Chicken and lemon were meant for each other, this looks like a great dish to have for dinner.

  3. That lemon sauce looks luxurious!! I’m all about good simple chicken recipes and this definitely fits the bill!

  4. Looks super good Pam – we love those lemony sauces.

  5. i almost always double the sauce for any given dish–we’re a saucy household too! 🙂 the flavors here sound great.

  6. Is this boneless chicken breasts, because I am sure bone in chicken takes longer to cook than 10 to 12 minutes.

    1. MA,

      They are boneless. Thanks for letting me know – I have corrected the recipe.

      ~Pam

  7. You said you changed it up a bit. Can you tell me what you changed from the original ATK recipe? It sounds really good and I want to make it
    for a dinner for 12.

    1. To be honest, I don’t remember what I changed. I usually just adapt recipes to work with what I have on hand. I assume it is just using less chicken like I mentioned. The recipe is tasty… hope you and your guests like it.

      Pam

    2. The original recipe called for 1 teaspoon of fresh oregano to be chopped with the parsley and lemon zest. I am glad to know this works without the fresh oregano, I always seem to have fresh parsley on hand but never fresh oregano. Additionally, the ATK recipe used what seemed like a whole chicken cut up-2 bone in breasts, 2 drumstick and 2 thighs.