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sliced chicken breast with lemon in pan

Lemon Pepper Chicken

Lemon Pepper Chicken with tender crispy breasts smothered in a citrus butter sauce. This recipe is completely different than any other version you'll find!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 4 servings
Calories 426

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ pounds chicken breasts (2 large boneless skinless - see note)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (the zest from one large lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 tablespoon butter (divided)
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice (the juice from one large lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 tablespoon Italian parsley (stems removed and leaves minced)

Instructions

  • Tenderize: Cover the chicken breasts with plastic wrap or gallon size resealable plastic bag and pound with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer until uniformly thick.
    boneless skinless chicken breast pounded flat
  • Season: Cover both sides of chicken breasts with lemon zest, pepper, and about half of the salt. Dredge them in flour and shake off any excess flour. 
    lemon zest and pepper on chicken breast
  • Cook: Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat in a large skillet. Ideally the temperature of the oil will be 350°F prior to adding the chicken. Pan-fry the chicken breasts, taking care not to overcrowd the pan.
    flour coated chicken breast in pan
  • Turn: Cook until the bottom is dark golden brown, then flip them over, reduce heat to low, insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, and cover. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, then immediately transfer chicken to a plate and loosely tent with foil.
    fried boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Make sauce: Using the pan you cooked the chicken in over low heat, add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, lemon juice, honey, parsley, and remaining salt. Scrape and dissolve any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Let cook for a few minutes until the butter melts and the sauce is fully mixed. Taste the sauce and if it's too tart, add small amounts of salt and/or honey and continue to taste until it's perfect.
  • Serve: Slice the chicken on a cutting board, then add the chicken as well as any juice from the plate back to the pan with the sauce and spoon sauce over chicken. Serve and enjoy!
    sliced chicken breast on cutting board

Notes

  • I used 1 ¼ pounds chicken for this recipe because this is what I had, but you can easily follow the same recipe and make anywhere from 1-2 pounds of chicken.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled if you're feeding a crowd. Just be sure to cook the chicken in batches so that you don't overcrowd the pan and cool it down too rapidly by adding too much chicken.
  • You really can't taste the honey in the sauce. The sweet is meant to counteract the tartness of the lemon. Same with the salt. If the final sauce seems too tart, you can add small amounts of both honey and salt until it seems balanced.

Nutrition

Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 137mg | Sodium: 901mg | Potassium: 557mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 895IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg