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Easy Lemon Chicken Dinner

Course Dinner
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 6
Author Si Foster, A Bountiful Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3-4 chicken breasts cut in half and pounded until about 3/4 inch thick, or sliced in half lengthwise
  • salt and pepper other seasonings as desired
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour or cornstarch*
  • juice of 2 lemons about 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon,  free of seeds
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 teaspoon dry tarragon or 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley sliced lemon for garnish

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta or rice to serve with chicken, set aside.
  2. Heat 2-3 inch deep frying pan  or dutch oven over medium high heat* and add olive oil to pan. Generously salt and pepper chicken on both sides.
  3. Carefully place chicken in pan with olive oil. Cook for one minute on each side. The chicken should start to turn golden in color. Remove to a plate or platter. Set aside.
  4. Turn heat to medium. Do not clean out pan. Add 2 tablespoon butter to pan.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons flour. Cook and whisk just until flour and butter are incorporated, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan.  The mixture will most likely be a little lumpy. Add fresh lemon juice to pan.
  6. Slowly add 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, whisking while adding broth. Add 1 cup of half and half .  Add tarragon, salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Heat until smooth and bubbly. Add chicken back to pan with sauce and cook for  5 minutes over medium heat. The sauce should gently boil while cooking chicken. If it is not a gentle boil, increase heat a bit. Cover pan with lid and remove from heat after cooking  and let sit, covered for 5 minutes.
  8. Just before serving, garnish with lemon slices and fresh chopped parsley.  Serve with rice or pasta while hot.

Recipe Notes

  • Since stoves vary in temperature, medium high heat on my stovetop may be too high on your stovetop. To insure the chicken doesn't get burned, start out with one chicken breast over medium heat and see how it cooks. If after the one minute time limit it is not golden, remove the chicken breast and turn the heat to medium high and let heat for another minute or two. Then place the remaining chicken in the pan and proceed as directed. 
  • If you have a gluten allergy, cornstarch may be substituted in place of four. Add the cornstarch to the broth and whisk before adding to the pan. 
  • I usually cut the chicken lengthwise,  instead of pounding,  for less mess. 
  • The thickness of the chicken will vary.  I tested this recipe using chicken that had been cut to about 3/4 inch thickness, or pounded to 3/4 inch thick. 
  • Other herbs and spices may be added as desired. A clove of garlic may be minced and added when the lemon is added to the pan. 
  • If you like a heavier cream sauce, use cream in place of the half and half. More broth may be added to thin the sauce in the end if needed. 
  • To make sure chicken is cooked, remove one breast after following recipe instructions, and cut into thickest part of chicken. The chicken is cooked when the middle no longer has a fleshy appearance. An instant read thermometer may also be inserted into chicken while in the pan and should read 160.