I’m a fan of mostly anything lemon! The refreshing tartness and little zing of sour that true lemon flavor leaves in your mouth! I have a box of lemon heads in my car, one in my candy stash cabinet in the kitchen. I remember eating so many lemon heads and lemon drops as a kid that my tongue often peeled. Not everyone in our family shares my same love for lemon, but they all loved this dish! It has a hint of lemon and lots of flavor, but it’s not too overpowering. The flavor of thyme in the sauce compliments the lemon and makes for a wonderful sauce to pour over the chicken and whatever side you make with it. I’ve made other versions of lemon chicken that baked with lemon slices in the oven and as it baked, it almost made the lemon taste over cooked and bitter. Don’t worry, that is not the case with this Lemon Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce. When we were eating it, I asked my question that I always ask when I make something new. I said “What do you think, is it a keeper?” They all said “YES!!!” I agree, this one is definitely a keeper!
Lemon Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce
2 1/2 – 3 lbs chicken. Bone in or boneless, skin on or skinless, whichever you prefer. I used 3 boneless skinless breasts and two bone in, skin on chicken quarters (thigh and drumstick) so my dark meat fans were happy and my fellow white meat fans were also covered.
1 1/2 C plain bread crumbs.
3 TBS All Purpose Flour
1/2 – 2/3 C Olive Oil
3 C chicken broth
1/3 C shredded parmesan or asiago cheese. I used a combination of both.
1/2 teas ground or dried Thyme
1/2 teas Basil
1 1/2 teas Parsley
4 TBS Butter
Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F.
In a shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs, shredded cheese, zest of one lemon (reserve lemon for slicing later), 1 teas parsley, and salt and pepper.
In another shallow dish, beat your two eggs.
Pat dry the chicken with a paper towel and then place one piece of chicken in the beaten egg, turning to coat as much as possible, and then transfer to the breadcrumb mixture and coat the chicken. Set each piece aside as they are coated.
In a large skillet (I like to use non stick with deep sides), heat up 3-4 TBS of olive oil on medium high heat. You will need to do the chicken in 2-3 batches, depending on how large your skillet is. I would estimate 1 TBS of oil per piece of chicken, adding more oil with each batch.
Place the few pieces of chicken in the skillet and lightly fry to around 2 minutes and then flip over and fry for another 2 minutes.
Chicken should be golden brown and crusty on the outside but will not be cooked.Continue with the batches of frying chicken in olive oil until all chicken is fried.
Transfer to a greased oven safe baking dish. I think a casserole or oblong shaped dish is best to ensure even cooking in the oven.
Bake at 400 Degrees F uncovered for 35-45 minutes, until internal temperature is 170 degrees and juices are clear.
While the chicken is baking, lightly rinse out your skillet and use it to make your sauce if it is deep enough. Otherwise, use a medium – large sauce pan.
Lemon Thyme Sauce:
Melt 4 TBS butter in sauce pan or large skillet. Add in 3 TBS flour and make a roux. Stir this for around 2 minutes on medium heat until golden in color.
Slowly add in 3 C chicken broth.
Add the zest from your second lemon and then slice it in half and add all the juice from your second lemon.
Add in the 1/2 teas thyme, 1/2 teas basil, and 1/2 teas parsley as well as salt and pepper to taste. Stir and keep sauce on medium heat and it will thicken a bit.
As your chicken is finishing baking in the oven and the internal temp of each piece is 170 degrees F, slice your first lemon that you had zested earlier for your breading mixture. You can either place one slice on each piece of chicken in the oven while it is baking that last 5 minutes, or you can just garnish each serving or plate with a slice of fresh lemon. Save two slices to squeeze over the top of the chicken just before serving so it has that fresh lemon zing.
I prefer to slice the chicken breasts before serving, but you could serve them whole – whatever you prefer. Pour some of the Lemon Thyme Sauce over the chicken before serving.
I made parmesan mashed potatoes to go along with our Lemon Chicken. I thought a little of the lemon thyme sauce would be lovely poured over the potatoes and it paired nicely. You could serve the Lemon Chicken on top of a bed or rice, asparagus, or really anything if you like.
Handy Kitchen Helper
Here’s a little Handy Kitchen Helper tip for you! I love lemons, as you know from reading this post. I love lemons displayed in a pretty bowl on the counter or in a vase to add bright color to a room. However, keeping lemons out on the counter makes them spoil faster. To help lemons last as long as possible, put them in a freezer bag and seal it up and then keep them in the fridge. Try it! They last for weeks!