Easy Honey Lemon Chicken

11 views 4:58 pm 0 Comments April 22, 2024

Here I’ll show you a really simple yet delicious way to dress up the mighty chicken breast!

This is truly what weeknight dinners are made of. Something that comes together in a pinch, uses minimal ingredients and tastes like a million dollars. Follow me…

lemon honey chicken in large pan garnished with lemon wedges and parsley

Pan-Fried Chicken Breast

You really can’t go wrong with a sliced chicken breast recipe. Two chicken breasts divided through the centre to make 4 even-sized breasts truly make the easiest dinner.

Preparing the chicken

I like to get my chicken close to room temp before frying it. Although it’s somewhat disputed, I do find that it relaxes the meat and prevents it from seizing up and going chewy when you fry it. Once you’ve sliced the chicken, you’ll want to dredge it through seasoned flour. Not only will this help the chicken develop a golden crust, but it’ll also help the sauce cling to the chicken.

Cooking the chicken

Pan-frying is the best option not only for speed but also for the chicken to develop flavour. I like frying the chicken in butter (for a rich flavour) and some oil (to help prevent the butter from burning). The chicken won’t take long to cook and keep in mind it’ll carry on cooking slightly as it rests and when it is basted in the sauce.

Process shots: slice chicken (photos 1&2), dredge chicken (photos 3&4), fry chicken (photos 5&6)

6 step by step photos showing how to pan fry chicken breast

Honey Lemon Sauce

The sauce truly couldn’t be more simple if it tried. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chicken stock – this creates the base of the sauce.
  • Honey – make sure it’s runny honey so it blends into the sauce with ease.
  • Lemon – I use lemon juice and then add a wedge on each breast.
  • Butter – adds a richness to the sauce.

Sauce consistency

It’ll be pretty watery at the start, but the butter helps emulsify the sauce and thicken it slightly. As the stock begins to evaporate the honey will also begin re-thickening. From there, the excess flour from the chicken thickens up the sauce a little more. The end result should be a light glossy sauce that clings to the chicken and is no longer watery.

Process shots: add honey, lemon and stock to pan (photo 1), simmer and stir in butter (photo 2), add chicken (photo 3), add lemon and baste in sauce (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make honey lemon chicken

Honey Lemon Chicken FAQ

How lemony is the sauce?

The lemon is subtle and certainly not overbearing at all. If you want it more lemony I suggest adding more over the chicken at the end, just so you don’t break up the sauce too much. It’s much easier to add more than take it out!

How sweet is the sauce?

Like the lemon, it’s subtly sweet. As the sauce reduces down it’ll get sweeter. It’s still overall a nice savoury dish with a kiss of sweetness.

How do I get the sauce to thicken?

It will thicken, have faith! Just keep gently simmering and stirring away. The end result should be light and glossy, not necessarily thick and syrupy.

Can I make this ahead of time?

This is definitely best made fresh, so I don’t recommend making it ahead of time. Thankfully it comes together in 20 minutes!

Is there anything else I could add to this sauce?

I tinkered around with garlic and more added black pepper, both of which worked nicely. Some finely diced shallots could work too, as could a very small amount of thyme. I’d try the recipe as it is though and use a base to branch out after!

honey lemon chicken in a large pan garnished with lemon wedge

Serving Honey Lemon Chicken

I love fresh parsley for a final pop of colour and flavour. I also like a final pinch of pepper too (lemon loves pepper!).

I whacked some cubed potatoes in the air fryer and added some asparagus a few minutes before they were done. Check out my Side Dishes for more inspo!

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this honey lemon chicken shall we?!

honey lemon chicken breast on small white plate with asparagus and roast potatoes

How to make Honey Lemon Chicken (Full Recipe & Video)

honey lemon chicken breast on small white plate with asparagus and roast potatoes

Print

Honey Lemon Chicken

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Here I’ll show you a really simple yet delicious way to dress up the mighty chicken breast!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Western
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 301kcal

Equipment

  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Large Shallow Dish (for dredging chicken)
  • Large Pan & Tongs
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Jug (for stock)

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 2x 250g/9oz Chicken Breasts, brought close to room temp
  • 35g / 1/4 cup Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp EACH: Salt, Black Pepper (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp / 15g Unsalted Butter

Sauce

  • 120ml / 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 large Lemon
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tbsp / 30g Unsalted Butter (keep in the fridge until needed)
  • 1 tbsp finely diced Fresh Parsley, to serve

Instructions

  • Slice two rings in the centre of the lemon, then halve both of them to create 4 half moons (to serve). Use the remaining lemon to squeeze 1 1/2 tbsp of juice.
  • Horizontally slice the chicken breasts right through the centre to create 4 even-sized breasts.
  • In a large shallow dish, combine flour, salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Take one of the chicken breasts and thoroughly coat it in the flour, then give it a shake then place to one side. Repeat with the remaining breasts.
  • Heat 1 tbsp butter and oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and fry both sides for a few minutes, or until golden on the outside and just about cooked through the centre. Remove from the pan and place to one side. Turn off the heat.
  • Once the leftover oil stops sizzling, stir in the chicken stock, lemon juice and honey. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a gentle simmer for 1-2 minutes, until you notice it just about starting to thicken. Stir in any resting juices from the chicken then swiftly whisk in the cold butter. Once the sauce turns cloudy/glossy, turn the heat to low and check for seasoning.
  • Add in the chicken and place a lemon wedge on top of each breast. Baste in the sauce (the excess flour from the chicken will thicken up the sauce a little more) then serve with fresh parsley and a pinch of black pepper.

Video

Notes

a) Chicken – Given the chicken breasts are sliced in half, they won’t take long to cook through. Approx 3 mins each side should do the trick, leaving the chicken just about cooked through the centre. They’ll continue cooking slightly as they rest and when you add them back to the pan to coat in the sauce.

b) Sauce consistency – It’ll be pretty watery at the start, but the butter helps emulsify the sauce and thicken it slightly. As the stock begins to evaporate the honey will also begin re-thickening. From there, the excess flour from the chicken thickens up the sauce a little more. The end result should be a light glossy sauce that clings to the chicken and is no longer watery.

c) Black Pepper – I originally tested this recipe as ‘lemon pepper honey chicken’ and added pepper into the sauce. I ended up with a preference towards the simplicity of just the honey and lemon. Having said that, black pepper does compliment this dish nicely, hence the 1 tsp in the chicken seasoning and a pinch to serve. The light ‘spice’ helps balance out the sweetness and acidity of the sauce.

d) Lemon – I find the above quantities to hit the sweet spot, where it’s not too overpowering but also creates a lovely sauce. If you want it more lemony I’d squeeze some over at the end so you don’t break up the sauce too much. I find 1 large lemon will offer the 4 serving slices and 1 1/2 tbsp juice, but do grab another one for insurance reasons if you can only find really small lemons.

e) Serving – I love fresh parsley for a final pop of colour and flavour. I have also tried chives which works really nicely. I whacked some cubed potatoes in the air fryer and added some asparagus a few minutes before they were done. Check out my Side Dishes for more inspo!

f) Calories – Just the chicken and sauce divided by 4, assuming half the flour/seasoning attaches.

Nutrition

Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.07g | Protein: 28.43g | Fat: 14.14g | Saturated Fat: 6.417g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.203g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5.311g | Trans Fat: 0.351g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 357mg | Potassium: 354mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 11.11g | Vitamin A: 383IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1.49mg

For another lemon chicken recipe check out my Lemon Chicken Pasta!

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