Seared Chicken Breast with Lemon Herb Pan Sauce

Sounds fancy huh?

It’s not. I mean it tastes super duper extra fancy… but it’s so not fancy and hard to make. Got me? Great.


This is a rustic one pan meal… which means that after you cut, chop and measure you cook the whole thing in one pan… and I like that in a recipe. I like it a lot. Now I’m not promising there to be little dishes to wash… only the whole cooking-in-one-pan thing. Settled. Phew.

I highly recommend using fresh herbs in this dish. They pack so much flavor that I promise you won’t regret it!

I swear every time that I go to buy flat leaf parsley… they only have this stuff… the curly kind. Really either would work… I just like the flat leaf kind better. Crazy… no. Picky… yes.

Chop, mince or bludgeon the heck out of it… like so.

Measure out a 1/3 cup of minced parsley and set aside.

Grab some fresh thyme.

STORY: Once, a long, loooong time ago, I put some not so fresh thyme into some soup. I didn’t realize it wasn’t its freshest until after dinner {and after Pat complained} when I checked the package to make sure I used the right herb, it was then when I saw… umm… gross herbs. I should also mention that I thought it would be a great idea to make chicken noodle soup in a crock pot, which it wasn’t. The noodles expanded into huge and super soggy blobs! Totally gross and yet my husband still ate it! I didn’t really get cooking then… yeah so that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

So since that horrible soup tasting experience, my husband has sworn up and down that he hates, and I mean HATES thyme… until I made this dish. Using fresh non-expired thyme helps, immensely.

Run your finger along the length of the branch, peeling of the thyme leaves… then just give those a quick chop.

Once the herbs are chopped toss those into a medium bowl.

Peel the rind off of a lemon and slice {carefully} into thin strips.

Add those along with fresh pressed garlic into the same bowl.

Toss together and set aside.

Get a large 12 inch skillet hot with some olive oil in it and season the chicken breast halves {whole breast that have been butterflied all the way through} with kosher salt and black pepper.

Once the oil is hot {really really hot}, sear the chicken on both sides, about 3 minutes a side.

Remove to a plate… but only for a second.

Pour the chicken stock into the pan, it’s going to hiss and spit at you, but scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan {that’s where the best flavor is at!}

After scraping all the goodies from the bottom of the pan, bring it all to a simmer.

Add 3/4 of the herb and lemon mixture and stir.

Place the chicken halves back into the sauce and turn to coat. Let simmer in the pan sauce and covered for 6 more minutes {or until chicken is no longer pink}.

Serve with leftover herb/lemon mixture as garnish and drizzled with this delicious pan sauce! Maybe serve with this here salad, these potatoes and this bread recipe!



Seared Chicken Breasts with Lemon Herb Pan Sauce

Simple for a mid week dinner yet fancy enough for company.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Total Time: 30-40 minutes


1/3 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon Fresh Thyme, chopped

1 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Peel, sliced into thin strips

2 medium size Garlic Cloves, Pressed {through garlic press} or minced

2-4 tablespoons of Butter or Olive Oil

4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Halves {brought to room temp}

1/4-1/2 cup of good Chicken Stock


In a small bowl toss together the chopped parsley, thyme, garlic and sliced lemon peel.

Season the chicken with kosher salt and black pepper.

In a large 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat cook chicken in butter for about 6-8 minutes or until browned, turning only once in between. Transfer to plate.

Remove the skillet off of the heat; add in the stock and scraping up the brown bits. Add in 3/4 of the lemon/herb mixture. Return back to the heat and bring to a simmer, stirring. Return the chicken back to the skillet, turn to coat, simmer covered for about 6-8 more minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and fully cooked.

Serve with pan sauce and garnish with remaining herb/lemon mixture if desired.

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42 Responses to “Seared Chicken Breast with Lemon Herb Pan Sauce”

  1. #
    Kelly @ Eat Yourself Skinny — July 29, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    What a great recipe, this looks fantastic! I always love your photos, so helpful! :)

  2. #
    jenna — July 29, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    this chicken looks so juicy and flavorful!

    I have the same problem with herbs at my grocery store! they never have what i need or the herbs have seen better days!

  3. #
    Pretend Chef — July 29, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    This looks and sounds so delicious. Your photos make everything crave worthy. I will need to bookmark this one and give it a go soon. Yummy!

  4. #
    Adora's Box — July 29, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Simple, full of flavour, simply delicious!

  5. #
    Hester aka The Chef Doc — July 29, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    This is a wonderful dish. I forgot about deglazing my pan with chicken stock. All those bits and pieces. ::sigh:: I'm so glad that your husband is back on thyme. I recommend growing them at home; they grow like WEEDS… so quickly!

  6. #
    Jennifurla — July 29, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    This is like out of a magazine, I just love it. Easy too!

  7. #
    SavithaRaj's Spice Land — July 29, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I love the way the raw ingredients change into a delicious dish in you kitchen…

  8. #
    missbaah — July 29, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Holy crap that sounds amazing. I will definitely have to try this next week.

  9. #
    Kathleen — July 30, 2011 at 12:35 am

    This looks and sounds utterly delish!

  10. #
    Elizabeth — August 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    This looks delicious! I can't wait to make it. Fancy but not difficult…love it!

  11. #
    Sabrina — August 4, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I would order this at a restaurant! Its that fabulous!!!

  12. #
    Hannah — November 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Aimee Stone told me about your blog. Can you use chicken broth instead of chicken stock?

  13. #
    Dianna Cooper — May 22, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Looks lovely , I am in Bremen Germany on vacation from states, I went to the store bought all ingredients, I have no oven only two burners. I was going to fix tonight and burners are not working. Very sad and hungry

  14. #
    Patrice — June 4, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Made this tonight for me the 6 year old and my teenage niece. It was a HIT! I actually used chicken broth and without fresh thyme or parsley I used ground thyme with the broth and kinda kicked up the amount of lemon peels. It was sooo yummy!

  15. #
    Mary — October 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Grow your own Thyme. It’s like growing a weed. And it’s there for harvest in the winter.

    • simplyscratch replied: — October 23rd, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

      Now I do! I have an entire herb garden! LOVE IT!

  16. #
    Heidi @foodiecrush — March 21, 2014 at 12:23 am

    I made this for a quick weeknight dinner tonight and it’s a keeper. I didn’t have tarragon, which is unusual in my kitchen because it’s one of my faves, so I used dill instead. I don’t think you could go wrong with any herb really. Great recipe!

  17. #
    Patrick — June 7, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    I never comment on recipes, but this one was awesome. I mean really good.

    I made some substitutions based on what I had available. I used Pilsner beer instead of stock and fresh basil instead of parsley. I also used a combination of EVOO and butter.

    It cam out excellent and I will certainly be cooking it again. Many thanks.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — June 10th, 2014 @ 1:47 pm

      That sounds fabulous, I’ll have to try it! Thanks for coming back and reviewing!

  18. #
    tye — September 9, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Yay!! I have all these ingredients at home!!

  19. #
    Joy Carde-Stanulis — September 16, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    I have made this 2 times already. Its SO flavorful and even better the next day for lunch! I’m adding this to my weekly rotation. LOVE IT. RECCOMMEND IT!!!!

  20. #
    Joy Carde-Stanulis — September 16, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    I have made this 2 times already. I add 1/3 cup white cup white wine. Its SO flavorful and even better the next day for lunch! I’m adding this to my weekly rotation. LOVE IT. RECCOMMEND IT!!!!

  21. #
    Ginger — October 31, 2014 at 10:19 am

    I found your recipe while searching for a way to jazz up extra chicken breast from a meal made earlier in the week. The chicken came out great. I added a bit of white wine too the pan sauce because, why not?! I must say, as a first time visitor to you blog your recipe made a wonderful first impression. You will be added to my Bloglovin’ feed posthaste!

  22. #
    Wendell cox — April 1, 2015 at 9:08 am

    I am retired now, but my wife is still working, so I will be doing the cooking. I have some experience of cooking, hamburger helper, so this is my first try. I will let you know that goes after I serve it to my wife.

  23. #
    Courtney D — April 2, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    This was a must comment recipe for me. I loved this, and so did my family. My six year old said “Oh Gosh. This is SO good” after the first bite. Best compliment you can get! Thanks for the recipe.

  24. #
    Mona — April 30, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    hey, I don’t have any thyme available so I was wondering if it’s replaceable or sth?

  25. #
    Zycco — July 13, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Love the layout of your blog very well structured and very professional and great pictures fantastic clarity and I will let you know how I get on with the recipe.

  26. #
    sam — October 16, 2015 at 12:10 am

    Awesome Cool Menu..


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