Seared Chicken Breast with Lemon Herb Pan Sauce

Sounds pretty fancy doesn’t it? Well, it’s really not.

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I mean, don’t get me wrong… it tastes super-duper extra fancy… but it’s truly not hard to make at all.

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All the magic happens in one pan, which translates to making this easy chicken dish any night of the week.

Want a light meal on a Wednesday? BOOM! This is it. Having company over and not sure what to serve? I’ve got you covered. Because this dish is all that and a bag. It’s humble, yet impressive… but most importantly, it’s deeelicious.

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Using fresh herbs in this dish is key. The combination of fresh herbs and lemon rind pack so much bright flavor that dried herbs just can’t achieve.

I promise you will love it!

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Rinse off a handful of fresh parsley, pat it dry, give it a good chop and then measure out 1/3 of a cup.

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Run your fingers along the length of each thyme stem (you’ll need quite a few), peeling off the leaves… then just give those a quick chop,  you’ll want a tablespoon.

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Slice the ends off of a small lemon. Use a paring knife and cut the rind off, then slice into thin strips.

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Smash, peel and finely mince two cloves of fresh garlic.

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Add the herbs, lemon rind and garlic into a bowl.

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Toss everything together and set aside.

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Heat a tablespoon of both butter and olive oil in a large 10 to 12-inch skillet over medium-high.

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Cut two large chicken breasts (about 1-1/4 to 1/2 pounds total) in half by butterflying it the whole way through.

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Season the chicken with a few pinches of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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Once the oil is hot, place the chicken into the hot pan and season the second side with salt and pepper. Sear the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes before flipping and cooking for an additional 3 minutes. The chicken should be 90% cooked through.

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Transfer the chicken to a plate… but only for a second.

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Reduce the heat under the pan to medium-low. Pour the chicken stock into the pan, it’s going to hiss and spit at you, but push through it and use a wooden spatula to scrape the bits off of the bottom of the pan. Because as you know, that’s where the delicious flavor is at!

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Bring the liquids to a simmer and stir in all of the herb and lemon mixture.

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Place the chicken breast halves back into the sauce and turn to coat, spooning the sauce over top. Cover and simmer for 4 to 6 minutes more or until chicken is fully cooked.

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If the sauce reduces too quickly, no problem just pour a little more chicken stock into the pan. Bingo-bango.

Serve the chicken with a spoonful or two of the lemon herb pan sauce over top and you’re good to go!

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My family (including my children) absolutely love this recipe. Most nights I serve it with roasted broccoli, these potatoes and if I’m really feeling it- then these rolls.

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Enjoy!

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My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

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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

Ingredients:

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon lemon peel, sliced into thin strips

2 garlic cloves, finely minced or crushed through a garlic press

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied the whole way through (or 4 chicken breast halves)

1/2 cup of chicken stock, plus more as needed

Directions:

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

Add butter and olive oil to a large 10 to 12-inch skillet and heat over medium-high heat.

Season one side of the chicken with kosher salt and black pepper.

Once pan is hot, sear the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes or until browned and releases easily from the pan. Turn the chicken and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a clean plate and repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium-low. Add in the stock and scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in the lemon/herb mixture and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken back to the skillet, spooning the sauce over top. Cover and simmer for about 4-6 more minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. If the pan sauce reduces too quickly, splash in another 1/4 cup or so of chicken stock.

Serve with the lemon and herb pan sauce over top.

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

  1. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    4
    Adora's Box — July 29, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Simple, full of flavour, simply delicious!

  5. #
    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. #
    6
    Jennifurla — July 29, 2011 at 8:24 pm

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

  7. #
    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…
    http://www.savitharajsspiceland.blogspot.com

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

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

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

    This looks and sounds utterly delish!

  10. #
    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. #
    11
    Sabrina — August 4, 2011 at 6:50 pm

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

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

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

  19. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    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. #
    26
    sam — October 16, 2015 at 12:10 am

    Awesome Cool Menu..

  27. #
    27
    plasterer bristol — July 25, 2016 at 2:37 am

    This is lovely one of my favorite dressings. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    Simon

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