Lemon Chicken

Can we talk about lunch for a minute?

I’d be all for eliminating the idea of lunch altogether and replacing it with second breakfast (brunch, perhaps) or a (really) early first dinner. I almost never have trouble deciding what to make for breakfast or dinner, but, day in and day out, I still struggle to come up with a plan for lunch. The best case scenario is that we have leftovers from the previous night’s dinner I can reheat. It’s quick and easy, and even if whatever we had wasn’t a great candidate for reheating, I much prefer it over the alternative. And that would be 20 minutes spent opening and closing the cabinets and the refrigerator and freezer doors waiting for inspiration to strike. On more days than I’d like to admit I resort to options I wouldn’t really be proud to tell you about :)

Lemon Chicken

This lemon chicken would typically fall squarely in the dinner category here, and when I bookmarked the recipe I’d actually intended to add it to our meal plan the following week. Before I could though, I found myself whipping it up for lunch one day when I was particularly hungry and happened to have all of the ingredients on hand. It’s super fast and easy to make, and chances are, you probably have everything you need to make it too. The lemony sauce that tops the chicken is bright and fresh, and really flavorful. Served with some asparagus on the side, it made for a really great lunch. Much more satisfying than the popcorn I’d had the previous day…

What are you guys eating for lunch? Help!

Lemon Chicken
adapted from Southern Living (via MyRecipes.com)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8 oz each)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
8 lemon slices
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Place the chicken on a cutting board. Working with one breast at a time, place your hand on top and use a sharp knife to cut the breast in half horizontally, to make two thinner chicken cutlets. (Don’t worry if they’re not perfectly even, mine never are!) Place each cutlet between two sheets of plastic wrap and use a meat mallet or skillet to pound to 1/4-inch thickness.

Season the chicken on both sides with the salt and pepper. Lightly dredge each cutlet in flour, shaking off the excess.

Set a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and the olive oil to the pan. Once the butter is melted and the pan is hot, add the chicken. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Reduce the heat to medium, and add the chicken broth and lemon juice to the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly, scraping the bottom of the skillet to loosen any brown bits. Add the lemon slices to the sauce and let sit undisturbed for about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and add the parsley and remaining tablespoon of butter. Stir until the butter is melted and the sauce is smooth. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve (you can garnish with the lemon slices if desired).

Serves 2-4