Everybody needs a classic chicken dinner that is simple yet sumptuous, easy yet elegant – this Skillet Lemon Chicken recipe is it! Perfect for a weeknight chicken dinner or a small dinner party.
We can probably all agree: weeknights are a blur of activity, right? School, work, sports, homework, work events, errands, Netflix binging... you know, important stuff! All one crazy loop-de-loop until the weekend.
So we all need a few quick and delicious, easy weeknight dinner tricks up our sleeve.
For me: this easy Skillet Lemon Chicken recipe is one of them.
All hail, the mighty chicken thigh
Chicken is popular for so many reasons, including the fact that it tends to be less expensive compared to its counterpart meat options, and it's versatile and works well in so many different types of cuisines.
My favorite cut: the almighty chicken thigh. All hail meaty thighs! Right? I'm learning to love my own, but that's a different post...
Chicken thighs are tender, and they soak up whatever flavors they are immersed into, making them SO amazing in almost any dish. I always buy chicken thighs in bulk, separate out dinner portions, and then freeze in separate bags.
Easy Skillet Lemon Chicken
Okay, back to this super skillet lemon chicken recipe. Are you ready?
Season four chicken thighs with salt, pepper, chopped rosemary. Throw them (well, gently lay them down; no throwing chicken thighs, please!) into a skillet that has been heated with some olive oil, bacon fat (or you can sub butter) and minced garlic.
I have to say: the bacon fat gives this dish an extra richness and depth that you wouldn't get with butter. That said, I am also pro-butter, so I'll let you choose.
Allow each side to get a nice sear on the outside, add a wee bit o' dry white wine and allow that to cook off for a bit while the chicken finishes cooking, toss in some lemon, then finally garnish with more lemon and rosemary sprigs.
Phew! So tough, right? I don't even know if I have all of those items in my pantry and refrigerator...
Oh wait. I do! (You can sub chopped dried rosemary for fresh rosemary). So simple.
I like to serve this skillet lemon chicken with a side of mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower, rice pilaf, farro, or quinoa, and a heaping side salad. I call a pile of spinach a salad (I love spinach!), so you can make whatever fancy salad concoction you desire. Or enjoy with sautéed green beans, carrots, or zucchini.
Or cake. You can most definitely enjoy this with a side of cake if you so desire. I'm not here to judge.
Easy Skillet Lemon Chicken
- Heat olive oil and bacon fat (or butter) over medium-high heat.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper (use a light hand; you can always add more later!), and sprinkle and pat chopped rosemary over each side.
- Add minced garlic and sauté for a minute or two, just until the garlic is slightly softened.
- Add seasoned chicken to the skillet and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on how thick your chicken thighs are. Cook long enough until you can see the chicken meat is cooked and until you get a nice sear on the skin.
- Remove chicken and place on a plate; set aside.
- Slowly add white wine to the skillet. Stir and gently scrape up any garlic or rosemary that have stuck to the pan.
- Add half of the lemon slices (or quarters; whichever shape you wish!). Stir gently and cook for just 2-3 minutes, to soften them and flavor the sauce.
- Add chicken back to the pan and use a spoon to pour the sauce over the chicken. Cook for just another minute or two more to warm up the chicken.
- Garnish with remaining lemon slices and rosemary springs (optional).
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.
What's your favorite chicken part to cook with for weeknight meals?
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