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Chicken Limone (Pollo al Limone)

Chicken Limone is an easy recipe that will make any weeknight feel like a special occasion. This pretty effortless dish is bursting with the bright flavors from a simple lemon butter sauce. It is so good I have it on a regular rotation of chicken recipes along with my Mediterranean Chicken,  Nonna’s Italian Chicken Cutlets and Chicken Rollatini.

Two chicken cutlets on a plate with 2 slices of lemon and parsley.

Thinly sliced chicken breast is lightly dusted with flour and topped with the simplest sauce you can imagine…just garlic, lemon juice, chicken broth, and butter! Serve this lemon chicken recipe over angel hair pasta for a light and tasty entrée elegant enough for guests. This will definitely be one of your go-to chicken recipes when you want something big on flavor but you’re short on time.

In case you are wondering, Limone means lemon in Italian. Chicken Limone is a popular chicken dish that you will find on Italian restaurant menus all over the US.  Many versions are similar to chicken piccata, where the chicken is coated in a light eggy batter and topped with a white wine, lemon, and caper sauce. This version omits the egg coating but keeps all of the delicious flavor!

The ingredients to make lemon chicken on a white cutting board.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Here are the simple ingredients you need to make this easy lemon chicken recipe.

  • Chicken breasts: Cut into thin fillets or chicken tenders work best. Thin chicken fillets are tender and cook up quickly.
    • Pound each piece of chicken between two layers of plastic wrap and pound it gently with a kitchen mallet or a rolling pin to tenderize it.
    • You can also use chicken tenders in this recipe.
  • Olive oil and butter: We need both to get the fat hot enough to cook the chicken breast quickly and to create a velvety lemon sauce.
  • Pan-searing flour: This is basically finely ground brown rice flour.  I recommend Wegman’s Pan Searing flour if you can get it. It is gluten-free, creates a wonderful crispy sear, and helps to thicken the sauce. If you can’t get it, all-purpose flour also works well.
  • Lemon: Using fresh lemon juice will ensure the best flavor in your sauce. One whole lemon is all you need for this recipe.
  • Chicken Broth:  I recommend using a low-salt option.  Chicken stock can be used in place of the broth.
  • Minced garlic: Use fresh garlic rather than garlic powder if you have it.  
  • Parsley: You will want to use fresh parsley as well. It really adds to the brightness of the sauce.

How to Create Thin Sliced Chicken Breast

If you can’t find thin sliced chicken breasts in the grocery store you can easily make your own.   Cut each breast in half creating thin chicken slices. If you have very large chicken breasts, you may be able to cut them into thirds.  To do this, place the chicken breast on a flat surface and hold the breast down with the open palm of your hand. Using a sharp knife slice the breast horizontally.

4 photos of the cooking process for making Chicken Limone.

Instructions for Making Chicken Limone

  1. Season the chicken on both sides with Kosher salt and black pepper. Place the flour in a shallow bowl and dredge the chicken in the flour coating on both sides. Shake the chicken to remove any excess flour.
  2. In a cast iron skillet or a large frying pan set over medium heat, melt one tablespoon of butter in the olive oil. Place serval pieces of chicken in the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown on both sides. Transfer it to a dish and cover with foil. Repeat until all of the chicken is cooked.  Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  3. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the garlic to the skillet. Cook for one minute, making sure not to burn it. Add in the lemon juice and chicken broth.  Stir scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Gently stir in the butter allowing the sauce to simmer until the butter has completely melted.
  4. Add the chopped parsley to the sauce and then return the cooked chicken pieces to the pan, turning it to coat both sides in the sauce. Simmer until the chicken is heated through. Serve with extra lemon slices or lemon zest for those who like intense lemon flavor.

Variations

Additions to the sauce that you may want to try:

  • Mushrooms can be added with the garlic and sautéed until tender then follow the recipe as written.
  • Artichoke hearts can be added just before adding the lemon juice.
  • Capers will bring a briny tang to the dish when added with the chicken.
A white oval plate platter with chicken breast , lemons and parsley set on a striped cloth.

Serving Suggestions

This chicken recipe can served on it’s own with a side of roasted potatoes, green beans or asparagus and a delicious No Knead Focaccia. Served over pasta with the velvety lemon sauce drizzled over it I guarantee this will become one your favorite pasta dishes!

FAQ’s

How do you store and reheat leftovers?

In case you do have leftovers, they will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days if placed in an airtight container. You can also freeze leftovers for up to 2-3 months.
Reheat in the microwave just until the chicken is heated through, or in a large skillet over medium low heat. You can add a bit of butter or water to the pan if you don’t have a lot of sauce left over.

What wine goes well with Lemon Chicken?

Neutral white wines like Pinot Grigio, Arbarino and Godello are the best wines to pair with this lemony dish. According to this article from Drink and Pair “Citrusy white wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling, impart too much lemony flavours, which end up overshadowing the chicken. If your lemon chicken is served with a pasta or rice dish, light red wines such as Valpolicella, Pinot Noir and Beaujolais taste surprisingly good with the dish.”

Other Chicken recipes you will want to try.

You can never have too many chicken recipes on hand. If you are looking for some different but tasty chicken breast recipes you will love Stuffed Italian Chicken Rolls that are oozing with melty cheese. For something a that is more on the healthy side try my delicious Chicken with Spinach and Tomatoes. Marinated Grilled Stuffed Chicken Breast or Smoked Chicken Legs(Drumsticks) are perfect for a summery meal. Or try my hearty and comforting Chicken Spezzatino (Italian Chicken Stew).

I love to get your feedback so if you tried this recipe for Chicken Limone recipe or any other recipes on this website, please leave me a comment below.  I hope you enjoy our recipes and look forward to hearing from you!

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2 slices of chicken breasts with lemon and parsley on a white plate.

Chicken Limone (Pollo al Limone)

Juicey pieces of chicken in a creamy lemon butter sauce! Weeknight dinners don't have to be bland. This lemon chicken is so tender and easy to make. No special ingredients and done in less then 30 minutes.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 447 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Chicken breasts boneless, skinless
  • 2 tbsp Flour all purpose or brown rice
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper ground
  • 4 tbsp Butter divided
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Juice from one lemon
  • ½ cup Chicken broth
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp Parsley chopped

Instructions
 

  • Cut each chicken breast in half horizontally and salt and pepper them on both sides. Place the flour in a shallow dish and dredge each breast in the flour making sure to coat both sides and shake off any excess.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and 1 tbsp. of butter. When the butter has melted, add the chicken to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes per side. Do not over crowd the pan. You may have to work in batches.
  • Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside. Turn the heat down to medium low and add the garlic to the skillet. Cook one minute, stir in the lemon juice and chicken broth, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for two or three minutes. Add the remaining 3 tbsps. of butter and stir slowly until melted and velvety. Stir in the parsley and add the chicken back in to the sauce. Cook until the chicken is heated through.

Nutrition

Serving: 4servingsCalories: 447kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 49gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 175mgSodium: 1045mgPotassium: 907mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 594IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Chicken breast, lemon, weeknight,
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love chicken and lemon together and this is recipe is a winner! Sooooo delicious and tender! 😍

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