This Lemon Chicken Skillet is a one-pan meal that’s jam-packed with bright and satisfying flavors.
Usually when I think of one-pan meals, I’m thinking of comfort food dishes—recipes like Beef Noodle Skillet or Southwest Chicken Skillet that are hearty, simple, and satisfying. They’re truly some of my favorite foods, both to make and to eat.
This Lemon Chicken Skillet Dinner is all that, but it’s also something more. It’s just as quick and easy and just as hearty and satisfying. But it’s a little elevated, a little more special feeling. With full-size pieces of chicken and tender potatoes, the result is a one-pan meal that’s perfect for family, company, everybody.
Tips For A Great Lemon Chicken Skillet
The first step in making this recipe is to brown the chicken, and that browning really adds a depth of flavor that wouldn’t be there otherwise. So how do you get good browning? One, make sure to use a nice large skillet, one that’s big enough to hold the chicken in a single layer without crowding. And two, once you add the chicken to a well-heated skillet, have the patience to leave it there until it has good color on both sides.
Another tip for a tasty dish is to cut the potatoes the same size. It seems obvious, but it doesn’t always happen that way. And if some pieces are smaller than others, you’ll end up with some bites that are al dente while others are overdone.
Ways To Make This Skillet Dinner Yours
I adore this recipe as is, but there are plenty of ways to adapt it. One, you could use chicken thighs instead of breasts, either bone-in or boneless. (Note that thighs might need a little longer to finish cooking once they’re added back to the skillet at the end of the recipe.)
You could also make it with pork chops or thicker fish fillets. You could use oranges instead of lemons, or a combination of the two. And you could use fresh herbs instead of dried. You could even substitute white wine for about 1/2 cup of the chicken broth.
Whether you follow the recipe to a “T” or adapt it to your tastes, I think you’ll agree it’s a keeper. Lemon Chicken Skillet Dinner is easy, it’s tasty, and it’s perfect for Tuesday, Saturday, every day.
Here’s a one-pan meal that’s jam-packed with bright and satisfying flavors. Perhaps even better, it’s easy enough for weeknights, but special enough for weekends and company. Note: This recipe has been recently retested and changed. The original recipe had a step where lemon slices were browned. Skipping this step made the sauce less bitter, and also reduced the cooking time, as did skipping the step of browning the potatoes before adding the liquid. This recipe is now tastier AND easier to make. Yay!
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this one-skillet meal, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:
- 4 (6 oz.) boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. dried thyme, rosemary, or Italian seasoning blend
- 1 lemon
- 1 and 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 and 1/2 lbs. small red potatoes (about 10-12), cut into 1/2 inch wedges
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 cups baby spinach leaves
- Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the pepper, and the thyme.
- Zest 1/2 teaspoon from the lemon, and then juice the lemon.
- In a very large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until well-browned underneath, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil and the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, stir and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken stock, the lemon juice, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Scrape the bottom of the skillet to lift up browned bits, if any.
- Add the potatoes. Stir and then make sure that all of the potatoes are mostly submerged in liquid. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are just fork-tender, 8-9 minutes.
- Stir in the cream. Nestle the chicken in amongst the potatoes. Bring up to a strong simmer and then immediately reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook until chicken is cooked through to 165F, as read on an instant-read thermometer, 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in the lemon zest. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper, if desired.
- Stir in the spinach just to wilt.