It’s no secret that I love really simple recipes *cheers and applause* and one of my favorite things is making a recipe that doesn’t require a massive trip to the grocery store for 80 million ingredients.
Or should I say massive multiple trips to the grocery store – because without fail, I will go for asparagus and lemons, and come back with peanut butter, oatmeal, almond milk, spinach, a few frozen dinners, chocolate chips, bananas, and yogurt, and I’m putting the groceries away and it’s so great to have all these yummy foods in my house and what will I make with the chocolate chi… OMG I did not get the lemons and asparagus. WHAT and WHY. This is my life.
But when the ingredient list can be managed on one hand – even I can handle that.
So yes, this recipe technically has more than 5 ingredients, but the only ones you need to pay attention to are chicken, lemons, asparagus, and a lemon pepper seasoning because let me guess –> you probably already have butter, flour, and salt, you well-stocked pantry person, you.
Grab Your Pan and Let’s Make Lemon Chicken
Now get ready because this is so beautifully and awesomely easy.
Coat the chicken. (It gives the chicken that extra something so you get some lemon pepper flavor and the chicken absorbs a little more of the pan sauce.)
A beautiful lemony buttery sauce that YOU MADE! Lemons, butter, a sprinkle of lemon pepper seasoning, and a honey drizzle if you want. It’s going to go right on top of those perfectly pan-crisped chicken breasts – or chicken thighs if you want – and bring this dish together.
I’m serious THAT’S ALL. Put a little piece of whole wheat bread, brown rice, or quinoa on that plate if you want a carb buddy, and dig the heck into that fresh, bright, healthy dinner.
Yummy-roo for you.
Lemon Chicken: Frequently Asked Questions
Why do my lemons taste bitter?
That’s normal for this recipe actually. The lemons are going to be bitter, especially if you really let them caramelize like shown in the picture in this post. With that in mind, you can use them just as a garnish (pretty!), or you can eat them if you like bitter things, or you can try to make them less bitter by boiling them for a few minutes before adding to the pan. I opted for the garnish.
How do I make the honey butter sauce?
For the honey butter sauce, I just melted the butter and honey in the hot pan after caramelizing the lemons and poured it over the chicken. This mixture definitely picked up some of the residual caramelizy-lemon flavor from the pan, so if that isn’t your thing, just melt the butter and honey in a separate pan.
Can I make this gluten-free?
Sure can! We’d recommend using a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour.
How do I get the crispy bits out of the pan?
We got you! Here’s everything you need for cleaning a cast iron skillet.
Juicy, pan-fried chicken with peppery lemon flavors and tender bites of asparagus with a honey butter sauce. A bright and fresh 5 ingredient dinner on the table in 20 minutes!
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoonsalt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoonlemon pepper seasoning
1–2 cups chopped asparagus
2 tablespoonshoney + 2 tablespoons butter (optional, see FAQ notes)
parsley for topping (optional)
Chicken: Cover the chicken breasts with plastic wrap and pound until each pieces is about a 3/4 of an inch thick. (NOTE: If your chicken breasts are really thick,you can just cut them in half horizontally to make thinner pieces rather than pounding. Works like a charm.) Place the flour and salt and pepper in a shallow dish and gently toss each chicken breast in the dish to coat. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat; add the chicken and sauté for 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown, sprinkling each side with the lemon pepper directly in the pan. When the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, transfer to a plate.
Asparagus and Lemons: Add the chopped asparagus to the pan. Sauté for a few minutes until bright green and tender crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside. Lay the lemon slices flat on the bottom of the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side without stirring so that they caramelize and pick up the browned bits left in the pan from the chicken and butter. (NOTE: adding a tiny pat of butter in with the lemons also helps prevent sticking and promotes browning.) Remove the lemons from the pan and set aside.
Assembly: Layer all the ingredients back into the skillet – asparagus, chicken, and lemon slices on top.