Parmesan Skillet Chicken Lemon Garlic Sauce: Mastering the Dish with Ease


As a fan of delicious and simple meals, it’s time for you to try this incredible parmesan skillet chicken with lemon garlic sauce. This one-pan recipe not only packs a punch when it comes to flavor but is also efficient, making it an ideal choice for those busy weeknights or special occasions when you want to showcase your culinary skills. The combination of parmesan cheese, lemon, and garlic creates a delightful balance of savory and tangy flavors that will leave your taste buds begging for more.

The recipe consists of pan-searing chicken breasts coated in parmesan cheese, and then simmering them in a rich and creamy lemon garlic sauce. The addition of fresh lemon juice, garlic, and herbs brings a vibrant zesty flavor while maintaining a delightful balance with the hearty, cheesy and crispy parmesan crust. This dish is perfect for satisfying both your cooking needs and your taste buds, with the added bonus of minimal cleanup.

Choosing Your Chicken

Boneless Vs. Bone-In

When preparing your parmesan skillet chicken with lemon garlic sauce, you’ll need to decide whether to use boneless or bone-in chicken. Boneless chicken, specifically boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cook faster and are easier to handle. Since we want to achieve an even thickness for this dish, boneless chicken is preferred.

On the other hand, bone-in chicken tends to have more flavor and is generally juicier. However, it requires more time and effort to cook and debone. For this recipe, it is highly recommended to use boneless chicken, but you can still use bone-in chicken if you prefer a richer taste and don’t mind extra work.

Selecting Chicken Breasts or Thighs

Both chicken breasts and thighs can work well for this dish, but they have slight differences:

  • Chicken breasts are leaner and have a milder taste. They’re perfect for those who prefer white meat and a lighter meal. Make sure to use boneless skinless chicken breasts for this dish, and pound them to an even thickness of about 1/2-inch to ensure even cooking.
  • Chicken thighs have a richer flavor and are more forgiving when it comes to cooking time, making them less likely to become dry. For this recipe, use boneless skinless chicken thighs to maintain the desired texture and ease of preparation.

Whichever cut you choose, always opt for fresh, high-quality chicken to guarantee the best results and flavor for your parmesan skillet chicken with lemon garlic sauce.

Preparing the Ingredients

Chicken breasts searing in a skillet, surrounded by grated parmesan, lemon slices, and minced garlic

Seasoning the Chicken

To begin, it’s essential to properly season the chicken for maximum flavor. Start by patting your chicken breasts dry with a paper towel, ensuring that any excess moisture is absorbed.

For a delicious parmesan skillet chicken, combine 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder in a small bowl. Gently rub this mixture on both sides of the chicken breasts, evenly coating them with the seasonings.

Mixing the Lemon Garlic Sauce

Now that your chicken is seasoned, it’s time to prepare the lemon garlic sauce that will add an extra punch of flavor to your dish. In a separate bowl, start by adding the juice and zest of one lemon. This will provide the tangy, citrus flavor that pairs perfectly with the chicken.

Next, add 2-3 cloves of minced garlic to the lemon mixture. The minced garlic will complement the lemon juice and elevate your sauce to new heights. To balance the flavors, include 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning. This classic mix of herbs enhances the taste of the sauce and ties the dish together.

Once all the ingredients are combined, whisk the sauce to ensure an even distribution of flavors. Your lemon garlic sauce is now ready to be added to the parmesan skillet chicken, bringing it all together in a delicious and easy-to-make meal.

Cooking Techniques

Stovetop Skillet Cooking

When cooking your parmesan skillet chicken with lemon garlic sauce, one popular method is the stovetop skillet. Using a high-quality skillet, such as a cast iron skillet, will provide an even heat distribution and better searing for the chicken. To begin, heat your skillet on the stove to a medium-high temperature. Add a combination of olive oil and butter to the pan, which not only boosts the flavor but also helps in achieving a crispy texture of the chicken.

For the best outcome, you should cook the chicken evenly on both sides until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Use a meat thermometer for the most accurate reading. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the skillet and prepare the lemon garlic sauce in the same pan using a mix of more butter, garlic, lemon, and complementary seasonings such as red pepper flakes for added zest.

Oven Baking Tips

If you prefer to bake your parmesan skillet chicken, preheat your oven to a temperature of around 375°F (190°C). Before placing the chicken into the oven, make sure to lightly coat it with the desired seasonings and a mixture of grated parmesan cheese for the best flavor profile. Arrange the chicken in a baking dish or an oven-safe skillet, pouring a bit of the lemon garlic sauce mixture over it.

Keep an eye on the chicken’s progress, aiming for that internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Baking times may vary depending on the thickness of your chicken. To achieve a crispy, well-browned crust, consider broiling the chicken for the last few minutes of cook time.

Getting the Perfect Sear

A beautiful sear not only makes your parmesan skillet chicken visually appetizing but also locks in its flavors. To achieve a perfect sear, start with drying the chicken by patting it with a paper towel. This will remove excess moisture to ensure the chicken achieves its desired crispiness.

When you begin cooking, don’t overcrowd the skillet to maintain a consistent temperature and allow the chicken to cook evenly. As the chicken browns, a crust forms on the surface, providing that much-coveted crispy texture. To complete the dish, carefully flip each piece of chicken using tongs or a spatula, aiming for a golden-brown sear on both sides. Remember to be gentle, as you want to maintain the integrity of the crust.

Serving Suggestions

Pairing with Sides

When deciding on side dishes for your Parmesan Skillet Chicken with Lemon Garlic Sauce, you have a variety of options that will enhance the flavors and complement the chicken. For a lighter meal, consider pairing it with a simple green salad or some steamed vegetables such as asparagus, green beans, or broccoli. You can also try oven-roasted zucchini for a delightful contrast in texture with the crispy chicken.

If you’re looking for something more filling or a suitable side for a family dinner, why not serve the chicken with some fluffy mashed potatoes or a portion of steamed rice. Couscous and cauliflower rice are two more excellent choices that will not only soak up the delicious lemon garlic sauce but also provide a healthy alternative to traditional sides. For pasta lovers, a light and refreshing angel hair pasta would make a fantastic accompaniment.

Garnishing for Flavor and Presentation

Garnishing your dish can enhance its overall appearance and add an extra layer of flavor. For this Parmesan Skillet Chicken with Lemon Garlic Sauce, consider the following garnishes:

  • Fresh parsley: Chopped fresh parsley adds a subtle herbal note and gives the dish a pop of color.
  • Lemon slices: A few lemon slices not only make the dish more visually appealing, but they also invite your diners to add an extra spritz of lemon juice for an added zesty kick.
  • Grated Parmesan cheese: Adding a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top can help reinforce the cheesy notes in the dish and create a delicious, salty finish.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes: If you want to give your dish a bit of heat, try adding a small pinch of red pepper flakes on top for a spicy kick.

Make sure to present your Parmesan Skillet Chicken with Lemon Garlic Sauce alongside its perfectly-paired side dishes and attractive garnishes to create a meal that is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.

Storage and Reheating

Storing your Parmesan Skillet Chicken Lemon Garlic Sauce properly is essential for maintaining its freshness and delicious taste. To store your leftovers, simply transfer them into an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. Be sure to consume the leftover dish within 3-4 days. For a longer preservation, consider using a freezer.

To freeze your Parmesan chicken:

  1. Allow the dish to cool completely.
  2. Place the cooled chicken pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Put the baking sheet into the freezer until the chicken is fully frozen.
  4. Transfer the frozen chicken pieces into a labeled freezer bag or airtight container.
  5. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When it’s time to reheat your delicious leftovers, follow these guidelines to ensure their quality:

  • Refrigerator Leftovers: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the chicken on a baking sheet or in an oven-safe dish, cover with aluminum foil, and gently reheat for 15-20 minutes, or until warmed through.
  • Frozen Chicken: It’s best to thaw the chicken in the refrigerator overnight prior to reheating. However, if you’re short on time, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and reheat the chicken from frozen. Keep the dish covered with aluminum foil and plan for it to take approximately 25-35 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.

Serve your reheated Parmesan Skillet Chicken Lemon Garlic Sauce over cooked pasta, rice, or vegetables. You can also add a sprinkle of fresh parsley to enhance its appearance and flavor. Enjoy the savory and creamy goodness in every bite, while knowing you’ve stored and reheated the dish properly to maximize its taste and quality.

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