Learn how to cook chicken breasts on the stove with this easy lemon garlic chicken recipe! A vibrant citrus marinade with a little red pepper for a slight spicy kick, creates tender, juicy, and flavorful chicken breasts. Cooks in 15 minutes!
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: juicy is always the goal! This lemon garlic chicken breast recipe follows this philosophy, using the same tried-and-true technique from my grilled chicken breast and baked chicken breast recipes. This time, I’m pan-searing them in a skillet for a golden brown exterior, and tender–and, yes, JUICY–center.
The impossible choice with chicken breast is that one side is very thick while the other is very thin. That means you often overcook one side, or, worse, undercook the other. The secret is: you don’t have to settle for dry chicken!
For this lemon garlic chicken recipe, I slice the chicken into thinner cutlets so they’re even all the way through then I give them a good soak in flavorful, lemon garlic marinade amped up with red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning. Flavorful and cooked in less than 15 minutes! It’s a win-win.
A lemon and garlic marinade and a few simple tricks keep these chicken breasts tender and juicy. The lean meat is perfect for adding protein to salads, sandwiches, rice bowls, and more. Make sure to give yourself at least 30 minutes to marinate the chicken–it needs some time to soak up all that flavor.
Prep Time: 10mins
Cook Time: 8mins
Marinating Time: 30mins
Total Time: 48mins
For the chicken marinade:
- 2 lemons
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 large garlic cloves crushed or minced
- 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley, plus more for garnish
For the chicken:
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 4 large chicken breasts)
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
Make the marinade: Zest and juice one of the lemons into a large bowl (save the other lemon for later). To the bowl, add olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and parsley and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Slice the breasts into cutlets: Place the chicken breast flat on a cutting board and position your non-dominant hand on top to hold it firmly. Using a sharp knife in your dominant hand, carefully slice the chicken breast horizontally starting with the thicker end and all the way through to the thin end. You should end up with two thin cutlets for each chicken breast. If the cutlets still need to flatten a bit, cover with plastic wrap and pound with a kitchen mallet (optional).
Dry and season the chicken: Use a paper towel to pat the chicken dry. Season with a big pinch of kosher salt and black pepper on both sides. Add the chicken to the marinade and turn to coat. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Cook the chicken: In a large cast iron skillet set over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, arrange the chicken pieces in the skillet. Do this in batches if you need to, as you do not want to crowd the pan. Sear for about 4 minutes on each side, or until both sides are golden brown and the chicken is nearly cooked through. (Its juices should run clear.)
Rest: When the internal temperature reaches 160°F, remove from the heat. Tent with foil and let the chicken rest for another 5 minutes. The chicken will come up to 165°F while it’s under the foil. There should be no pink on the inside. While it rests, slice the remaining lemon.
Garnish and serve: Garnish the chicken with chopped parsley and lemon slices. Serve.
- Only marinate the chicken for a maximum of two hours as the acidity may toughen the meat.
- You can also substitute chicken thighs if you’d like, but budget about 10 minutes per side–especially if you’re using the bone-in, skin-on variety.
Calories: 268.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.8g | Protein: 32.8g | Fat: 13.1g | Saturated Fat: 2.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7.7g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 96.8mg | Sodium: 181mg | Potassium: 642.6mg | Fiber: 1.4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 322IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 33.5mg | Iron: 1.2mg