When Life Gives You Lemons…

…make lemon chicken!  I’ve been away in sunny California for a few days and it’s so nice to come back to this gorgeous springtime weather.  I couldn’t wait to see what fun ingredients were featured in the new ad, and when I saw that both lemons and chicken are on special, I knew I had the perfect recipe to share!  This lemon chicken is guaranteed to lift your spirits, and leave you dreaming of sunshine.

Although there are a few quick steps involved, this dish doesn’t take too long to pull together and is perfect for a busy week night.  If any of your offspring are loitering around the kitchen looking bored, enlist their assistance in flattening the chicken breasts.  Hand them a meat mallet (or a small saucepan) and let them go to town – unless of course, you need to vent your own aggressions – then by all means, save this fun step for yourself.  I just got back from vacation, so my personal aggressions are at a seasonal low.

Common sense reminder:  make sure all of your sous chefs wash their hands when they’re done helping out!  I don’t want salmonella on my conscience today.

We like this chicken with buttered egg noodles or smashed redskin potatoes, and a big Greek salad on the side.  Enjoy!

PANKO-CRUSTED LEMON CHICKEN

Serves:  6

Source:  adapted from epicurious.com

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (Smart Chicken is on sale this week, 3/17/10 to 3/23/10)
  • 5 T. lemon juice, divided (lemons are on sale this week)
  • 2 eggs (Sparboe brand Grade A’s are on sale this week)
  • 1 ¼ c. panko breadcrumbs (find these on the bottom shelf of the Asian aisle)
  • ½ c. good-quality grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 t. grated lemon peel
  • 4 T. butter (or equal parts butter and olive oil, which is what I always do)
  • Lemon wedges and parsley sprigs for garnish, if desired

Place each chicken breast between sheets of wax paper and set them on a flat surface.  Using a meat mallet or the bottom of a small saucepan, pound each breast to an even ½ inch thickness.  Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish.  Pour 4 tablespoons of lemon juice over chicken and turn to coat.  Let stand 10 minutes.

Beat eggs with remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a medium bowl.  Combine panko, Parmesan, and lemon peel in a shallow dish.  Dip 1 chicken breast into the egg mixture.  Dip into panko to coat; gently shake off excess.  Season breasts with salt and pepper.  Repeat with remaining chicken, egg mixture, and panko.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy large skillet over medium high heat.  When butter is hot, add two chicken breasts to skillet and sauté until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side (don’t fiddle with them or scoot them around during this time, trust me!).  Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm.  Repeat with remaining chicken in 2 more batches, adding 1 tablespoon of butter with each batch.  Garnish platter with lemon wedges and parsley and serve.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | March 18th, 2010