Chicken Breasts With Lemon

August 21, 2017

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Chicken Breasts With Lemon

Image courtesy of Michael Kraus for The New York Times.

I always enjoyed the recipes in Pierre Franey’s 60-Minute Gourmet, both the long-running New York times column of that name and the 1979 book. This chicken breast recipe from The New York Times is one of them. At the market, Pollo Real offers excellent chicken and bone broth. The Crawfords’ El Bosque Garlic Farm is my long-time favorite source of shallots and garlic, though I also enjoy garlic from a number of other farms.

In this recipe, which Pierre Franey brought to The Times in 1992, two teaspoons of lemon zest are added to a simple sauce of lemon juice, thyme, garlic and shallots. It is, at once, lively and elegant. To round it out, it needs a sturdy accompaniment. Mr. Franey suggested mashed potatoes with garlic and basil, with just a little olive oil swirled in.

The Recipe


  • ½ cup flour for dredging
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup chicken broth, fresh or canned
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Season flour with salt and pepper, and dredge the chicken all over. Remove the excess flour.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet large enough to hold the chicken pieces in one layer. Add chicken and cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. Flip the chicken and cook for 5 minutes more, or until cooked through. Carefully remove the oil from the skillet, leaving the chicken. Discard the oil.
  4. Add the thyme, shallots and garlic, and cook for about a minute. Do not burn the garlic. Add the lemon rind, the lemon juice and the broth.
  5. Scrape the skillet to dissolve the brown particles that cling to the bottom. Add the butter, and cook for 3 minutes longer. Serve immediately.

This locally inspired recipe is brought to you by Pam Walker. Pam is an avid home cook, writer, and local farm and food activist who is also a board member of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute. Thank you, Pam, for helping inspire us to use locally sourced ingredients!