Growing up, I had a number of “second families”- that was just the nature of being a band kid, and if I wasn’t at home, I was at one of their houses raiding their pantry or eating meals with their families.
Now, I loved all of my “second families” but one in particular definitely reigns supreme. Since I had known them since I was 5, their house was the one that I just walked in even if my friend wasn’t there- I’m pretty sure I spent more time with my friend’s mom and sisters than I did him! That’s who they were: my brother, my sisters, my mama, and my pops, and they are literally that in my phone to this day!
To make it even better my mama (2nd mom) could cook just a well as my mom (actual mom)! Among the many delicious things she put before me, I discovered my one true favorite meal- I want it every year for my birthday and has now become regularly inserted into our monthly meal schedule (sometimes twice a month!). And since we just had it, again, and it’s my all-time favorite, this is a perfect first recipe to share.
What is this deliciousness you ask?
served with cream sauce and angel hair pasta (Garlic Bread optional)
Y’all this is not a drill on how good this is. I will literally drink the sauce. It is perfection in every way, and, now, I’m honored to share it with you because no family should have to go without this in their lives.
So, let’s start with everything you need:
Chicken Breast, Lemons, Chicken Broth, White Wine, Heavy Whipping Cream, Olive Oil, Parmesan Cheese, Flour
Now, I’ve been trying for YEARS to get my chicken breasts as perfect and thin as some of these Italian restaurants, and it’s HARD. I’ve just told myself that they buy them that way, and a machine presses them so thin and perfect because there is NO WAY a meat hammer can do it. If there is, and you know it, I’d appreciate the insider tip…
Alright, so to start, you need to preheat your oven (to 250°F) and skillet (with the oil). We have an electric skillet, and it’s my best friend- I use it for so many dishes- meatballs, chicken parmesan, this… to name a few… You can use a regular skillet on the stove, but it probably won’t cook as evenly, and you can’t cook them all at once. If you have an electric skillet, preheat that to about 375°F-400°F although this, honestly, depends on your skillet… if the coils run hot, you need to bump the temp down to about 350°F, if it’s older, and on its last leg, bump it up to 400°F-425°F.
You’ll also want to go ahead and get the water started heating up for your noodles. If your stove is as bad as mine, this could take awhile…
Actual photo of my non-boiling water about 15 minutes after turning the burner on high... and sense this meal only takes about 30 minutes, you can see why this is a problem...
While everything is preheating, get your chicken breast, cut all the fat nasty off, and pound them out until they’re thin (or “Scallopini” if you want the technical term). Then, coat them in flour. Cut up your lemons into quarters (you can do lemons halves if you have this nifty mini juicer like I do!), and set aside. If you get a mini lemon juicer, I recommend finding one with a top, like mine, otherwise, you’ll be spraying lemon juice everywhere. With this juicer, you’ll want small lemons unless you like fighting with fitting large objects into really tight spots.
While I use the lemon juicer for my lemons, I do leave one-quarter lemon slice out to squeeze over the chicken while it’s cooking. This is optional, but I think it adds just a little bit more to the dish!
Now, once the skillet is heated (you’ll know because the oil is popping), place your chicken in.
I use a some of the lemon quarter and sprinkle it over the chicken. You can see the drops in the picture on the right.
Once it’s lightly browned on one side (you’ll see the edges start to turn a light brown), flip it and sprinkle the rest of the lemon quarter on the other side.
Wait for the other side to brown…. obviously…
When it’s all golden and beautiful, put the chicken in a baking dish, cover with foil, and stick in the oven. It really doesn’t matter if they’re on top of each other, the oven is really just keeping them warm while you make the sauce and pasta (and garlic bread if you choose).
I’m not going to tell you how to cook noodles.
If you can’t cook noodles, this dish is too advanced for you, and you should first consider a very simple Spaghetti and Meatball dish.
I’ll just go ahead and give you a Master Class…
So let’s skip ahead to my favorite part… the sauce…
Once the chicken is out of the skillet (don’t turn it off!), pick out any fat or lemon seeds (from coating the chicken) that may have fallen in there. If there’s a lot of excess oil, you can drain that too- I like to leave a little bit for flavor.
Once it’s ready to go, deglaze it with 2 shots of White Wine, and pour yourself a glass while you’re at it- really, just pick your poison… my husband prefers Pinot Grigio, and he says it matters… I think it matters in the sense that that’s what he wants to drink more so than what makes it tastes good, but whatever…
Then, dump in the can of chicken broth, a pint of whipping cream, and lemon juice. This is why I love my juicer… when you squeeze lemon in there, the seeds go too, and it’s a pain (although not wholly necessary) picking them out of the sauce. Wait until that gets to a boil, then reduce the heat to about 250°F-275°F on the skillet or just low on your stove top, and add the parmesan cheese.
It will thicken. How long it takes depends on your skillet. It’s here that you can taste test your sauce and add any more lemon if you want. We like it extra ‘lemony’, so we can use up to 3 small lemons for this, but your ‘lemonyness’ really depends on your taste buds.
Once the noodles are ready, I turn the skillet off, and the sauce will finish the thickening process. Take the chicken out of the oven (and bread if you wanted it), and you’re ready to serve!
Personally, I like to do noodles, sauce, chicken, sauce, but that’s also because I’m OBSESSED with this sauce. Other, less sauce-obsessed people, just put noodles, chicken, then sauce… I don’t really understand those people, but you do you boo boo.
I love this meal because it is delicious and easy to make.
A fresh, light, tasty Italian recipe perfect for a quick meal
Credit: The Multifaceter
|1 lb||Chicken Breast, scallopini|
|2-3||Large Lemons, quartered|
|1 can (14 oz)||Chicken Broth|
|2 shots||White Wine, we use Pinot Grigio (or water)|
|1 pint||Heavy Whipping Cream|
|1-2 Tbsp||Olive Oil (can use Canola Oil for a healthier option)|
|½ cup||Parmesan Cheese|
|Flour, to coat chicken|
- Preheat oven to 250°F and preheat skillet with oil (Electric Skillet @ 375°F)
- Prepare chicken: pound thin, cut in servable pieces, coat in flour
- Pan fry chicken in oil until golden brown
- Squeeze 1-2 lemon quarters over chicken as it cooks
- Once chicken is browned, place in pan, cover, and bake at 250°F
While chicken is cooking, make the cream sauce:
- Deglaze pan with 2 shots of wine (or water)
- Add can of chicken broth and heavy whipping cream
- Squeeze in juice of 4-5 lemon quarters; add more per taste
- Allow to boil for about a minute, then reduce heat
- Sprinkle in parmesan cheese
- Sauce will thicken
*Serve with angel hair pasta and garlic bread