Chicken breast lightly coated in seasoned flour, pan fried until golden and served with a gorgeous honey lemon sauce. At just 320 calories a serve – with plenty of sauce – and on the table in 15 minutes, this is a fantastic back pocket recipe for busy days!
This rarely happens, and it usually only lasts 24 hours, but I can officially say: I’m cooked out. Between cooking for Easter both in real life and for RecipeTin Eats, ploughing full steam ahead on my Stir Fry Sauce cookbook (remember Charlie? I’m creating a whole book of Charlie recipes!) and client work, the amount of food that has come out of my pokey little kitchen over the past couple of weeks is extraordinary.
My freezer is jam packed, the homeless guy is getting 2 meals almost every day, and every friend I see gets sent home with food.
So today, it’s fitting that I share something super fast to make but, as always (!!), super tasty – this Chicken with Honey Lemon Sauce.
I start off by dusting the chicken with lightly seasoned flour which serves two purposes: 1) so the chicken forms a lovely golden brown crust; and 2) it helps thicken the sauce (via brown bits stuck on the pan mixed into the sauce and popping the chicken back into the sauce at the end).
The key to this recipe is the golden brown bits left in the pan from cooking the chicken. It’s gold and it should never be wasted. Whether you’re cooking fish or protein, swish a little liquid of some sort (broth/stock, wine, lemon juice, even water), bring it to a simmer to loosen the brown bits and use a spatular to scrape it off the bottom of the pan and into the liquid.
It’s free flavour and it’s the key to making this simple Honey Lemon Sauce so tasty even though there are so few ingredients in it.
This is actually a really healthy meal too, at just 320 calories per serving. Serve it with a simple side salad and a couple of slices of bread to mop up the sauce, and you’ll have a complete meal for less than 500 calories.
Something to mop up the honey lemon sauce is key! It’s rude to lick the plate (in front of others, home alone is perfectly acceptable). So make sure you have some bread to wipe your plate clean!! – Nagi x
- 2 small chicken breasts - 1lb/500g in total, at room temperature
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp plain flour (or cornstarch / corn flour)
- ¼ tsp each onion and garlic powder (optional - extra flavour)
- 1½ tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¾ cup chicken broth / stock
- 3 tbsp honey
- ¼ cup lemon juice (fresh)
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Lemon slices
- Finely chopped parsley
- Slice each chicken breast horizontally to form 4 steaks in total. OPTIONAL: Pound to even thickness about 1cm/ 2/5" thick.
- Sprinkle each side generously with salt and pepper.
- Combine flour, onion and garlic powder (if using) on a plate. Coat the chicken in the flour, shaking off excess. SAVE FLOUR (step 7)
- Place butter, oil and garlic in a skillet over high heat until butter is melted and hot. Add chicken and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Turn and cook the other side until golden brown, then transfer onto a plate to rest.
- Turn heat down to medium high and return skillet to stove. Add chicken broth / stock and bring to simmer. Use a spatula to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan into the liquid.
- Add remaining ingredients, mix and simmer for 2 minutes until slightly thickened.
- OPTIONAL: Mix ½ tsp of flour from step 2 with a splash of water. Add to the pan (to thicken the sauce slightly).
- Add salt and pepper to the sauce to taste. Return the chicken to the pan for 30 seconds (with lemon slices if using), turning to coat in the sauce.
- Serve chicken with plenty of sauce!
2. TIP: Sometimes I blanch asparagus or other fairly flat vegetables in the sauce while it is simmering. To do this, just add ¼ cup of water and cook the veggies in the sauce for a few minutes until crisp-tender, by which time the extra water added should have evaporated, leaving you with just the sauce!
3. This can be made with fish or thin pork steaks too! Use thin schnitzel steaks (ie. not breaded / crumbed) or do it yourself - place a sheet of baking / parchment paper over the pork and bash until thin with a rolling pin or large can.
4. To freeze: Don't put the chicken you want to freeze in with the sauce in the pan (it will go soggy when stored), keep them separate. Freeze sauce separately from the cooked chicken. To reheat, defrost chicken thoroughly and bring to room temperature. Heat a skillet over high heat, add a touch of oil and add the chicken to reheat and freshen up the surface and make it golden again. Pour sauce in to reheat, turn chicken to coat and serve.
Nutrition per serving, assuming all sauce is consumed. Add 2 slices of toasted sourdough and steamed asparagus to complete the meal for just on 500 calories a serving!