Chicken breast tenderloins lightly sauteed with garlic, then baked & smothered in a delightful sauce of lemon, herbs & cream. Recipe for quick easy Lemon Cream Chicken.
Lemon Cream Chicken
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Using a technique I learned from Julia Child’s book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”; I cook this lemon cream chicken by first giving it a fast and light browning on a high heat, but not cooking it through. Then continue this technique by transferring the chicken to the oven for the remainder of the cooking time and finishing it off by smothering it in a beautiful citrus and cream sauce. This delicious Lemon Cream Chicken is surprisingly quick and easy to make and well worth it. I love to serve it on a bed of rice with a bit of asparagus, as the lemon sauce really compliments that particular vegetable and the rice makes it a more hearty dish. As you can see from some of the pictures below, I also enjoy serving it with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, because they’re a quick cook and go well with lemon.
Juli, Julie, and Julia
I discovered Julia Child’s cookbook the same way many others around the world did; by watching the movie Julie and Julia with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. It was right before Christmas and my awesome sibling Becca sent me the cookbook as a gift that year. I literally spent days sitting on the couch next to my then two year old as he watched an animated movie about cars obsessively, and I poured over that book and all it’s hidden knowledge just as obsessively! For New Year’s Eve that year I cooked with wine for my first time and made Julia Child’s recipe for Filet Steaks with Mushrooms and Madeira Sauce. Not gonna lie y’all; it was divine! Ever since that time I have been applying her techniques for cooking meats and poultry first on the stove top and then transferred to the oven.
A Couple Quick Tips:
- Rub your lemon back and forth on a flat surface with your palm applying pressure, before cutting it open. This releases the juices and makes it easier to get more when you squeeze your lemon.
- Be sure to season your chicken with the salt and pepper generously. The sauce really doesn’t have a lot of seasoning as it is more of a subtle creamy lemon flavor. We want the contrast of subtlety and “In your Face!” flavor when you bring the two together at the end. It’s a beautiful combination!
- Make sure your oil/butter combination is already hot before adding the chicken to the pan. You don’t want the chicken to cook in there, you just want it’s outsides to brown up a little. If your oil and butter are not hot, then the chicken will cook as it warms and your end product may be dry.
- Do NOT, I repeat; DO NOT clean the pan after removing the chicken and before starting the Lemon Cream Sauce! You want the dredges from your chicken to help flavor the shallots and sauce. Trust me on this and just don’t do it. Hahaha!
- The longer the cream cooks, the thicker it becomes. I like mine to be thin and able to drizzle over all my foods rather than coat them. However, I wont blame you at all if you want to add an extra two minutes onto your creams cooking time to thicken it up.
A fun alternate ingredient:
Rosemary. If you will be serving the sauce over Brussels Sprouts or Asparagus, then I don’t suggest the rosemary. But otherwise, rosemary and lemon pair beautifully with each other and chicken has a major crush on the rosemary as well!
The recipe for Lemon Cream Chicken:
- 6 to 8 chicken breast tenderloins, or 2 to 3 chicken breasts cut down to size.
- 2 lemons, one juiced the other sliced.
- 1 tablespoon of olive or canola oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.
- 1 more tablespoon Butter
- Scant 1 TBS Garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, peeled and minced.
- 3/4 cup of chicken stock
- 1 cup whipping cream
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons of minced fresh Italian parsley (or herb of choice)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rub chicken breasts down with the lemon juice.
- Season with salt-and-pepper generously.
- Over med-high heat warm the oil and 1 tBS of butter.
- Once hot, add the chicken and Saute on each side for about 1 minute (until lightly browned).
- Saute over medium high heat in a hot sauce pan with the oil and butter combination, for one minute on each side until they are lightly browned.
- Then transfer chicken to a baking sheet and place in the oven for six minutes.
- For the Sauce!
- Place another tablespoon of butter in the pan that you used to brown the chicken.
- Turn heat down to medium and saute the minced garlic and shallots with salt-and-pepper until they start to turn clear but not yet browned.
- Once they turn clear-ish, turn the heat back up to medium high.
- Add the chicken stock and two of your thin lemon slices, let it cook down to a quarter of what it was.
- (at about this time you'll need to remove your chicken from the oven probably)
- Turn your heat back down to medium, and add the cream, parsley, and the remaining lemon slices. Let cook for about two to three more minutes.
- Then add the baked chicken to the pan, coating them generously
- Serve immediately.
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