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Recipe: Quick Zip Lemon Chicken

Recipe: Quick Zip Lemon Chicken

When you make this recipe the first time, give yourself a little extra time. Once you get it down, it becomes really easy. For my kids, I cut up the juicy chicken and put it on their plates with the sauce on the side. Then they control how much sauce they try. This is one of those recipes where you really want to have all of your ingredients prepped and ready so you’re not chasing around at the end.

Serves 4-6


4 boneless, skinless half chicken breasts (about 6 oz each)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp dried currants
3-4 tbsp chicken broth, low sodium
1 tbsp capers, rinsed
1/4 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper



Put the chicken breasts in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and a few grindings of black pepper. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes.


Toast the pine nuts in a small dry skillet over medium heat. This takes about 1-2 minutes if your pan is well heated, so stir them a lot and get them off the heat as soon as they’re golden. Set aside to cool.

Soak the currants in warm water in a small bowl until plump, about 10 minutes. Drain well.

Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Lightly coat an ovenproof skillet with olive oil and set it over medium heat. Using tongs, remove the chicken from the bag, letting the marinade drip back into the bag. Reserve the marinade from the bag. Lay the chicken in the skillet top side down (where the skin was) and sear for about 2 minutes. Flip the chicken over and transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook until the chicken is just cooked through, about 10-20 minutes, or until the internal temp is 155-160˚F. They should feel firm but have a little give when you press them with your finger. Transfer the chicken to a plate and drape loosely with foil to keep it warm.

While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce. Pour the reserved marinade into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then stir in the chicken stock, currants, capers, pine nuts, and butter. Simmer for a couple of minutes until the flavors are well blended and the sauce is slightly reduced, adding more stock, salt or pepper to taste.  Stir in the chopped basil.

Either slice the chicken or place a piece of chicken on each plate. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, carefully distributing all the goodies with the flavorful sauce. Serve with a side of the couscous or rice.

Amanda Haas is a cookbook author, cooking video host, and the founder of One Family One Meal, a website that helps families menu plan, grocery shop, and cook on a budget. Her latest writing collaboration is with renowned chef Todd English. The book, Cooking in Everyday English, is loaded with family-friendly recipes. Amanda’s own  cookbook, Real Family Food, is now available for pre-order from Amazon and will be released in the Fall of 2012.

Image Source: Amanda Haas

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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