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Pan Fried Lemon Butter Chicken

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: One Pan
  • Cuisine: Italian


This easy pan fried chicken recipe is served with a delicious lemon butter sauce, perfect to serve with mashed potatoes and seasonal greens on busy weeknights!


  • 4 skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • plain (all purpose) flour
  • freshly ground sea salt & black pepper
  • 1 tbsp light olive oil
  • 75g (2 1/2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced (optional)
  • 1 sprig rosemary, plus extra to serve
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 100ml (1/2 cup) water


  1. Lay the chicken thighs out on a chopping board and with the heal of your palm bash them out so they’re of an even thickness. Work smooth side up so you don’t mush up the flesh beneath. Season well with salt and pepper on both sides before tossing in a little flour so that they’re well coated.
  2. Heat the oil over a medium high heat in a large non-stick skillet or frying pan. Once the oil is shimmering add the chicken thighs, working in batches as necessary. Every time you turn the chicken add a little of the butter to the pan: this will help the pieces brown. Once the chicken pieces are well browned and cooked through, remove from the pan and keep warm in the oven on its lowest setting.
  3. Pour any excess fat from the pan and add the lemon slices (if using) and the rosemary sprig. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for a minute or two until the slices start to caramelise. 
  4. Add the lemon juice, the rest of the butter and the water. Whisk in the butter until it has melted, and allow the sauce to simmer until it has thickened and is nice and glossy; if it separates, add a little more butter. 
  5. Season the sauce to taste with salt, pepper, and if it is a bit too sour, again another bit of butter. Return the chicken pieces to heat through with their resting juices just before serving.