Butter and Whole Cream. Ingredients that give meaning to words like “comforting” and “satisfying.” Here you will find a recipe where chicken tenders and potato wedges swim in a luscious rich sauce kissed with lemon and white wine. This Creamy Lemon Chicken is a dreamy temptation that will have you craving it long after the pan is empty.
Why I love this Recipe
#1 – As a one-skillet dish, it’s super simple from start to finish and makes clean-up a cinch.
#2 – A rich creamy sauce with a nice hint of lemon provides a gratifying meal for my family.
#3 – It’s literally on the table in less than an hour.
The Ingredients for this Creamy Lemon Chicken:
Small Red Potatoes. These potatoes are ideal for pan-frying. I looked through the bin in order to find similar small ones and cut them into wedges. There is no need to peel these lovely jewels. Their skin is relatively thin, soft and adds extra fiber to the dish.
Chicken Tenders. I chose these instead of just cutting the chicken breast into strips because the tenders are exactly what you would expect – “tender.”
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper.
Light Olive Oil & Clarified Butter. The combination of these two oils works great to fry both the potato wedges and chicken tenders on higher heat. Both light olive oil and clarified butter’s smoking point is above 450° F. You can substitute regular butter for clarified, just be careful not to turn the heat too high.
Onions and Garlic. I’m never without these two ingredients in my pantry. They are the foundation of most of my savory recipes. I’m partial to sweet onions because they are not as astringent as yellow ones. The combo of both onions and garlic form the flavor base in this recipe.
Dry White Wine. The purpose of wine in cooking is 1) to deglaze a pan and remove all those flavorful brown bits and 2) to enhance and accent the flavor and aroma of a dish. Since this is a cream sauce, I went with a dry white wine. A red one would have turned the sauce a pinkish color. Stay away from those labeled “cooking wines.”
Juice from a Large Lemon. The way to truly brighten this dish is to use the juice from a fresh lemon. You can substitute the bottled lemon juice but I find it to be somewhat bitter with a muted lemon flavor.
Whole Milk and Whole Cream. The glorious finish of the dish! You can substitute half and half instead of the milk and cream.
Fresh Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese. This gives it a slightly salty and nutty aspect to the cream sauce. It also helps the sauce to thicken.
How to Make this Creamy Lemon Chicken
#1 – Begin by par-boiling the potatoes.
Par-boiling is a process wherein the potatoes are partially cooked before pan-frying. This speeds up the frying time while maintaining a tender and moist center. And in order to brown and crisp more of the potato surface, cut them in half lengthwise and then cut them in half lengthwise again.
Place the cut potatoes in a large pan and cover with cold water. Starting the cooking process with cold water helps them cook more evenly. Add a teaspoon or two of salt to the water.
- When cooking a savory dish, it is important to season at pretty much every stage. We start this recipe with salted water in order for it to be absorbed into the interior of the potato. You’ll notice as you work through the recipe, salt and pepper are added at each stage. This is what turns a boring bland recipe into one with punch and presence.
It’s important to bring the water to a full boil over medium-high heat to begin. Cover with a lid, but remove it when you turn down the heat, otherwise, you could have mushy potatoes. Turn the heat down and cook at a low boil for about 10-15 minutes. They’re ready when a fork or a sharp knife is inserted into the potatoes with slight resistance. Drain the potatoes and let them sit until they are slightly cooled.
#2 – Pan Fry Chicken Tenders
To save time, this step can be done while the potatoes are par-boiling.
The chicken should be patted dry with paper towels before going into the hot pan. This will promote browning and crisping of the chicken tenders. Also, season them on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat your skillet before adding the olive oil and clarified butter. Make sure you swirl it around to cover the bottom of the skillet. Let the oils become really hot before adding the chicken. This also will help with browning and crisping. It’s best to use a large skillet and place the chicken in a single layer so you don’t crowd the pieces. You can work in batches if you need to.
Nobody likes dry, tough, and rubbery chicken. Many people tend to overcook it producing those results. Six minutes is literally all that’s needed to get these chicken pieces perfectly tender. It’s ready to flip at three minutes when the edges of the chicken turn white and pull away from the pan. Cook it for another three minutes until the internal temperature registers 160°F with an instant-read thermometer. It will continue to cook as you let it rest. Remove from the pan, cover with foil, and set aside.
#3 – Pan-Fry the Potatoes
Use the same skillet as the chicken to fry the potatoes. Reheat the pan over medium-high until it’s really hot. Add the olive oil and butter, swirl it around the pan and let it become hot. You’ll want to turn down the heat to medium at this point as to not burn the potatoes.
Just like you did with the chicken tenders, place the potato wedges in a single layer and season with salt and pepper while frying. It’s gonna take about three or four minutes on each side to become nicely browned and crisp. Again, you may want to fry these in batches if your skillet is not big enough. Once they’re all fried, remove from the pan and set aside.
#4 – Saute the Onions and Garlic
When cutting the onions, start with cutting them in half from root to stem. After that, you can choose to slice into half-moon slivers or lengthwise from root to stem. Either one is fine. The recipe is just looking for thinly sliced onions.
We are still using the very same skillet. Heat the skillet over medium-high until hot, add the oil, swirl in the pan and wait for the oil to become hot. Pull the heat back down to medium and add the sliced onions.
Remember when I said season at every stage. Yep, that’s exactly what you do. Season again with salt and pepper and cook for eight to ten minutes until they become tender and translucent. Add thinly sliced garlic (you can use minced as well) to the pan and cook for another minute
#5 – Create the Creamy Lemon Sauce
Who doesn’t absolutely adore a cream sauce made with butter and cream? On most days, you’ll not find me indulging in this manner, but when I do, believe me, I’m goin’ for the gusto.
You have a beautiful pan of sauteed onions and garlic that is ready to drink in a dry white wine (I used a Chardonnay). You pour in the wine while the pan is still hot which loosens all those flavorful brown bits that have collected on the bottom of the skillet. Bring the wine to a boil and reduce the heat to a low boil and cook for about three minutes to burn off some of the alcohol.
Add the lemon into the onions at this point and stir. The freshly squeezed lemon flavor that is incorporated into the cream sauce is one of the delightful tastes in this dish. It gives it that fresh, bright aspect.
Next is truly the “comfort’ of the dish – milk, cream, butter, and parmesan cheese.
#6 – Add the potatoes and chicken to the sauce.
You’re so close to the finish line to serve up this lovely Creamy Lemon Chicken entre. The potatoes and chicken are the last to be re-incorporated in the recipe. They need to be tossed into the sauce and simmered for another five minutes to thicken the sauce just a bit and to allow the potatoes and chicken to reheat.
To add a fresh pop of color, sprinkle on some chopped parsley for garnish.
Can You Make this Dish Ahead of Time?
There are a couple of things that you can prep ahead of time but for the whole dish I recommend waiting to put it together right before you serve it.
- Par-boil the potatoes the day before. Let them cool and cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
- Make the creamy lemon sauce a day ahead as well. Store it in the fridge.
- Pan-fry the potato wedges and chicken tenders. Add in the cream sauce and reheat it right before you’re ready to serve the dish. You may need to add some whole milk if the sauce is too thick after reheating.
Every once in a while you need to splurge a bit. With the butter and cream in this Creamy Lemon Chicken recipe, it’s definitely a dish for one of those moments. But I guarantee you won’t regret it.
If you love this Creamy Lemon Chicken, you will love these one-pan recipes as well:
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Creamy Lemon Chicken
A recipe where chicken tenders and potato wedges swim in a buttery cream sauce kissed with lemon and white wine.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Chicken
- Method: Pan-frying
- Cuisine: American
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 tablespoons Clarified Butter, divided (I use Organic Valley Ghee)
- 2 pounds Chicken Tenders
- 13 small Red Potatoes
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
- 1 large Sweet Onion, thinly sliced
- 6 large Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
- Juice of 1 large Lemon
- 1/2 cup Dry White Wine
- 3/4 cup Whole Milk
- 3/4 cup Whole Cream
- 1/3 cup Fresh Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
- Chopped Parsley, for garnishment
Par-boil the Potatoes
- Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and cut in half again.
- Place the cut potatoes in a large pan and cover them with cold water. Add two teaspoons of salt, cover with a lid, and bring the water to a full boil over high heat.
- Remove the lid and reduce the heat until it’s a low boil. Continue to cook for 10-15 minutes. They are ready when a fork or knife is inserted into the potato with just a slight resistance.
- Drain the potatoes and let them sit until they are slightly cooled.
Pan Fry Chicken Tenders
- Dry the chicken tenders on all sides with paper towels.
- Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and clarified butter. The oils should be hot when you add the chicken.
- Place the chicken tenders in a single layer in the skillet. You may need to work in batches.
- Add the chicken tenders to the heated oil and fry for 3 minutes on each side.
- The internal temperature should register 160°F with an instant-read thermometer. The chicken continues to cook when it is resting.
- Remove from the pan, cover with foil, and set aside.
Pan-Fry the Potatoes
- Using the same skillet, reheat over medium-high heat and add 1 more tablespoon each of olive oil and 1 tablespoon clarified butter to the skillet.
- Turn down the heat to medium. Place the potato wedges in a single layer. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper while frying.
- Fry for 3 or 4 minutes on each side of the potatoes until nicely browned and crisp.
- Remove from the pan and set aside.
Saute the Onions and Garlic
- Slice 1 large sweet onion into thin half-moon slivers.
- Heat the same skillet over medium-high heat again and add 1 tablespoon of both olive oil and clarified butter. Make sure the oils are nice and hot.
- Add the sliced onions and sprinkle with more salt and pepper to taste.
- Reduce the heat to medium.
- Cook the onions for 8-10 minutes until tender and translucent.
- Add 6 thinly sliced garlic cloves (you can use minced as well) to the pan and cook for another minute
Create the Creamy Lemon Sauce
- Heat the skillet to medium-high and add 1/2 cup dry white wine (I used a Chardonnay).
- Loosen the brown bits from the skillet.
- Bring the wine to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low. Continue on a low boil for about 3 minutes.
- Add the juice from a squeezed lemon.
- Slowly stir in 3/4 cup each of whole milk and whole cream (half and half works as well).
- Add the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter and 1/3 cup of finely grated fresh parmesan cheese.
Adding Potatoes and Chicken
- Toss the potato wedges and the chicken tenders into the sauce and let it simmer for another 5 minutes while the potatoes and chicken reheat and the sauce has thickened.
- Add chopped parsley for garnishment and a pop of color.
- Par-boiling is a process wherein the potatoes are partially cooked before pan-frying. This speeds up the frying time while maintaining a tender and moist center.
- When parboiling the potatoes, start with cold water. It helps them cook more evenly.
- When cooking a savory dish, it is important to season at pretty much every stage. We start this recipe with salted water in order for it to be absorbed into the interior of the potato.
- It’s important to bring the water to a full boil over medium-high heat to begin. Cover with a lid, but remove it when you turn down the heat, otherwise, you could have mushy potatoes.
- The chicken should be patted dry with paper towels before going into the hot pan. This will promote browning and crisping of the chicken tenders.
- The combination of both light olive oil and clarified butter works great to fry the potato wedges and chicken tenders on higher heat. Both of these oils have a smoking point which is above 450° F. You can substitute regular butter for clarified, just be careful not to turn the heat too high.
- It’s best to use a large skillet and place the chicken and potato wedges in a single layer so you don’t crowd the pieces. You can work in batches if you need to.
- Many people tend to overcook chicken producing dry, tough, and rubbery chicken. But six minutes is literally all that’s needed to get these pieces perfectly tender.
- The chicken is ready to flip when their edges turn white and they pull away from the pan.
- When cutting the onions, start with cutting them in half from root to stem. After that you can choose to slice into half-moon slivers or lengthwise from root to stem. Either one is fine. The recipe is just looking for thinly sliced onions.
- The purpose of wine in cooking is 1) to deglaze a pan and remove all those flavorful brown bits and 2) to enhance and accent the flavor and aroma of a dish.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the the dish
- Calories: 521
- Sugar: 3 g
- Sodium: 445 mg
- Fat: 25 g
- Saturated Fat: 13 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 6 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 29 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 34 g
- Cholesterol: 93 mg
Keywords: creamy lemon chicken, creamy lemon garlic chicken, one skillet meal, one dish meals, chicken tenders recipe