Crunchy Lemon Chicken is packed with texture and flavor. Coated in mustard, dredged in corn flakes and pan fried, then topped with lemon butter and fresh parsley, this chicken is anything but boring. Dinner is gonna be awesome.
I’ve started having anxiety dreams about having to go back to the office. Not because I’m worried about getting sick but because I love working from home so much. Especially since it gives me some extra time to work on the things that bring me joy.
Spending my free time cooking and writing has been heavenly. I’m even starting to suck slightly less at this whole stupid photography thing.
I was thinking last night about how sad I’d be if I didn’t make any progress with transforming my blog into a business by the end of this year. I’d be absolutely heartbroken if I had to give it up. I’ve poured a lot of energy into this project. I’m not ready to see it go. I have six and a bit months to turn it around. I think we can do it.
One thing none of us can ever stop doing is making dinner. Every damn day, dinner needs to be cooked and eaten. And in my house, it’s usually my job to make dinner. Most of the time it’s fun, but sometimes showing up at the stove when you’re already depleted is challenging. That’s exactly why we all need simple dishes like this Crunchy Lemon Chicken.
The flavors here are so interesting. I’ve adapted this recipe from Simply Nigella by Nigella Lawson. I never would have thought to combine mustard and cinnamon, but it totally works. Coating chicken in corn flakes is definitely not revelatory, but I hadn’t done it in a while.
Nigella used her lemon juice on a salad, but you know that’s not my jam. I used mine to make a quick pan sauce with butter, then pouted it over the chicken to punch up the citrus flavor.
How to make Crunchy Lemon Chicken
Another reason this is a great dish for a stressful night is because it starts by pounding your chicken breasts until they’re about half an inch thick. Perfect for relieving tension. We mix up some mustard, garlic, cinnamon, and an egg and coat the chicken in this mixture. Leave it there to marinate for a few minutes.
In case you didn’t work out all your frustrations by pounding out the chicken, you now get to crush up some corn flakes. We don’t want dust, just fine bits that wil coat the chicken. Season the crushed corn flakes with some paprika, then dredge the coated chicken pieces in the corn flakes. You can gently pat the corn flakes in to help them stick. Let your chicken hang out on a wire rack for a few minutes to dry out a bit before pan frying them in a bit of neutral oil. This helps the crunchy coating stick.
Once your chicken is cooked and out of the pan, turn off the heat. Add a tablespoon of butter to the pan, and squeeze in the juice of one lemon. Swirl this around to melt the butter and pick up any good juices still left in the pan. Drizzle some lemon butter over each piece of chicken. Sprinkle over some sea salt and some chopped parsley. Serve it with some steamed veggies, and you’ve got a truly beautiful dinner.
Life is changing pretty fast right now. I hope it changes for the better for all of us in the end. Until then, make some Crunchy Lemon Chicken and relax. We’ll get through it together.
Crunchy Lemon ChickenCourse: DinnerDifficulty: Easy
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 yellow or dijon mustard, whichever you prefer
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups corn flakes
1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons sunflower oil or other neutral oil
1 tablespoon butter
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped parsley to garnish, optional
- Start by pounding out your chicken breasts. I do this by placing them between two sheets of parchment paper and whacking them with my rolling pin. Rotate the paper a quarter turn every few whacks to try to keep it even. You want them about half an inch thick.
- In a shallow dish, add your mustard, use your zester or fine grate to grate in the clove of garlic, then add the cinnamon and egg. Whisk this all together. Add the chicken and turn it to coat in the mustard mixture. Leave the chicken in this mixture while you get on with the corn flake smashing.
- Add your corn flakes to a wide bowl and use your fingers to crush them into smaller bits. We still want some texture, not a fine powder, so better to do it by hand than with a rolling pin or food processor. Once you have small bits, stir in the paprika.
- Add your chicken to the corn flake mixture, being sure to coat each piece as best you can. You can gently press the corn flakes into the mustard coated chicken to help it stick. Let your coated chicken rest on a wire rack for about 10 minutes to dry out a bit. This will give you time to tidy up and get out your skillet.
- When you’re ready to cook your chicken, heat a couple of tablespoons of neutral oil over medium heat then add your chicken. Cook about 3 minutes per side. Keep an eye on the heat so you don’t burn your crunchy coating. Check the thickest part of the chicken to make sure you’ve cooked out all the pinkness. Transfer your cooked chicken to their plates.
- Turn off the heat under your pan and add your butter and squeeze in your lemon juice. Swirl this around in the pan to melt the butter and pick up any juices from the chicken. Drizzle this evenly over your two pieces of chicken. Season to taste and add a scattering of chopped parsley. Serve hot.
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