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Chicken Limone is elegant enough for a dinner party, but easy enough to make for dinner any day of the week.
After just one taste of this easy Chicken Limone – you’ll think you are dining in Boston’s famed North End Italian neighborhood!
In fact, this very simple and delicious chicken dish is one that we gently adapted from our favorite Italian cookbook, The North End Italian Cookbook. (Affiliate link)
What is Chicken Limone?
Chicken Limone is an easy lemon-infused chicken and pasta dish that is full of fresh and delicious, citrusy flavors. (Don’t confuse this dish with chicken piccata – that has a lemon, wine, and caper sauce.) The word limone is lemon in Italian.
Chicken breasts are cut into thin, flat chicken medallions, then breaded in a flour and egg wash coating.
Each chicken tender is quickly fried in a mix of extra virgin olive oil and butter. Then slices of fresh lemon are cooked in oil – just for a few seconds on each side – to mellow the lemon flavor a bit.
Then deglaze the pan with fresh lemon juice. Add some butter and fresh, chopped parsley to create a simple pan sauce.
Serve your Chicken Limone over cooked pasta. We chose spaghetti for our recipe today, but linguine or other long-strand pasta is fine.
How do you reheat Chicken Limone?
Since you really want to avoid over cooking the chicken medallions (they will get tough and rubbery if you do), we suggest reheating your Chicken Limone in the microwave. Reheat just long enough to heat the chicken through.
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3 boneless chicken breasts, about 1 1/4 pounds
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
3 whole eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup butter, divided
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1-2 large lemons)
1 whole lemon thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
Spaghetti or Linguine
To make this dish easy to prepare, cook the spaghetti or linguine according to box directions. With a slotted spoon or spider strainer, remove cooked pasta to drain in a colander (keep the pasta cooking water) and cool under cold running water. Then put the pot back on the stove and have hot water ready to reheat the pasta at the end of the dish preparation.
Place each breast on your cutting board and look at the way the grain of the meat runs, then using a long sharp knife, slice thin quarter inch slices against the grain. As you get towards the middle, the slices will be long; those can be cut in half so all of the pieces are somewhat uniform in size.
In a pie plate, mix flour, salt and pepper
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and milk.
Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour so that each piece is coated on both sides.
Shake off excess flour and add chicken to the bowl with the eggs and milk and toss to coat each piece.
In a vary large skillet, heat half the butter and all of the oil over medium heat. Do not go past medium or the fat will scorch. (It is OK if the butter browns a bit – that adds great flavor.)
Once the fat is hot, (it may bubble and splatter as the milk fat cooks off), cooking in batches, add one piece at a time to cover the pan bottom and cook for 15-30 seconds on each side. The pieces are thin and will cook quickly. Remove to a waiting platter and continue cooking batches until all of the chicken has cooked. We had five batches.
Once all of the chicken has cooked, discard any fat left in the pan add a few more drops of new olive oil and cook the lemon slices for a few seconds on each side. Remove to the same platter as the chicken.
Increase the temperature to medium high and add the lemon juice and cook until it is reduced by half, scraping up any brown bits into the lemon juice.
Remove from heat and add the remaining butter and stir to dissolve and thicken the sauce.
Stir in the parsley.
Add the chicken and lemons to the sauce and toss to coat.
Reheat the pasta by dipping in the water, drain and place on a serving platter and top with the chicken and lemon and serve.
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