Chicken with lemon garlic sauce

a Pinch of Joy Chicken with Lemon Garlic Sauce

A Pinch of Joy Chicken with Lemon Garlic Sauce

What’s in a name?  I was looking for something familiar with a twist to serve for Bytes’ birthday dinner.  Flipping through a stack of recipes I saw Chicken Piccata  Ummm – don’t think so – sounds like directions for playing piano.  When the same recipe popped up again I took another look.  Oh, it’s chicken with a lemon garlic sauce.  I can do that!  Picatta, loosely translated, means zesty.  This dish has a lemon lilt flavored with fullbodied garlic.  Light but definitely zesty, by whatever name you call it.    

I had never noticed chicken cutlets in the grocery store before.  However, they were in the freezer in all three of the grocery stores I frequent.  I spend a lot of time reading labels, but not looking at frozen chicken apparently!   A cutlet is about a quarter inch thick up to about half an inch thick.  They are around four inches by four inches. You’ll want thin pieces of meat because you will be cooking this dish quickly.   If you cannot find chicken cutlets in your grocer’s freezer, you can slice half  a chicken breast into thin pieces ½ inch or less. 

This is a dish that keeps you moving!  Gather and prepare all ingredients and bring all utensils to hand before starting.  When you dredge, just dust the entire surface of the chicken lightly.  Too much flour makes everything gummy.  You want just enough to hasten browning.  Cook one or two minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the meat.  Overcooking will make the meat tough and ruin the dish.  When lightly browned removed to a plate and cover.

Deglazing is not as mysterious as it sounds. It’s just loosening any bits of browned chicken on the bottom of the pan by using a liquid to take it up.  Takes about 2 minutes.  Then add the rest of the ingredients to make the sauce.  Boomerang the chicken gently back into the sauce to heat and finish cooking.  Then arrange it on the serving platter.  Slide the already thinly sliced lemon into the sauce with the butter.  Stir a bit until the butter is almost melted.  The lemon slices will be soft but still intact.  Remove and quickly arrange on top of the cooked chicken.   By now the butter will finish melting.  Stir and pour the sauce over the chicken.  Sprinkle with fresh snipped parsley (I forgot and the parsley got tucked on the plate instead!) 

Total time elapsed?  Twenty minutes.  Time well spent.

Chicken with lemon garlic sauce
Cook time
Total time
A light and tender chicken dish, with subtle lemon and robust garlic flavor.
Serves: 4 servings
  • 4 chicken cutlets
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup low sodium chicken broth or white wine
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • Fresh lemon slices
  • Chopped parsley
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then lightly dredge with flour.
  2. Pour vegetable oil into skillet and heat over medium flame.
  3. Saute cutlets about 3 minutes on each side. Cutlets will be lightly browned. Remove to warm plate and cover.
  4. Pour off any remaining oil.
  5. Deglaze pan by pouring in ¼ cup white wine or chicken broth to which minced garlic is added. Cook about two minutes. Garlic will be slightly brown and broth will be almost gone.
  6. Add ½ cup broth and lemon juice. Return cutlets to pan and cook on each side about two minutes. Transfer to warm serving plate.
  7. Add butter and lemon slices to skillet. When butter is melted, lift out lemon slices and arrange on top of chicken. Pour sauce over lemons and chicken.
  8. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
Also known as Chicken Picatta.
Charlene @ A Pinch of Joy
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cutlet

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Lemon Poppyseed Zucchini Bread

Lemon Poppyseed Zucchini Bread

Lemon Poppyseed Zucchini Bread

Zucchini is a prolific producer.  If you’ve ever grown it or lived within five miles of a zucchini plant you can probably testify to that fact!  That’s a good thing if you like healthy fare, but it is a challenge to find new and different ways to use zucchini every day in order to keep up with the supply.  Wheel’s sister ElAy, found this tasty recipe to add lemony goodness to zucchini.  Harvest continues up to frost so chances are you or your favorite gardener may still have fresh zucchini available.   You can add this to your holiday meal – or have a refreshingly different bread for a weekend brunch.

While visiting family recently, we got to see another kind of harvest.  Corn, corn and more corn was being harvested on Wheels’ family farm.  It was a fascinating process!  If your last encounter with a farmer was Farmer MacGregor or Old MacDonald – well, this is as far removed from that as Star Wars is from Ivanhoe!  Wheels was the photographer and Wheels loves wheels, but what he is showing in the first few photos is the size of the behemoth cornpicker.  A tall adult can stand in the cab and the tires the cab sets on are as tall as a basketball player – think major HUGE!  It is computer controlled from the GPS unit – that yellow ball on the top above the windshield.  As the machine moves down the row, the farmer gets a read out with precise location,  grain moisture, yield and who knows what else.

I was amazed at how quickly the whole process moved.  The picker is picking eight rows while the trailer moves into position.  As the picker turns at the far end of the field, the tractor trailer paces alongside it as they move in tandem toward the road.  The picker is picking eight rows of corn and shelling it into the bin and at the same time it is auguring its load into the trailer.  At the end of the row along the road, three semis are waiting.  The tractor trailer augurs its load into the semi while the picker turns and begins picking its way to the far end.  The trailer is empty when the picker is about halfway down the quarter mile stretch so the trailer scoots down the rows and is in place when the picker reaches the far end and turns to go back toward the road. They repeat the offloading process.  When the semi is full, it goes into town where it is weighed and within half an hour after leaving the field it arrives at its market point where it is sold and used almost immediately.

Take a look — the video is just sixty seconds long —  and then scroll down for the Zucchini Bread recipe – ElAy was happy to share!

Lemon Poppyseed Zucchini Bread
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 package instant lemon pudding mix
  • 1½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  1. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl
  2. In another bowl, mix eggs, milk, oil, juice and extract. Add to dry ingredients, stirring until moistened.
  3. Add zucchini, poppyseeds and lemon zest (grated lemon peel - just the bright yellow part).
  4. Pour into two greased loaf pans (9x5).
  5. Bake 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees. Toothpick will come out clean when done.
  6. Cool for ten minutes before removing from pan.

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Ode to Joy – and egg in a mug

Egg in a mug

Egg in a Mug - A Pinch of Joy

Have you seen this nifty little way to fix a quick breakfast for one?     Grab a mug or ramekin.  Spray it with cooking oil and line with a piece or two of deli meat.  Break an egg into the middle of the deli meat “dish”.  Poke the egg yolk with a fork.  This is important!  Repeat:  poke the egg yolk with a fork twice to be sure it has a hole in it!   Microwave for 90 seconds.   I like to break it in to two segments – 45 seconds on 50% power and 45 seconds on full power – exact timing will depend on your microwave.  Check to see if the egg yolk is done to the firmness you like.  If not add 10 seconds as often as needed to get it there.  Make a mental note of how long you cooked the egg for future reference.  Because you will want to do this again and again!

In the meantime:  Load your toaster with an English muffin or two slices of your favorite bread.  Put away the lunchmeat and eggs, get out the butter and a slice of cheese, your choice.  When the toast pops, butter it lightly.  Or you can skip that step.  Place the cheese on one of the breads.  When the egg is done to your liking, upend the cup over the cheese.  Egg and meat slide right out.  Cap with the other slice of bread. Slide the bread, butter and cheese packet into their storage place.  Grab a cup of your favorite drink and you are ready to go.  Literally.  Or set down at the table and enjoy.

Excuse me.  I’m taking mine and a cup of spiced chai, along with the fat  newspaper, back upstairs.  Fluff the pillows just right, add serene music for a luxurious breakfast.  A pinch of joy for a couple of hours on a snowy Sunday morning.

This recipe was mentioned at Petite Hermine

Ode to Joy – and egg in a mug
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1
  • One egg
  • One slice of deli meat, as ham or turkey breast
  • One slice of cheese, as cheddar or colby jack
  • One English muffin
  1. Spray straight sided mug with cooking spray
  2. Line mug with deli meat
  3. Break egg into center of deli meat.
  4. Pierce egg yolk twice with fork
  5. Microwave 45 seconds on 50% power and 45 seconds on full power. Check to see if egg is done to your liking. Add 10 second bursts of power repeatedly until desired firmness is reached
  6. Toast bread while egg is microwaving
  7. Make sandwich by layering: bread, cheese, egg/meat and bread.
  8. Enjoy leisurely or on the go!
  9. One serving. Repeat as needed for additional persons.

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