What’s for Dinner: Creamy Lemon Chicken with Spinach

Tonight’s dinner was creamy, buttery, lemony deliciousness served with garlic toast and smiles on the side. I love making this dish because it is jam-packed with as much, or as little flavor as you choose to give it. My husband and I are big fans of big flavor, so I tend to be a little heavy on the lemon juice. This dish has notes of paprika, lemon, garlic, and parmesan! Prep is easy, and this is a one-pot meal.

As I mentioned, the amount of seasoning you use and the thickness of the sauce, in the end, is entirely up to you.

You will need:

  • Chicken breast, cut into tenders
  • butter (about 3 T)
  • minced garlic (however much you like)
  • broth (chicken, beef or vegetable- whatever you have, about 2 cups)
  • heavy cream (or half & half, milk, or coconut milk- your choice, about 1 cup)
  • grated parmesan cheese (maybe about a 1/2 cup or more to taste)
  • fresh or frozen spinach (however much you like)
  • lemon juice (to taste)
  • paprika
  • thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • a splash of white wine if you like

First, you will want to dry your chicken as much as you can and slice it into tender sizes. Making sure your chicken is dry is going to help it brown. When you have too much moisture on the meat, it essentially steams the outside, as opposed to searing it. Sprinkle the chicken liberally with paprika and some salt and pepper.

Melt about 2 Tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

When the butter is good and melted and sizzling, add the chicken seasoned side down. Season the unseasoned side that should be face up in your pan with more paprika, salt, and pepper. You only need to sear the chicken for about 2-3 minutes per side until it is golden brown, as it will cook more while it rests, and then end up back in the pan again later. Remove and set the chicken aside on a separate plate.

While the chicken is resting, return back to the same skillet and melt another tablespoon of butter in the skillet. Add garlic and cook stirring frequently about 1 minute.

Stir in chicken broth, a splash of dry white wine if you have it, lemon juice and thyme. Bring it all to a boil, reduce the heat and let the sauce reduce and thicken for about 5-7 minutes.

Add the cream and Parmesan cheese, turn the temperature down and cook for a minute or two until the cream warms and the cheese melts. Stir in your spinach until it wilts (for fresh) or warms (for frozen). Keep simmering until your sauce is the thickness that you like. I like mine a little on the thinner side, so I don’t have to cook it quite as long.

Once your sauce is to the desired thickness, return the chicken to the skillet. At this point, while your chicken is warming up again (and cooking more) in the skillet, this is your opportunity to tinker with the sauce. Grab a spoon and taste it. Add more salt or pepper, wine or lemon juice until you are happy with the flavor. Did you put in too much of something? You can tone it down now by adding a bit more broth or cream.

I served mine with some garlic toast to mop up the delightful sauce but you could also serve this with rice or noodles!

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