Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and full of amazing flavor! This crispy lemon pepper chicken is sure to become a family favorite in no time!
This crispy lemon pepper chicken is flavorful without being overly peppery. It has an amazing lemon flavor but is NOT sweet. It goes great with just about anything like my Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, Instant Pot Rice Pilaf, Easy Butter Garlic Noodles, or Better Than Takeout Chow Mein!
Crispy + Delicious
I’ve made it my goal this year to simplify our family meals. This crispy lemon pepper chicken is just that-simple but delicious!!
Crispy lemon pepper chicken has been a favorite of ours for a little over a year now. It’s something my kids are always asking me to make and they devour every last bite. We’re all a little obsessed with the crispy breading, tender inside and flavor all around.
You’ll need three lemons, two chicken breasts (or 4 cutlets), good quality olive oil, panko breadcrumbs, and a few seasonings and spices. Let’s get started!
How to Make Lemon Pepper Chicken
First, decide what cut of chicken you are going to use, breasts, cutlets, tender, thighs, wings etc. I prefer chicken breast/cutlet (A chicken cutlet is simply a chicken breast that has been cut in half and pounded to an even thickness). They cook faster than a thick chicken thigh and I love the thinness of the cutlet!
To make a chicken cutlet take your regular chicken breast, place it on a cutting board and then cover it with a piece of plastic wrap. Take a meat mallet, or the side of a can, and pound the chicken until it is at an even thickness.
I don’t marinate the chicken for this recipe. The breading for this recipe is where you will get all of your flavors!
Let’s get cooking!
- You’ll start by coating the chicken in the lemon zest oil, then breading it in the mixture of flour/panko/seasoning.
- In a large skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil in it, you’ll fry the chicken until it’s nice and crisp on both sides AND reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
- It’s important to remove the chicken from the skillet right away and to place it on a cooling rack for a minute or two before you plan on serving it.
- Do not let it sit for more than 5 minutes (before serving it) or you’ll start to lose crispness. In our house, that’s never an issue because it gets inhaled before anything else. ☺️
Storing + Side Ideas
If you have leftovers, let it cool completely before placing it in the fridge. Rather than keeping it in an air-tight container place the chicken on a plate and cover it with a piece of foil.
The trick to reheating this lemon pepper chicken is trying to keep the breading nice and crispy! To reheat and keep it crispy bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes while covered with a piece of foil.
Delicious side dishes:
Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!
For more chicken recipes, check out:
- Chimichurri Chicken
- How to Perfectly Cook a Chicken Breast
- Chili Lime Chicken Tacos
- Sweet And Sour Chicken
Lemon Pepper Chicken Recipe
For the Lemon Oil
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- zest of 3 lemons
For the Breading
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/4 tsp paprika
For the Chicken
- 4 chicken breast cutlets - or 2 breasts cut in half
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon - cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- In a small rectangular dish, combine the olive oil and lemon zest. Set aside.
- In a small rectangular dish, combine the flour, bread crumbs, pepper, garlic powder, salt, parsley, and paprika. Set aside.
- Set a large deep skillet over medium heat, add remaining olive oil.
- Take each chicken cutlet and dip both sides in the olive oil mixture, then in the breading. Place onto a plate or piece of aluminum foil. Repeat with the remaining cutlets.
- Place into the pan, cook on one side for 5-6 minutes before flipping. Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Place the lemon slices in the pan and continue cooking until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
- Remove from the skillet and place on a cooling rack. Let rest for 2-3 minutes before slicing and serving.