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When Life Gives You Lemons…

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Panko Lemon Chicken

…make lemon chicken!  I’ve been away in sunny California for a few days and it’s so nice to come back to this gorgeous springtime weather.  I couldn’t wait to see what fun ingredients were featured in the new ad, and when I saw that both lemons and chicken are on special, I knew I had the perfect recipe to share!  This lemon chicken is guaranteed to lift your spirits, and leave you dreaming of sunshine.

Although there are a few quick steps involved, this dish doesn’t take too long to pull together and is perfect for a busy week night.  If any of your offspring are loitering around the kitchen looking bored, enlist their assistance in flattening the chicken breasts.  Hand them a meat mallet (or a small saucepan) and let them go to town – unless of course, you need to vent your own aggressions – then by all means, save this fun step for yourself.  I just got back from vacation, so my personal aggressions are at a seasonal low.

Common sense reminder:  make sure all of your sous chefs wash their hands when they’re done helping out!  I don’t want salmonella on my conscience today.

We like this chicken with buttered egg noodles or smashed redskin potatoes, and a big Greek salad on the side.  Enjoy!


Serves:  6

Source:  adapted from epicurious.com

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (Smart Chicken is on sale this week, 3/17/10 to 3/23/10)
  • 5 T. lemon juice, divided (lemons are on sale this week)
  • 2 eggs (Sparboe brand Grade A’s are on sale this week)
  • 1 ¼ c. panko breadcrumbs (find these on the bottom shelf of the Asian aisle)
  • ½ c. good-quality grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 t. grated lemon peel
  • 4 T. butter (or equal parts butter and olive oil, which is what I always do)
  • Lemon wedges and parsley sprigs for garnish, if desired

Place each chicken breast between sheets of wax paper and set them on a flat surface.  Using a meat mallet or the bottom of a small saucepan, pound each breast to an even ½ inch thickness.  Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish.  Pour 4 tablespoons of lemon juice over chicken and turn to coat.  Let stand 10 minutes.

Beat eggs with remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a medium bowl.  Combine panko, Parmesan, and lemon peel in a shallow dish.  Dip 1 chicken breast into the egg mixture.  Dip into panko to coat; gently shake off excess.  Season breasts with salt and pepper.  Repeat with remaining chicken, egg mixture, and panko.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy large skillet over medium high heat.  When butter is hot, add two chicken breasts to skillet and sauté until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side (don’t fiddle with them or scoot them around during this time, trust me!).  Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm.  Repeat with remaining chicken in 2 more batches, adding 1 tablespoon of butter with each batch.  Garnish platter with lemon wedges and parsley and serve.


Leah Damron is an avid home cook who believes in using the freshest ingredients available, and she challenges herself weekly to create meals out of (mostly!) sale items. If Sendik's ever gave a title for "Biggest Fan", she believes she would win, hands down. Leah lives in greater Milwaukee with her husband, three children, and her big black lab, Daisy."

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