This recipe is not new to the blog, but it is one of my favorite quick and simple ways to prepare chicken.  Since we enjoy this meal often in our home, I felt it was deserving of an updated photo and slightly tweaked recipe, as well as being brought to the attention of those who haven’t been reading long.  The inspiration for this dish comes from one of our favorite restaurants in our hometown, Scholars Inn.  (In fact, we loved it so much we had our rehearsal dinner there!)

These days I am a far more adventurous eater than I used to be.  I doubt I would order this dish if I were seeing it on the menu for the first time.  You see, I’m generally of the mind that if I am eating in a restaurant, I should order something I’m unable or unlikely to make at home.  Making chicken at home?  I do that all the time, and so, I almost never order it in restaurants.  I’m very thankful that my formerly picky tastebuds gave me the opportunity to try this dish because it was an immediate favorite, and I ordered it nearly every time we dined there until one sad day, it was taken off the menu.  With some advice from the staff at the restaurant I have been able to recreate it at home with great results.  This goes splendidly with garlic rice pilaf or cous cous and a mixed green salad, and totally works for entertaining guests or just a regular weeknight dinner.


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied into halves (4 pieces total)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp. butter


  • 01

    Season both sides of the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.  Place the flour in a shallow bowl, and dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, shaking off the excess.  In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute until lightly golden, about 2-3 minutes per side, and an instant-read thermometer reads 160˚ F in the thickest part of the chicken.  (Keep in mind that pieces of different sizes will finish cooking at different times to avoid overcooking.)  Remove the chicken pieces to a plate, tent with foil, and set aside.

  • 02

    Add the garlic and thyme leaves to the pan and sauté  just until fragrant, about 1 minute.  (If necessary, add an additional small drizzle of olive oil if most of the oil was absorbed by the chicken.)  Off the heat, add the wine to the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits.  Return the pan to the heat and bring the liquid to a simmer.  Stir in the chicken broth.  Reduce until the sauce has thickened, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the lemon juice to the pan.  Add in the butter and whisk until completely melted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately, spooning the sauce over the chicken.

  • This is delicious! At my house we call this chicken piccata.

  • This sounds great, Annie. It kind of reminds me of chicken marsala, but without the shrooms and marsala of course. Will be working this into the weekly menu one night soon!

  • annieseats

    Chicken picatta has capers and doesn’t typically use thyme.

  • Annie, this looks fabulous , it seems you can never have enough delicious chicken recipes. I make something similar but with garlic and rosemary. Thanks for another yummy recipe!

  • Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try this recipe

  • This looks amazing, Annie. I am going grocery shopping this morning, so reading this was perfect timing. I am adding this to my menu for next week. :)

  • TheMrsatSuccessAlongtheWeigh

    This has me itching to plant my herb garden. I love having them on hand for recipes like this!

  • Cindy Killion

    What rice did you serve with it?

  • Stephanie

    Since I have yet to start my herb garden I often get fresh bundles of herbs at the store and my most recent purchase was a bundle of thyme. This is such a good way to utilize it before I dry it out. Thyme makes everything better. Thanks Annie, this one is a wonderful go-to. And inspiration for me to plant those herbs so I can have fresh all the thyme… lol. sorry :)

  • Lemon and thyme is such a fresh flavor combo. I love this!

  • Yum! I make a similar version of this, without dredging in flour or finishing with broth. I usually just season the chicken with thyme and lemon juice, and put a little olive oil in the pan. I’ll have to try your version, though. I bet it would be better over rice! I’ve also used lime juice before, and that is also delicious.

  • Andrea Young

    This sounds really delicious Annie. I can see why it’s a family favorite!

  • Love the flavors for this dish but even more love that you ‘re-blogged’ about it. I have so many recipes that I first put on my blog that I love. But the photos? Cringeworthy. And of course no one ever saw them, so I’ve been going through my archives and doing the occasional update. I hope my readers are glad because I’m glad you did!

  • I cannot wait to make this. I do believe, my kids will even eat it!

  • So simple and so yummy! Love this but will have to make a substitution for the wine…hope it will turn out good :)

  • This was one of the first recipes I made on my own. I invited my friend over and made it for the two of us. We felt very ritzy, lol.

  • Ok, potentially dumb question that I’m hoping you can answer!

    Aren’t the chicken breast portions you get in the grocery store already considered “halves”? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a whole/full chicken breast in my store. Are you butterflying chicken breast halves into thinner portions, or are you actually purchasing full chicken breasts and butterflying those into the portion most people know as chicken breasts?

    Hope this makes sense!

  • Sarah Bulmer

    Heck yes, Annie…I bought those same linens from Target a few months ago!! Love your style ;)

  • Alina Wyka

    This looks very good:)

  • Kathryn Orr

    Are you from Bloomington!? I’ve been reading your blog for a while and did not know that. Very cool. :)

  • Alicia Dallas

    Looks delicious!!! Your recipes never fail. I am curious to know where you got your yellow placemats. I’ve been looking for something like that and can’t seem to find them anywhere.

  • annieseats

    This was from Target.

  • annieseats


  • annieseats

    Well, the basic answer is no, I’ve never seen chicken breasts from the store that are already butterflied. What you get in a package of boneless skinless chicken breasts is an intact chicken breast – I cut that in half to get to butterflied halves. That said, the store-bought chicken breasts are ginormous because of the crazy stuff they pump into those chickens, and I think they would still be too thick even butterflied. I buy mine at a local butcher shop instead, and they are a more natural size. I hope that makes sense!

  • annieseats

    Aww, I love that :)

  • annieseats

    I think it’s worth your time, at least for the recipes you really love – they deserve some TLC. Still, I try to leave some of my older posts up so new bloggers can see my improvement (though it seriously pains me to do so.)

  • annieseats

    It’s linked in this post.

  • Thanks Annie! Perfect sense – I was actually under the mistaken impression that the chicken breasts you purchase at the grocery store weren’t whole breasts in the first place. (I blame my lack of chicken knowledge on being an ex-vegetarian :) )

    I know what you mean about the ginormous grocery store chicken breasts…I think I should probably find a good butcher in my area.

    This recipe looks great!

  • This looks like an easy, weeknight meal, using ingredients I always have on hand. I can never get enough recipes like that!

  • Looks wonderful! I love lemon chicken!!! Great recipe!!

  • Sandra Miller

    I made this tonite Annie.
    It is my FAVORITE recipe of yours yet.
    simple, delicious, quick, and the perfect amt of lemony yum!
    thank you for sharing.
    I made a few minor changes but it was perfect before too.

  • Flora

    Just made this (the chicken, rice pilaf and salad). Sooo good. After I cut the chicken breasts in half, I hammered them (is that the right terminology?) with a kitchen mallet before I added salt, pepper, etc and it really tenderized the chicken. I used long grain brown rice for the pilaf and it turned out great. I made our chicken and rice using extra lemon juice. Very very good.

  • This dish looks easy and delicious and your updated photo is gorgeous.

  • Alisha207

    I just printed this to make it tonight (can’t wait to try it!) and I have to say I really like the new print format. It would be perfect though, if there was a way to print it in recipe card size! Any suggestions?

  • annieseats

    That’s not something we’ve looked into. Sorry!

  • MieBrindle

    Made this for dinner the other day. Very good. Added half a bag of fresh spinach to the sauce. Gave the dish some nice color….and well it needed to be used :-)

  • Michelle

    How fun! I was reading your post and when you mentioned scholars inn I wondered if it was the restaurant in bloomington! I’m an IU alum….LOVE scholars inn! I will have to try this. Thanks! :)

  • This looks great! Thanks for resharing. I’ve been a follower for awhile but somehow managed to miss this one!

  • Omg I’m eating this right now (yes, eating dinner and reading blogs lol) and it’s so good. So good. One of my favorite restaurants makes a lemon chicken dish that I love, but this is even better!! Thank you!!

  • Making this tonight…as a fairly new reader, I appreciate you re-posting some of your classics as I’m sure it’s guaranteed to be amazing.

  • Kathleen

    We had this for dinner last night. Oh my was it good! The fact that I had dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes is great, especially during the work week :-) Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

  • Bridget Shopbell

    I made this for dinner last night and we loved it. I’ve made so many of your recipes and this is my new favorite. The best thing about it is it’s a fantastic recipe and the ingredients are things that most people have on hand. Thanks for sharing!

  • Judith

    I made this for dinner tonight and WOW! Such and simple and elegant dish bursting with flavor. Thank you for another great recipe!

  • I made this dinner mostly because it was quick and easy, and then made it two more times because I loved it so much! Plus I love the excuse to open a bottle of wine while making dinner :-)

  • Morgan

    We loved this chicken! We also made the garlic rice pilaf with it.

  • Mary

    Made this last night and LOVED it. We tried it with roasted rosemary potatoes. Even my one year ate it! Thanks for another great recipe. You never disappoint!

  • Traci

    This recipe is one of the best chicken dishes I have ever tasted! I double the garlic and served it atop a bed of rice cooked in chicken broth. SO good.

  • Kristin

    What a phenomenal recipe! I cannot wait to have this dish again!

  • Jeana

    I just made this, and it is SO good. Even just the chicken by itself was wonderful and the sauce of course was great. My family loved it, can’t wait to make it again!

  • Aussie Cook

    This will become a regular in my house. Easy, quick and absolutely delicious!

  • Mallori

    So simple, elegant, and most importantly, yummy!