July 21, 2011

Sweet Lemon Chicken

chicken 1

Sometimes my brain doesn’t work. Where clever synapses should be firing, there are just tumbleweeds and dry air. Brain cells decide to take an extra long coffee break and neglect to tell me. Thoughts go half-processed, ideas go unfinished, and plans fly out the window when my brain decides to go on vacation. However, the worst of it all is this: I am never informed that any of this happening.

chicken 7

When all rational, intelligent thought processes desert me, I continue to stroll through my day none the wiser. Take this afternoon for instance. As I was about to start taking pictures of this elegant, lemon-laden chicken dish, I commented to whoever was near enough to hear that I was very grateful to be using my dad’s 1.4 50mm lens from the horse-and-buggy-days (a.k.a. the 1970s) because it allows me to shoot with a very wide aperture (such as 1.4, 2.0, 2.8) on a slightly rainy sort of day. Declaring it “de-light-ful,” I paused to listen for the appreciative chuckles of my family members upon hearing my clever photography pun.


“Isn’t it de-LIGHT-ful?!”


“Get it guys? Light? Aperture lets in light?”


chicken 3

Then there are the times when I get sick. Earlier this spring I came down with a flu-like virus. For the previous several days, the only commercials that were being shown during my Korean dramas on Hulu were for meningitis awareness. Even though I knew that I had been vaccinated for meningitis, I think you kids can guess what my self-diagnosis was.

I had it narrowed down between meningitis and one of those incurable autoimmune diseases that they profile on Mystery Diagnosis.

chicken 2

When my brain deserts me, I am obsessively fascinated by herb-containing creations such as this beauty below. As someone who can rarely be bothered to carefully store herbs in a shallow container of water in the fridge, I was thrilled to see that someone else has done it for me! Vibrant, green sprigs of rosemary perfectly housed in what is technically a smoothie cup. But no matter—to me, it’s brilliant.

fresh rosemary

The point of all my ditzy stories is this: Sweet Lemon Chicken is an ideal recipe for when your brain flies out the window. Perhaps it’s because your schedule is packed. Perhaps it’s because you’re yanking your hair out from registering for classes for the fall semester (me!). Perhaps it’s because your kid just told you about their summer reading project. Whatever the reason behind your lack of brain power, this recipe is the solution. With simple, beautiful ingredients such as lemon, honey, butter, and fresh rosemary, how can you go wrong?

Plus it involves hitting things with a kitchen mallet, which is always good.

Fight back against your stresses, your anxieties, and your horrible sense of humor and give this little gem a try!

chicken 6

Sweet Lemon Chicken

Recipe adapted from “Honey-and-Lemon Baked Chicken” from allyou magazine

Printable Recipe

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons honey

salt and pepper, to taste

2 large lemons, scrubbed clean, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a chicken breast half between two sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap. Using a kitchen mallet, rolling pin, or small skillet, gently pound chicken until evenly flattened, about 1/2-inch thick. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Melt butter and honey in a small skillet over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth and blended.

Line a baking dish with nonstick aluminum foil or coat with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken pieces in a baking dish large enough to hold them all in a single layer. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Pour warm honey-butter mixture over the chicken and arrange lemon slices on top.

Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Allow chicken to cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Spoon juices from the pan over the chicken and lemon several times. Serve warm, sprinkled with chopped rosemary.

Makes 4 servings.


  1. Looks absolutely delicious. Wholesome and very much a comfort food.

  2. I had lemon chicken last night. Woooo. Didn't look as good as yours though. And I didn't get to use a mallet.

    Gorgeous pics, as ever. De-light-ful!

  3. This dish looks amazing! Although chicken is so versatile, I feel like I have a difficult time with it. Either too rubbery, dry, etc. I am going to have to give this recipe a try.
    And hey, I loved your photography joke! ;)

  4. Looks so fresh, and the rosemary and lemon must give it so much flavor! I'll have to try this on one of the days when I feel like my brain has fried! LOL! :)

  5. I can't believe how long it's been since I've been over here!! The blog looks amazing. this chicken looks even more amazing!!

    I too, do self-diagnosis and usually come up with something really horrible. Why is that?

    So happy to see you are better and rockin' the '70's lens! Whoo-hoo!

  6. mmm i love the lemony freshness of this chicken for summer - especially with those beautiful string beans, i bet they pop right in your mouth!!! and the photos are definitely de-LIGHT-ful!!!!!! by the way, i made your sweet potato fries tonight....FANTASTIC!!!!

  7. I've seen herbs with roots still on them, but not packaged so cleverly as this. What a great idea! The herbs don't get all smashed up in your grocery bags, either. ;)

  8. You are too funny. I totally laughed at your aperture joke, by the way. Glad you're feeling better! This is so perfectly simple and fresh, awesome idea for a summer night!

  9. Oh I know that tumbleweed feeling well. I also know that feeling of waiting for the LIGHT to dawn on family members as I spout forth another gem of wit (or maybe not!)

    My diagnosis of this dish is: will recur on a regular basis! Great photos and sounds utterly delicious.

  10. hee! hee! hee! Well, I'm giggling!

  11. AnonymousJuly 22, 2011

    Hey there! :)

    It was nice meeting up with you a few nights ago. Thanks so much for the card! Hopefully we can keep in touch!

    The food looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing. :-) Keep up the great work!!


  12. @Maris: Thank you! It really is nice to take a break from the complicated stuff and just eat something that makes your tummy happy. :)

    @Suzler: Woah--we're totally psychic! :D

    @Kristen: I know what you mean--even though chicken is such a versatile protein, sometimes it's difficult to actually settle on a recipe to make. Oh, and I'm glad someone appreciated my photography humor! :D

    @Sheila: It's definitely a great go-to, simple dish for a crazy day. :)

    @Lauren: Thanks for the visit! Yay for hypochondriacs! :D

    @mangiabella: There had actually been a truly sorry lack of string beans in my life lately, so I was really glad to give them some side dish love. So glad you liked the sweet potato fries!

    @Carolyn: Exactly! Mine usually get all smooshed up in a bunch of paper towel.

    @the sugar apothecary: Thank you, thank you. :D

    @Hester: I know! When will our loved ones realize that we're comedic geniuses? tsk. tsk.

    @FamilySpice: hahaha Glad you enjoyed.

    @Misha: Hello again! I'm so glad you liked the blog! It was so great meeting you the other day. I loved having someone to gush about Anthropologie and cupcakes with. :D

  13. First time here and I love your blog! I'm following you via facebook. Both your pictures and recipes look awesome.

  14. Your pictures are just so gorgeous. And I can guarantee you I'd have chuckled at your pun :P I love a good pun! I guess we're alike in a couple ways, though - because if I'm ever feeling even just a wee bit "off" I'll start taking everything as omens. See an ambulance? It's an omen. News story on some sickness? Omen. And so on. lol.

    And then there's the recipe...which is equally as amazing. Even if I'd probably make some cringe and prepare it with tofu vs. chicken :P

  15. You take such wonderful pictures, and I appreciated your photography joke! I make stupid food jokes to my family and friends all the time, and am also usually met with crickets, so I feel your pain.

    The chicken looks awesome - love rosemary paired with chicken so much!

  16. Gorgeous chicken pics! My family doesn't stand up and cheer for my food photography efforts either. :-)

  17. Oh maaan, my brain is nothing BUT tumbleweed and dry air! But if it helps, I'd totally have laughed at your 'de-light-ful' joke... I don't know if that makes you feel better, haha.

    Love your photos!

  18. If you figure out how to stop the tumbleweed in brain thing, do tell - I'll pay! Super pretty pictures and I appreciate the joke ^_^


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