Crispy Lemon Chicken

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These crispy lemon chicken cutlets are perfect to pair with pasta or a salad. Plus tips and tricks to get the breading crispy and flavorful!

I love a good crispy chicken.  I think I started making it for chicken parmesan years ago.  Over the years I have played around with it and sometimes do a simple crispy chicken cutlet with a simple arugula and tomato salad over the top.  But crispy chicken can be dry and lacking flavor.  So I feel like finally over came those obstacles with this crispy lemon chicken recipe.

Getting Breading to Stick

One issue I was having over the years was getting my crispy breading to actually stick to the chicken.  It would be beautiful and golden brown and then when I would cut it the breading would separate from the meat.  The other night I started researching and figured out I was doing a few things wrong.  So I took some tricks of making southern fried chicken and tried them out on these crispy lemon chicken breasts and I ran into zero issues.

Tips & Tricks:

  1. First pat your chicken dry – this ensures the flour sticks to the chicken
  2. Shake off the excess flour – I was actually doing the OPPOSITE and loading my chicken up with flour.  Whoops!
  3. Press your breadcrumb mixture into the chicken – like with your hands to make sure the breading sticks
  4. Let the chicken sit for 15-30 mins so the breading sticks to the chicken – I put mine in the fridge I can’t speak to this being crucial or not but if it’s not broke…..

Doing those things ensured my breading was not only crispy but that it didn’t fall off the chicken!

How to have flavorful chicken

Another issue I encounter when having chicken cutlets other places is sometimes they tend to lack flavor and be dry.  Here are some tricks and tips that have worked for me to prevent this:

  1. Season every layer – EVERY layer.  And liberally.  This will ensure that along every step of the way your are imparting flavor into the chicken.
  2. Add extra flavor to the egg wash – in addition to the salt and pepper with the eggs I like to add fresh lemon juice and parmesan cheese.  
  3. OVER season the breadcrumbs – this is where you want the most flavor so don’t stop with salt and pepper.  For this version I incorporate lemon zest, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and fresh Italian parsley.

Now that you have the crucial steps down the hard part is figuring out what to pair this crispy lemon chicken with!  Pasta, salad, a simple dipping sauce to eat like a chicken strip…. the sky is the limit.

So the next time you are intimidated by making crispy chicken try this crispy lemon chicken recipe out.  Although there are a lot of steps it’s super easy and you now have the guide on how NOT to screw it up!

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Crispy Lemon Chicken


These crispy lemon chicken cutlets are perfect to pair with pasta or a salad. Plus tips and tricks to get the breading crispy and flavorful!


Units Scale
  • 1 lb boneless skinless breasts – cut in half width wise, then pound thin, you want to have them thicker than a tortilla but thinner than pita bread.  Sometimes the grocery store will sell chicken cutlets – if you can score those even better!
  • 1 c flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 c panko bread crumbs
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1 TBS Italian seasoning
  • large handful of fresh Italian parsley, minced (should be about 1/4 c)
  • crushed red pepper optional for a little spice
  • Olive oil and/or butter for pan frying – I like to use a combination of both


  1. Pat your chicken dry on both sides with a paper towel to get rid of all excess moisture
  2. First prep your dipping stations with 3 bowls.  I like low shallow bowls for this
    1. Bowl 1 – flour
    2. Bowl 2 – eggs (whisk them up), a splash of cold water, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, grated garlic
    3. Bowl 3 – breadcrumbs, lemon zest, Italian seasoning, a few shakes of red pepper flakes
  3. Season all of your bowls as well as both sides of the chicken liberally with salt and pepper (you should be able to see it on the chicken)
  4. Have a parchment lined cookie sheet ready to go
  5. Next start assembling chicken, I like to do it one piece at a time.  Dip chicken in the flour, be sure to shake off excess, then the egg mixture and lastly the breadcrumbs.  Using your hand or a fork be sure to press the breadcrumbs into the chicken.  Don’t leave any chicken exposed, the whole cutlet should be covered.  Place on the cookie sheet and repeat.
  6. Let chicken rest for 15-30 minutes, I put mine in the fridge
  7. Pre-heat oven to 275
  8. Once chicken has rested, in a frying pan over medium heat, heat up a small pat of butter and a little olive oil (1/2 tsp at most).  If the butter starts browning turn the heat down slightly. 
  9. Add chicken to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes a side, pick the edge of the chicken up to make sure it’s not burning.  In between flipping the chicken I like to add a little more oil and butter, that is what will brown the chicken up otherwise the breadcrumbs won’t get golden brown.
  10. Don’t over crowd the pan.  I like to do mine one at a time.  If your pan is extra large for the chicken to not touch you could do two at a time.
  11. Lastly, once all the chicken is browned up place in the oven for 5-7 minutes to keep warm and finish cooking thru.  Check to be sure the temp of the chicken reaches 165.
  • Prep Time: 20M
  • Cook Time: 30M

Keywords: chicken, crispy chicken, lemon, chicken cutlet

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