Breaded Lemon Garlic Chicken uses olive oil instead of eggs to help the breading adhere to the chicken. I learned this technique from my dear friend Brenda and in our house, we simply call this delicious dish: Brenda’s Breaded Chicken. First posted in 2011, I’ve modified the recipe just a smidge and updated the photos. This recipe never gets old – we love it just as much now as we did then.
Brenda’s Breaded Lemon Garlic Chicken: Simple and Flexible
Multi-tasking. We usually thinking of it in the context of work or school, but I really appreciate it in the kitchen. I love multi-purpose ingredients, finding creative ways to use small amounts of soon-to-expire foods, and leftovers I can use to create other dishes. This super-simple lemon garlic chicken recipe from my dear friend, Brenda, qualifies for all of the above.
The Secret to this Chicken? Garlic-Infused Olive OIl
One simple twist makes this lemon garlic chicken stand out from your usual breaded chicken recipe: you dip the chicken in garlic-flavored olive oil instead of some sort of egg or milk mixture before coating with the breading. And if you have leftovers (unlikely!), there are many creative ways to use them. When I make the bread crumb mixture with Italian seasonings, I might use the leftover chicken for chicken parmigiana sandwiches the next evening. You could cut the leftovers into strips and prepare a caesar chicken salad the next day or you can just reheat the chicken and eat it as is.
The Basics of Breading
The breading is also a smart way to use up leftover bread/bread crumbs/crackers/even cereal in your house. Use whatever strikes your fancy. Sometimes I use homemade crumbs from leftover bread, sometimes Japanese panko, sometimes store-bought bread crumbs, sometimes leftover crackers or even cereal that isn’t too sweet – corn flakes or raisin bran for example. And be creative with how you season the crumbs – recently I tried fresh rosemary from my garden and that married so nicely with the lemon!
This recipe works fine with the amounts I give you but consider it a starting point — you decide how much chicken to use and what type (boneless skinless thighs or breasts or pre-cut breast tenders), you decide what breading to use and what olive oil you have and then create.
A Lemon Lift
In this update, I’ve added lemon zest to the bread crumb mixture and a squeeze of lemon at the end. Because in our house, everything tastes better with lemon. I have made this lemon garlic chicken recipe at least 20 times with everything from breasts to thighs to pre-cut tenders and it has always been moist and flavorful. My family smiles when they see me making this and yes they frequently exclaim OMG! Yummy when they eat it. Really they do.
Brenda, who shared this recipe with me, is not only creative in the kitchen, she has one of the most positive attitudes about life of anyone I know. You can learn more about her approach to living a balanced, happy life on her web site: Clarity Works
Brenda's Breaded Chicken
- 3-4 garlic cloves cut in half
- 1/2 - 2/3 cup olive oil
- Boneless skinless chicken - about 20 tenders 6 or 7 half breasts or 12 thighs
- 2.5 cups bread crumbs cracker crumbs, or cereal (any combination you like)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 small lemon zested, juice reserved for after chicken is cooked
Place garlic cloves and olive oil in a small saute pan on med low and let the oil and garlic heat up - but don’t let it boil. 5 or 10 minutes will do it. Then let it sit for a bit to cool down.
While the oil is being infused with the garlic on the stove, prepare the bread crumb mixture on a large plate. Combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper. (This step is where you can be creative if you want - add some cayenne or crushed red pepper; skip the Italian seasoning and go for cumin and chili powder or try rosemary or oregano or basil; eliminate the parmesan cheese or use romano or asiago instead)
Once olive oil is cooled down, dip each chicken piece in the olive oil mixture and then bread crumb mixture and place on a non-stick or parchment-lined baking sheet.
If you have extra bread crumbs or olive oil, sprinkle the extra over the top of the chicken.
- Bake at 325 convect or 350 regular for about 20 minutes convect, 30 minutes regular (exact time will depend on thickness of chicken pieces and the temperature of your particular oven)
Right before serving, squeeze some lemon juice on the chicken from the lemon you zested.