Here’s a quick, fresh weeknight dinner idea. Ready to eat in 30 to 35 minutes, this simple chicken skillet dinner has bright, tangy lemon, tart capers, tender mushrooms and baby artichokes. We like it with buttered egg noodles, mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower, but the Lemon Artichoke Chicken is good with a crusty piece of bread to sop up the sauce.
This simple lemon artichoke chicken is like a cross between chicken piccata and chicken francese without all the pounding, breading and general fussing over.
With a handful of fresh ingredients like boneless skinless chicken breasts, mushrooms, shallots and lemon, pantry staples like canned artichokes, capers and chicken broth you can make a homemade chicken skillet dinner to feed the whole family.
What you’ll need for lemon artichoke chicken
- Chicken Breasts
- All Purpose Flour
- Salt & Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Baby Artichoke Hearts
- Chicken Broth
Now, you might think, gee, Lisa — this looks suspiciously like chicken piccata or even chicken francese and you’d be right, kinda. I’ve borrowed a few ingredients from those recipes and streamlined the method for less intensive, but no less flavorful, skillet braised chicken with a tangy, bright pan sauce.
The difference between Francese, Piccata and lemon artichoke chicken
Is a chicken cutlet, pounded thin (to about 1/2″ thick” dredged in flour and sautéed in a lemon butter and caper sauce.
Is a chicken cutlet, pounded thin (to about 1/2″ thick) dredged in flour, dipped in egg and — no, not dipped back in flour, not dipped in breadcrumbs, but goes straight to the pan to cook in a lemon butter sauce for a soft, eggy finish.
Lemon Artichoke Chicken:
Uses a whole boneless skinless chicken breast. I don’t pound it out with a meat mallet, but rather enjoy it in all its thick juicy glory.
The chicken gets a quick dusting of seasoned flour before being browned in a little olive oil and simmered in a simple lemon, wine and caper sauce .
Where chicken piccata and chicken francese stop with the chicken, I include mushrooms, shallots and artichoke hearts (mine were from a can, but you can also use frozen) making it a fuller meal.
To me, adding in veg makes it an easy one pan dinner to feed the family without using every pot, pan and dish in your kitchen.
When you want a quick and easy dinner, grab a skillet and look no further than your stovetop for this simple chicken dinner with lots of flavor.
How to make lemon artichoke chicken
- Season the flour with salt and pepper.
- Sauté the mushrooms and shallots in olive oil and transfer to another dish.
- Dredge the chicken in flour and sear it on both sides, cooking for about 3 minutes per side to get a good brown. (Don’t worry about under-done chicken because it will finish cooking in the sauce.)
- Deglaze the pan with white wine (be sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan) and cook down until the wine is reduced by half.
- Add chicken broth, mushrooms and shallots, bundle of thyme, sliced lemons and baby artichoke hearts and stir to combine.
- Cover with the lid (slightly askew) and simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. (Note: this will vary depending on how large your chicken breasts are.)
- Remove the bundle of thyme and the lemon slices (you don’t want to eat a slice of lemon).
- Swirl in a tablespoon of butter to make the sauce silky.
- Sprinkle on parsley (optional) and serve.
About deglazing & sauce reduction
Adding liquid to a hot skillet will give an instant steam bath to who-ever face is directly over it. So, step back when you add the wine. Then grab a wooden spoon and go to work on all the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
The browned bits are called “fond” and it’s flavor, so you don’t want it languishing on the bottom of the skillet. Scooch the chicken out of the way and scrape up any stuck on pieces.
It’s important to give the wine a chance to simmer and reduce before adding the rest of the ingredients. No need to cover with the lid, you want the liquid to reduce through evaporation, concentrating the flavors.
When the wine has reduced by about half and is looking a little saucy, it’s time to finish the skillet chicken. See the photo below, that’s what it looks like after reducing for just 3-4 minutes.
Assembling lemon artichoke skillet chicken
This last bit comes together pretty quickly.
Add the chicken broth (preferably homemade or low sodium) with the sautéed mushrooms and shallots, capers, thyme, lemon slices and artichokes. Stir them around in the skillet and spread the ingredients evenly in the pan.
Then cover the pan with the lid slightly askew (so the steam can still escape) and simmer until the chicken breasts are cooked through and the sauce reduces slightly.
The last bit is a pro-tip I picked up from several restaurant chefs. Add a knob of butter and swirl it around. Just a tablespoon of butter makes the sauce, silky and rich and gives it a luscious mouth feel.
Many francese and piccata recipes will use anywhere from half a stick to a full stick of butter for their lemon butter sauces. By comparison, my one tablespoon (which feeds 4 people) seems positively light!
How long does the chicken need to cook?
My chicken breasts were on the smaller size (organic) and they cooked through completely in about 8 minutes.
For larger breasts, you may need to simmer for 12 to 15 minutes to cook through completely.
Chicken is fully cooked and safe to eat at 165° – if you’re not sure, use a good instant read thermometer to check.
Don’t think of the ingredients in this lemon artichoke chicken as hard and fast rules. There’s plenty of room for swaps and improvisations in this recipe. Pick one or two of the suggestions below for a new riff.
Substitutions and additions
- You can. use other chicken pieces for this recipe. It would be good with chicken thighs or bone in, skin on chicken breasts (you may need to alter simmer time depending on size and whether or not your poultry has bones).
- If you’re not an artichoke fan, you can use fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces.
- Or swap out fresh broccoli florets (though you might want to add them in the last 5 minutes of simmering so they stay crisp-tender.
- Frozen peas are another good option to replace or even in addition to the artichokes. Add them in the last few minutes, just to take the chill off, but so they stay bright green.
- Add some sun-dried tomatoes for a bit of sweetness and chew.
- Castelvetrano olives are mild, buttery and briny, perfect in this dish. Add about half a cup by crushing the olives with the side of a knife and remove the pits. (Honestly, I would have added them here if I’d had any in my pantry.)
- You can also sprinkle feta cheese over the lemon artichoke chicken skillet after it’s cooked completely. Feta adds a creamy tanginess, and the combo reminds me of classic Greek avoglemono.
- To take it in a more Mediterranean/Greek direction, you could also add kalamata olives and a few pepperoncini peppers.
- For a heartier meal, toss in a few of those baby dutch potatoes (about 1″ in diameter) to cook when you add the wine. As long as the potatoes are small enough (or cut them into small pieces), they should cook through in the same time it takes to finish the dish.
Be sure to fish out the bundle of thyme leaves and the sliced lemons before you serve the dish (or at least warn your diners so they can be on the lookout).
Trust me, the lemon flavor will come through through in the sauce and no one wants to bite into lemon rind.
What goes with skillet lemon chicken and artichokes?
- Crusty warm Italian or French bread or soft dinner rolls to soak up the tangy, silky sauce.
- Serve over parsleyed noodles, mashed potatoes or smashed cauliflower.
- A Simple green salad or Citrus Almond Salad is a nice light pairing.
- Tomatoes Provencal or Pesto Roasted Tomatoes.
More easy skillet dinners:
- French Orange Dijon Chicken
- Irish Banger Skillet
- Cajun Jambalaya Skillet Dinner
- Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts with Dijon Sauce
- Sausage Sauerkraut Skillet Dinner
Lemon Artichoke Chicken
- 10" skillet with lid
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 8 ounces white mushrooms sliced
- 1 large shallot peeled and thinly sliced
- 15 ounce can baby artichoke hearts well drained
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme tied together with kitchen string
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3/4 cup chicken stock or broth homemade or low-sodium canned
- 1 lemon thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 tablespoon butter
- chopped fresh parsley optional
ASSEMBLE THE DREDGE:
- In a shallow dish, combine the flour, salt and pepper and whisk to combine and set aside.
SAUTE THE MUSHROOMS AND SHALLOTS
- Place a large skillet over medium high heat for 45 seconds to a minute. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil. The oil will slick across the pan and shimmer.
- Tilt the pan to coat with olive oil, then add the sliced mushrooms. Spread the mushrooms into a single even layer, and saute until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Transfer the mushrooms to a small dish.
- Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to the pan and stir in the shallots. Cook for 1-2 minutes until they are softened and fragrant. Transfer the shallots to the dish with the mushrooms.
COOK THE CHICKEN BREASTS:
- Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and press the chicken breasts one at a time into the dredge. Lightly coat the breasts on all sides with the flour mixture and shake off the excess.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium high heat. Carefully place the flour coated chicken to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on one side without turning or touching the chicken, until browned and golden.
- Use tongs to flip the chicken and continue to cook for 3-4 more minutes to brown.
DEGLAZE THE PAN:
- Add the white wine to the pan and stir, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the wine is reduced by about half.
ASSEMBLE LEMON ARTICHOKE CHICKEN
- Add the chicken broth, sauteed mushrooms and shallots, artichokes, bundle of thyme, sliced lemons and capers. Stir to combine and spread everything out evenly in the pan. Turn the heat to medium low and place the lid slightly askew on the pan so that steam can escape.
- Simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken breasts are cooked through. Use the tongs to fish out the thyme sprigs and sliced lemons. Discard. Add the knob of butter and stir to form a silky sauce. Taste for seasonings and adjust with additional salt or pepper as needed.
- Garnish with chopped parsley (optional).