Chicken Breast Fillets with Lemon

Petti di Polio al Limone

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a main course

Appears in

This simple, classic preparation is as good with chicken breast fillets as it is with veal scaloppine. Serve it with a vegetable dish, such as Green Beans with Parmigiano or Fried Portobello Mushrooms.

Total time: 30 minutes


  • pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 to 4 sprigs flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Trim any fat from the chicken breasts and slice them horizontally in half.
  2. Grate the zest from one of the lemons and juice both lemons. You need about ¼ cup juice. Finely chop enough of the parsley leaves to measure 1 tablespoon.
  3. Put 2 tablespoons of the butter and the vegetable oil in a large skillet and place over medium-high heat.
  4. Spread the flour on a small plate. Coat the chicken fillets with flour, shaking off the excess. When the butter in the pan is no longer foamy and the chicken sizzles when a corner is placed in the pan, carefully slide the chicken into the pan. Put in only as many fillets as will comfortably fit in the pan at once. When one side is lightly browned, turn the fillets and brown the second side. The chicken should take 3 to 4 minutes to cook, depending on the thickness of the fillet. When done, the chicken will feel firm when prodded with tongs. Transfer to a platter and continue until all the chicken is cooked. Season the fillets with salt and pepper.
  5. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the lemon juice and zest. Season lightly with salt and cook until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, 1 to 2 minutes. Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and add the parsley. Return the chicken to the pan and turn the fillets in the sauce. Serve at once.