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Italian Lemon Pecorino Chicken

Italian Lemon Pecorino Chicken recipe

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Italian Lemon Pecorino Chicken is a vibrant and savory dish that brings together the zesty freshness of lemons and the rich, nutty flavor of Pecorino Romano cheese. This dish is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a special occasion, offering a delicious taste of Italy in every bite.

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Ingredients

For the Chicken:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 lemons (one for zest and juice, one for slices)
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken

  1. Pound the Chicken: Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them to an even thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. This ensures even cooking.
  2. Season the Chicken: Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and the dried oregano.

Step 2: Sear the Chicken

  1. Heat the Oil: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook the Chicken: Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Step 3: Make the Sauce

  1. Sauté the Garlic: In the same skillet, add the minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant, being careful not to burn it.
  2. Add Lemon Juice and Zest: Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the skillet and add the zest. Stir to combine.
  3. Deglaze the Pan: Pour in the chicken broth and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Let the mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add Cheese: Gradually stir in the grated Pecorino Romano cheese until it melts and the sauce becomes creamy.
  5. Return Chicken to Skillet: Place the cooked chicken breasts back into the skillet, coating them with the sauce. Let them simmer for another 2-3 minutes to absorb the flavors.

Step 4: Garnish and Serve

  1. Add Lemon Slices: Garnish the chicken with fresh lemon slices and chopped parsley.
  2. Serve: Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, spooning the sauce over the top. Serve immediately.

Tips for Success

  • Chicken Thickness: Ensuring the chicken breasts are of even thickness helps them cook evenly and prevents them from drying out.
  • Lemon Zest and Juice: Fresh lemon zest and juice add a bright, tangy flavor that complements the Pecorino Romano cheese. Avoid using bottled lemon juice for the best flavor.
  • Cheese: Pecorino Romano cheese has a sharp, salty flavor. If you prefer a milder taste, you can substitute with Parmesan cheese.
  • Searing the Chicken: Achieving a good sear on the chicken breasts locks in moisture and adds depth of flavor. Make sure the skillet is hot before adding the chicken.
  • Garlic: Be careful not to burn the garlic when sautéing, as burnt garlic can impart a bitter taste to the dish.

Variations

  • Herb Variations: Add fresh herbs such as thyme or basil for additional flavor.
  • Vegetable Additions: Incorporate vegetables like spinach, cherry tomatoes, or artichokes to make the dish more substantial.
  • Creamy Sauce: For a richer sauce, add a splash of heavy cream or a tablespoon of butter towards the end of cooking.

Italian Lemon Pecorino Chicken is a simple yet elegant dish that showcases the delightful flavors of lemon and Pecorino Romano cheese. The combination of tender, juicy chicken with a zesty, cheesy sauce makes this recipe a standout choice for any meal. Whether you’re cooking for family or entertaining guests, this dish is sure to impress with its bright flavors and satisfying textures. Serve it with a side of pasta, roasted vegetables, or a fresh salad to complete the meal. Enjoy the taste of Italy in your own kitchen!

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