Chicken Sauté with Thyme, Lemon, and Chile

Don’t hate me, but I made this chicken with thyme from our potted herbs.  Our outdoor potted herbs.  Yep.  Phoenix is already experiencing consistent highs in the upper 60s to mid 70s.  Three weeks ago I was complaining about this.  You see, I’m one of those people who actually likes cold weather.  I realize I’m in the minority.  I also realize I live in the desert.  As much I dislike it, I (sometimes) accept it.  One of these times is Presidents’ Day weekend when I finally concede that winter isn’t coming (again) and instead take to the warm temperatures.  A fabulous Sunday brunch on a warm patio and potted herbs in full swing will help that.

With a jam-packed schedule for my long weekend, I needed to have a quick and healthy dinner in my back pocket.  This chicken, served with lemon-roasted potatoes and a simple green salad, was just right.  Sautéed chicken with a simple pan sauce is a general win in my book, anyway.  This pan sauce was surprisingly flavorful.  I had a typical lemon-thyme sauce in mind, but the chile really came through here.  Not in a spicy way, though.  It was more of a “just letting you know the heat is here a little bit” kind of way.  Sort of like the sun during my Sunday brunch.

lemon chicken thyme

Chicken Sauté with Thyme, Lemon, and Chile

from Williams-Sonoma, Weeknight Fresh and Fast


2 TBSP olive oil, divided

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

coarse salt and pepper, to taste

1 large shallot, minced

2 tsp. fresh thyme, minced

1/2-1 serrano chile, seeded and minced

1/3 c. dry white wine

2 TBSP fresh lemon juice


1.  In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 TBSP olive oil.  Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, and add to the pan.  Sauté until cooked through, 5-6 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to a warmed plate.

 2.  Add the remaining 1 TBSP oil to the same pan.  Add the shallot, thyme, and chile and sauté until shallot begins to soften, about 1 minute.  Add the wine and lemon juice, then bring to a boil, stirring up the fond (browned bits) from the bottom of a pan.  Boil until slightly syrupy, about 1 minute more.  Remove the pan from the het.

3.  Add any juices from the plate to the sauce.  Stir to combine.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Spoon sauce over chicken and serve right away.  Serves 2.  

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  1. That Girl
    February 22, 2012 / 11:51 am

    I'm more jealous you can keep your herbs alive than I am about the weather!

  2. Confections from the Cody Kitchen
    February 22, 2012 / 3:09 pm

    I'm so jealous that you have fresh thyme! I love using fresh herbs, but hate having to make a trip to the grocery store every time. It's cold here in Ga, but I think I might plant some herbs in a mason jar and set them in my window 🙂

  3. All Things Yummy
    February 22, 2012 / 5:41 pm

    Love that you grow your own thyme. I've killed many a potted herb. I have the best of intentions but I'm a black thumb.

    February 22, 2012 / 6:41 pm

    This looks so simple and refreshing! I can't wait to make it. I'm making your no butter chicken tonight! 🙂

  5. Brianna
    February 22, 2012 / 10:36 pm

    This looks delicious. I have a little pot of thyme, oregano and mint sitting on the table right now, so no hating from me 🙂

  6. Bridget
    February 23, 2012 / 10:56 pm

    Typo alert: I actually do like living in the desert, but I think I'd like living in a dessert a lot more. Especially if it was cheesecake. 😉

  7. Kelsey
    February 24, 2012 / 1:08 am

    Oh heck. Thanks, Bridget! I'll make that correction shortly. I do wish I lived in the dessert, though.

  8. Natalie
    February 24, 2012 / 1:32 am

    ahh i can't wait to have fresh herbs again! count your blessings 🙂 this sounds wonderful!

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