Growing up, my favorite dish that my Mom made was her “Baked Lemon Chicken”. Oh my gosh it is good– chicken cutlets baked in a thick, rich buttery lemon sauce. I crave this dish on the reg, and I still have her make it for me when I go home.
When I am doing a Whole30 Challenge, I always crave this dish so of course I had to recreate it to be Whole30 Approved. I have worked so hard on this recipe and I cannot tell you how excited I am to share it with you today. It is freaking perfection– if you served this to a crowd (which you should if you are entertaining) and told them it was Whole30 approved, they wouldn’t believe you. My husband didn’t believe me when I told him it was a Whole30 version because you can barely tell the difference! *applause* I should also mention that my picky 4 year old and 1 year old enjoyed it as much as we did! No lie!
The sauce is what is so good about this dish, so I highly recommend you to serve it over some cauliflower rice to soak up the good sauce or even zoodles would do. It goes great with roasted potatoes and any roasted green veggie. Enjoy!
side notes: What the heck is arrowroot flour you ask? it is a wonderful grain free, paleo-friendly, gluten free thickener and emulsifier. It comes from the root of the arrowroot plant. When cooking Whole30 friendly, I sub this when a recipe calls for Cornstarch and Flour. I bought mine at Wholefoods in the gluten free baking section, or you can order it on Amazon here. I highly recommend keeping this in your pantry if you are currently doing a Whole30 Challenge.
- 2 lbs. Chicken Cutlets
- kosher salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- paprika, optional
- 1/2 cup arrowroot flour/starch
- 3 tbsp. ghee
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1.5 cup chicken broth (or more, if desired)
- 1 lemon (ends removed) and very thinly sliced. After you slice it, remove all the seeds OR the juice of 1 lemon
- 2 heaping tbsp. of capers, drained (add more or less to taste if you want)
- A chicken cutlet is a chicken breast butterflied open. You can either do this yourself, or purchase it already like this. Once you have your chicken into "cutlets" break them down so that they are cut in half, lenthwise, and no longer attached to each other.
- Season chicken on both sides with kosher salt and black pepper, to taste. I also like to lightly dust mine with paprika, but not necessary.
- Place arrowroot flour in bowl.
- Now, individually place each of the chicken cutlets into the flour and lightly dredge both sides so that they are evenly coated in the flour (don't cake it on too heavily, just a light dust). Set aside on a clean plate while you finish dredging the rest of the cutlets. There will be a little of the arrowroot flour left in the bowl, don't discard it yet, you'll need a little for the sauce later.
- Now, heat a large skillet (be sure the skillet has a lid) over medium-high heat. Add in 2 tbsp. olive oil. When hot, add the chicken to the oil and brown your chicken cutlets in batches so that you don't overcrowd the pan--I do about 3-4 at a time and brown each side for about 3-4 minutes (they don't need to be cooked through, just lightly browned). Once both sides are brown, set them aside on a plate and continue to brown all of the chickens. About halfway through this process if your skillet is dry, add in 1 more tbsp. of olive oil if needed.
- Once all of your chicken is browned and set aside, reduce heat to low.
- In a bowl, combine the chicken broth with 1 tbsp. of arrowroot and whisk until the arrowroot is dissolved. Set aside.
- Add in 1 tbsp. of ghee and swirl pan until it is melted. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds, being careful not to burn.
- Pour in the chicken broth/arrowroot mixture and stir to combine.
- Toss in the capers and the sliced lemon, stir that in. *if you find lemon to be too strong and get bitter, just squeeze the juice of the lemon into the sauce, and don't use the slices*
- Now nestle all of the chicken back into the sauce, you gotta work it a bit to get it all in there depending on your skillet size but its okay if not all of the chicken is completely submerged. You just want to be sure that each cutlet is at least partially submerged in the sauce so that none of them dry up.
- Reduce heat to a very light simmer and let cook, covered, for 20 - 30 minutes. You want to make sure the chicken is cooked through and tender.
- *Note, if your sauce is too thick and jelly.. its just because there is too much arrowroot in there from dredging the chicken. Pour in some more broth to thin out the sauce and let it cook for 10 more mins or so.
- Serve and enjoy!
- *the only Whole30 substitute I recommend is Tapioca Starch. I DO NOT recommend substituting almond or coconut flour in this recipe as it tends to make the sauce grainy.
- *If you are not Whole30, you can substitute regular flour for the arrowroot starch. Just don't add the 1tbsp into the broth. Only dredge the meat.