One-pot meals with short lists of ingredients are on every cook’s wish list. Not only are they perfect for busy weeknights, one-pan recipes combine ingredients in a single pot, giving the dish’s flavors a chance to blend and develop.
Think about it — when you cook chicken in one pan and sauce in another, there’s no crossover of flavors. And you have to clean two pans.
The recipe below shows how to make an incredibly easy, ultra-flavorful one-pot chicken dish with a buttery honey-lemon sauce.
With the principles behind this dish, you can make all kinds of stir-fry sauces and one-pan wonders regularly and effortlessly.
When it comes to cooking during the week, less is more
When it comes to weeknight cooking, rest assured that you can create restaurant-quality meals with very few ingredients. And less dirty dishes.
More is not more when it comes to preparing tasty meals. The truth is, when you’re combining opposite flavors like spicy and sweet or sweet and fiery, you only need very few ingredients. The following recipe is a good example.
Golden pan-fried chicken is marinated in a lively blend of sweet honey, tangy lemon and silky butter. Plus, the extra flavor comes from the caramelized chicken chunks that sit at the bottom of the pan.
In short, if you choose the right balance of flavors and incorporate a culinary trick or two, sensational meals can be prepared with a handful of ingredients and just one pan.
Here’s the simple process to prepare this successful chicken dish: Season chicken breasts with salt and black pepper. Fry the chicken in hot, bubbling butter until golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a plate while you prepare the quick and easy skillet sauce.
Combine chicken broth, lemon juice, and honey in the same pan you used to sear the chicken. Bring the sauce to a simmer and scrape off the flavorful browned bits created by searing the chicken.
Add a little more butter and return the chicken to the pan to simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens. Adding butter at the end of cooking helps thicken the sauce and make it silky—another culinary trick to have in your arsenal.
Serve with your favorite side dishes knowing you only have one pan to clean.
Fleshy Contract:The only meat sauce recipe you’ll ever need is this Pasta Bolognese
What kind of chicken goes best with a stew?
This recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken breast halves. If you find chicken breast halves that are about 4 to 5 ounces each, you simply need to pound them until they are about 1 inch thick, which promotes even cooking and keeps the chicken tender.
If you’re buying larger chicken breast halves (about 8-10 ounces each), cut them in half lengthwise and pound them until they’re about 1 inch thick.
Alternatively, you can cut the larger chicken breasts in half lengthwise and down the middle (like slicing a bagel) to create four equal chicken breast fillets that are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick.
In some stores you can find thinly sliced chicken breast fillets, each weighing about 120 to 150 grams; these work too and require no extra effort on your part as you don’t have to tap them out.
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What to serve with Honey Lemon Chicken
To top off this or any other stir-fry entree, I suggest you serve a starch such as roasted red or golden potatoes, fluffy white or brown rice, regular or pearly couscous, curly quinoa, or your favorite grain of choice. You can also add your favorite steamed vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, green beans, peas, carrots or spinach.
Recipe: One Skillet Honey Lemon Chicken
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 4 to 5 ounces each, pounded to 1 inch thick (see note above)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- Chopped fresh parsley for serving, optional
- Season both sides of the chicken with salt and black pepper.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is bubbling, add the chicken and cook, turning after a few minutes, until golden brown on both sides. Place the chicken on a plate and set aside.
- In the same pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken broth, lemon juice, and honey. Bring to a simmer, scrape off any browned bits from the bottom of the pan and incorporate into the sauce. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter.
- Return the chicken with any accumulated juices from the plate to the pan. Simmer 3 to 5 minutes, until the chicken is tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened. Sprinkle with parsley, if using, and serve.
Ground Beef Recipe Inspiration:Make this easy, kid-friendly Nacho Casserole
Bonus: inspiration for a stir fry meal
Now that you’ve got the basics down, I wanted to give you a variety of delicious five-ingredient recipe ideas to get you started. They are endlessly adaptable and easily accessible for even the busiest weeknights.
Ground Beef Ramen
Ingredients: ground beef, broccoli, ramen noodles, soy sauce, sesame oil.
Preparation: Fry the minced meat in a pan. Fold in the cooked ramen noodles, steamed broccoli, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
Cheesy Mexican Chicken and Rice
Ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Taco Seasoning, Shredded Mexican Cheese, Spring Onions.
Preparation: Fry the chicken in a pan. Season with taco seasoning. Fold in the cooked rice. Top with cheese. Garnish with chopped spring onions.
Creamy pasta and peas
Ingredients: pasta, tomato sauce, cream, green peas, parmesan cheese.
Preparation: Combine tomato sauce, cream and green peas in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Fold in the cooked noodles. Sprinkle with parmesan.
Couscous salad with tuna
Ingredients: Couscous, Canned or Bagged Tuna, Roasted Red Peppers, Italian Vinaigrette, Parsley.
Preparation: Prepare couscous according to package instructions. Fold in the tuna, chopped roasted peppers, Italian vinaigrette and fresh parsley.
Pan pork and mushrooms
Ingredients: Pork tenderloin, mushrooms, sherry wine, chicken broth, Italian spices.
Preparation: Cut the fillet into medallions. Fry on both sides until golden brown. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté until tender. Season with Italian seasoning. Add the sherry wine and stock and simmer until the liquid has reduced.
Always perfect:This is the only pasta salad recipe you will ever need
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