Chicken Sauté with Thyme, Lemon and Chili

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

In this simple dish, thin chicken cutlets are quickly sautéed, and then a quick pan sauce is created by cooking together fresh thyme, tart lemon juice and hot chilies. Serve with mashed potatoes and sautéed savoy cabbage.


  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3/4 lb. chicken breast cutlets
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 1/2 to 1 serrano chili, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice


In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Sauté, turning once, until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to 2 warmed plates.

In the same pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the shallot, thyme and chili and sauté until the shallot begins to soften, about 1 minute. Add the wine and lemon juice and boil, stirring up the browned bits on the pan bottom, until the sauce is syrupy, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Add any juices from the plates holding the chicken to the sauce and stir well. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately. Serves 2.

Quick tips: Chicken breast cutlets are a great resource for cooks who have little time on their hands. For the best flavor, buy organic chicken. The recipe can be easily doubled, so make a big batch. The next day, cut up the leftover chicken and heat in the remaining sauce, then spoon over hot cooked rice or noodles.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh & Fast, by Kristine Kidd (Williams-Sonoma, 2011).

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