If you want to prepare the juiciest, most tender chicken, you have to try my Grilled Lemon Chicken Breast recipe. Here I use thinly sliced chicken breasts, which are then flattened and tenderized with a meat mallet (or ask your butcher to do this for you), to yield the thinnest cuts of chicken, which cook up in under 5 minutes.
This style of chicken happens to be a Bulgarian staple and it’s on every restaurant menu in the summer. If there’s one thing you should order in Bulgaria, it’s “pileshki parjoli” which translates to “chicken steaks.” They are not actually “steaks,” but the thin cut resembles a small steak. Pileshki parjoli are grilled and typically served with a fresh lemon wedge. This is hands down my go-to chicken recipe that I make 3 to 4 times per week. I usually pair it with our Bulgarian Shopska Salad salad and Crispy Lemon Potatoes on the Barbecue. Feel free to enjoy this chicken recipe with any side dish or salad of choice.
To elevate this chicken and make it even more tender, you can definitely put it in a brine overnight, if you have time (see recipe notes below). This recipe uses just 5 basic ingredients, which you probably already have on hand, and comes together in 5 to 10 minutes. Feel free to season the chicken anyway you like but less is MORE in a recipe like this one.
Grilled Lemon Chicken Breast
- grill pan, regular pan, or barbecue
- 2 chicken breasts or thinly sliced chicken filets
- salt and pepper to taste
- avocado oil
- lemon for serving
- parsley for garnish (optional)
- Take the chicken out of the fridge and leave it at room temp for at least 30 minutes before preparing the dish
- Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise, or you can ask the butcher at any meat department to do that for you. Alternatively, you can purchase thinly sliced chicken filets as well.
- Once you cut the chicken breasts in half, take each half and place it in between two pieces of plastic wrap. You can also place it into a Ziplock bag as well.
- Take the flat side of a meat mallet and gently pound each piece until thin, about 1/4-inch thick. This will tenderize the meat as well as help it to cook much faster and evenly in the pan.
- Season each side with salt and pepper. When seasoning, hold the seasoning high above the chicken, and then sprinkle it all over; seasoning from high above helps for even distribution.
- In a grill pan or regular pan add some avocado oil and heat it up on medium-high heat. The oil should shimmer when hot.
- Place the filets into the pan, making sure they are not touching. If the pan is overcrowded the meat will STEAM and we do not want that.
- Cook the chicken for about 2 minutes on each side or until golden.
- I poke a hole on the bottom of my lemon with a metal or bamboo straw and squeeze the lemon on top of my chicken both on and off the heat.
- Let the chicken rest for 2 minutes before cutting. Garnish with parsley, if you like, and enjoy with any side you like!