Lemon-Honey Chicken Skillet

Say hello to one of my very favorite cold-weather meals, chicken and vegetables cooked in a single skillet right on the stove. The meat is seasoned with warm spices and nestled into a bed of carrots (or butternut squash or sweet potato), peppers and mushrooms with a soothing sauce of honey and lemon juice. The dish remains entirely savory with a can't-get-enough vibe, especially with the vegetables. It's another Quick Supper and to minimize dishes, a One-Pot Supper too. It's perfect for taking the chill off cool evenings year-round!

Lemon-Honey Chicken Skillet ♥ KitchenParade.com, a one-pot chicken dinner with a medley of spices and vegetables.

Real Food, Fresh & Seasonal. Another Quick Supper, a Kitchen Parade Specialty. Another One-Pot Supper, Hearty & Filling. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Low Fat. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free.
On My Mind ♥ KitchenParade.com, thinking about the healing power of lemon and honey.

An Elixir of Lemon & Honey

During a cold snap last spring when May wore the mitt of March, I thumbed through some cold-weather recipes tucked into a bulging Cook Now folder.

Today's recipe caught my attention, perfect, I thought, for a chilly night.

And so it was, way back in 2005 and all the way to the present day.

It’s a one-pot meal, meat and vegetables both in the same dish. After simmering for 30 minutes, there’s still plenty of lemon-honey sauce left to soak into rice or potatoes or dipping bread.

The underlying flavor reminds me of my mother’s midnight remedy for childhood coughs, hot water with lemon juice and honey. It soothed the throat, letting everyone get back to sleep.

Years later at university, I slept with sixty girls in a cold-air dorm with the windows cracked, even in winter, to meet fire regulations. When one girl coughed hard in the night, 59 girls struggled to sleep.

Remembering Mom’s ministration, I’d tear myself out from under the warmth of an electric blanket to scamper across the bone-chilling floor for a mug of hot-hot water.

"Drink this," I’d whisper to the often still-sleeping girl. "It’ll help your throat." Soon the dorm would turn silent, sixty girls again deep in sleep.

Some chilly evening this winter, soothe your family with this delicious and healthful chicken dish.

Lemon-Honey Chicken Skillet ♥ KitchenParade.com, a one-pot chicken dinner with a medley of spices and vegetables.

About This Recipe

Lemon-Honey Chicken Skillet is an entire meal (protein + vegetable) cooked in a large skillet on the stove.

The distinctive ingredients are:

  • the chicken (thighs work best but chicken breasts also do quite well)
  • the vegetables (a mix of onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and an "orange" vegetable like carrots, butternut squash or sweet potato)
  • the seasoning (a heady mix of paprika and cinnamon plus salt and pepper)
  • the lemon and honey, which lose their individual flavors to shift-shape into something mysterious and alluring

It takes about 30 minutes of active cooking time to brown the meat and sauté the vegetables, then another 30 minutes hands-off cooking on the stove. While the chicken cooks, oh! the kitchen smells so good!

The dish is quite attractive, definitely one that can easily move from stove to table for serving.

Starting with two pounds of meat and a big measure of chopped vegetables, the recipe serves 8. But word to the wise, Lemon-Honey Chicken Skillet tastes so good that people with bigger appetites may want seconds!

Lemon-Honey Chicken Skillet ♥ KitchenParade.com, a one-pot chicken dinner with a medley of spices and vegetables.

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!


  • Does honey make the chicken taste sweet? No, not really. First, the recipe doesn't call for a lot of honey, it's plenty but divides down to only 1-1/2 teaspoons per serving. Second, the honey melds with the lemon juice and spices, thickening a bit to form a sauce that coats the meat and the vegetables. The result is more piquant and alluring than sweet. This all means that the sweetness of honey isn't distinct. If I weren't the cook, I'd be wondering, "Hmmm, I wonder what makes this taste so good."

  • What about using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs? That's a matter of taste. I like the extra flavor of chicken thighs (vs chicken breasts) but nearly always avoid the extra calories from chicken skins. But if you prefer, this recipe would definitely work with bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs; or even a mix, some times I cook a few thighs with their skins on, a few without. Here's another option I use with other recipes that would work well here, it's a great compromise. Remove the skins from bone-in chicken thighs and discard all but one skin; then cook the now bone-in only thighs with that one skin in the skillet, imparting a little chicken fat and lots of flavor.

  • What about a vegetarian version? It's your lucky day! This Squash & Carrot Stew is surprisingly similar but has no meat.

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe easy chicken supper recipe hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...


Lemon-Honey Chicken Skillet ♥ KitchenParade.com, a one-pot chicken dinner with a medley of spices and vegetables.



QUICK SUPPER:
LEMON-HONEY CHICKEN SKILLET

(formerly called Sweet 'n' Hot Chicken)
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes
Serves 8 (easily halved but reheats well for great leftovers)
    CHICKEN
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds (900g) skinless boneless chicken thighs (see ALANNA’s TIPS)
    VEGETABLES
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (if needed)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, red or green or a mix, chopped
  • 1 pound (450g) diced carrot or butternut squash or sweet potato
  • 8 ounces (225g) mushrooms, quartered
    LEMON-HONEY SAUCE
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (2 - 8 lemons, depending on their juiciness)
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
    FINISH
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish, optional

BROWN THE CHICKEN Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium high until shimmery in a large, heavy-bottomed shallow skillet. While the skillet heats, combine the spices in a large bowl and toss the chicken thighs in the spices, coating evenly on all sides. In batches if needed so not to crowd, brown the meat on both sides, top-side down first, adding color and crispness, letting the meat brown without moving it around. With tongs, carefully lift the thighs out onto a plate without scraping off the spices. Keep warm while the vegetables cook.

SAUTÉ THE VEGETABLES If any fat remains in the pan, remove all but 1 tablespoon, otherwise add 1 tablespoon olive oil. As they’re prepped, stir in the onions, red pepper, carrots (or squash or sweet potato) and mushrooms and sauté until the onions are golden.

Nestle the browned chicken thighs into the vegetable mixture.

ADD THE LEMON-HONEY SAUCE In a small bowl, stir together the water and honey until the honey liquifies, then stir in the lemon juice and salt. If there are meat juices on the plate where they rested while the vegetables cooked, stir these in too. Gently pour the mixture over the chicken, you don't want to break up the delicate covering of spices.

FINISH ON THE STOVE Reduce the heat to maintain a slow simmer (usually a medium heat, if you peek inside to check midway, the liquid should be gently bubbling), cover the skillet and let simmer for 30 minutes.

FINISH Open the skillet, the liquid should be cooked down and quite thick, if not, increase the heat and let it boil hard with the lid off for a couple of minutes until it thickens. To serve, dip into the sauce and drizzle a little sauce over top of the chicken thighs, then sprinkle the chicken and vegetables with cilantro.

SIDE IDEAS This is a "one-pot" meal that includes both protein and vegetables but you may want to separately cook a starch, maybe How to Cook White Rice or Oven-Baked Whole-Grain Pilaf with Quinoa, Barley, Kamut & Other Grains. Add a salad and wow, what a meal.

MAKE-AHEAD This really isn't a recipe to make a day or two ahead. But it's quite do-able to get a head start earlier in the day, stopping just before adding the Lemon-Honey Sauce. The entire skillet should then be refrigerated. I'd also allow for an extra 15 minutes of time for simmering on the stove.

LEFTOVERS reheat beautifully. I'm always glad to have something for lunch or another meal the next day or two.

ALANNA's TIPS Chicken thighs have more flavor and are often less expensive than chicken breasts. That said, this dish is also good made with the more easily available breasts. I keep packages of both in the freezer, ever ready for cooking. To quickly and safely thaw the meat, submerge the whole package in a large bowl of cold water – yes, cold water not hot water – for a couple of hours. It's magic! The meat will thaw in an hour at the low end, a couple of hours at the high end. Chicken thighs often come with chunks of chicken fat still attached. It's an extra step, but I like to remove this. I usually chop the vegetables in big, identifiable pieces but if you like, chop them quite small for a sort of vegetable hash. During cold-weather months, I like to substitute diced butternut squash for the carrots or use half squash and half carrot. Sweet potatoes work well too. I've also tried potatoes, not as good. I'm always tempted to substitute cumin for cinnamon. Next time!
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 243 Calories; 7g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 94mg Cholesterol; 867mg Sodium; 20g Carb; 3g Fiber; 13g Sugar; 24g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS (blue & purple assume chicken breasts) Old Points 5 & PointsPlus 6 & SmartPoints 7 & Freestyle 3 & myWW green 5 & blue 3 & purple 3 This recipe has been "Alanna-sized" with reductions in portion size and increases in no-calorie spices and fiber-rich vegetables.

More Easy Chicken Suppers

more
~ chicken recipes ~
Rainbow Chicken ♥ KitchenParade.com, chicken and a pile of rainbow-colored veggies tossed in a spice rub and brightened with lemon slices. So simple and spring-like, it's our new go-to chicken supper.

Spiced Chicken Tagine with Roasted Cauliflower ♥ KitchenParade.com, a one-pot supper, chicken and roasted cauliflower with warm spices and a touch of sour from Spiced Preserved Lemons.

Turkey Orzo Soup with Lemon & Spinach ♥ KitchenParade.com, a hearty mix of cooked turkey, pasta and vegetables brightened with lemon, perfect for spring. Weight Watchers Friendly. High Protein.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ chicken recipes ~
~ carrot recipes ~
~ bell pepper recipes ~
~ mushroom recipes ~
~ lemon recipes ~
~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2005, 2007, 2011, 2015 & 2021

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

Comments

  1. Alanna, this sure looks good to me. I was looking for some new ways to cook my favorite part of the chicken-the thigh. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This recipe looks delicious, too! Love one-pot meals! The only thing that would make this better is if it could go in the crockpot...thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  3. M ~ You're on a recipe hunt, girl! And you're finding my "favorite of favorites" too! I think this would be fine in a crockpot, maybe a four-hour version rather than an all-day version, however.
    PS A goal for 2011 is to convert current recipes to the crockpot and to add new ones as well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a great goal! You're right; I am hunting for crockpot-adaptable one-dish meals now since I'm 5 months pregnant and need hands-off, easy, and nutritious. I figure I'll continue to need them once my little one arrives too! :)

    I'm also collecting freezer meal ideas, if you have any of those!

    Thanks, Alanna!

    ReplyDelete
  5. M ~ Congratulations! What a good mum you shall be, all these healthy preparations.

    I am 'just now' beginning to collect freezer meals but these are both very good! And with any luck, I'll be adding more in 2011 too, at least, that's the plan.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna