Chicken with Lemon, Cream and Chives

Rory O'Connell


  • 2 large free-range or organic chicken breasts, skin removed
  • 6g soft butter
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 100ml cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • Chive flowers when in season
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


This is a very simple recipe that produces a delicious result. However, the various stages of the recipe need to be carefully followed to give a result that is fresh tasting and not too rich. I find that if I am using 2 large chicken breasts as here, it is enough meat for 4 people, particularly when serving vegetables alongside.


Heat a low sided sauté pan that the chicken will fit into snugly. Dab the chicken breasts dry with a little kitchen paper. Discard the paper. Butter the skin side of the chicken breast with a little butter and place the chicken buttered side down in the hot pan. The chicken should sizzle on contact. Continue to cook the chicken until golden brown. Turn and repeat on the other side. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with a disc of greaseproof paper and a tight fitting saucepan lid. Continue to cook over a low heat for c 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and feeling firm to the touch.

By now there should be delicious cooking juices surrounding the cooked chicken. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm. Add the lemon zest, juice and cream to the pan and return to a simmer. Cook like this until the cream thickens slightly to a light sauce consistency. Add back in the chicken and turn in the sauce. Now sprinkle in the chives. Taste and correct seasoning.

Carve the chicken in neat slices and arrange on a hot serving dish. Nap with the hot sauce and garnish with chive flowers when in season.

Serve immediately.