This chicken is old.

No… it really is – we first ate is seven weeks ago, then again two weeks later. It was a meal that I threw together quickly for dinner one night loosely based on the crunchy honey chicken, which is one of our favorites.

I had zero intention of of sharing it, and especially no desire to photograph it, because after spending 8-10 hours nearly every single day in the kitchen covered in food and taking 200 photos just to get five good ones, the last thing I want to do it pick up a camera. More likely, I want to throw one out the window. Twice.

After sitting down with a plate and taking a bite, I decided it was way too good not to tell you about, so I hurried up and made the rice look pretty in a short and fat bowl and smashed it all on a ridiculously small plate. Hopefully you never have to come over and actually eat at meal time, because… it’s a hot mess and looks nothing like these photos.

I’d actually be horrified.


Hence the lack of pictures. It made the seven week waiting list because the General Tso’s chicken was absolutely incredible and had to come first. And… I must have a semblance of variety on this thing to keep my sanity. I get bored way too easily.


Speaking of chicken, last night when I finally arrived at the airport, I was hoping that maaaaybe someone would cook me dinner or something? Or spoon-feed me a bowl of cereal before I face-planted into it? I couldn’t even fathom making something after 12 hours of traveling + jet lag, and after not eating at home the last six days, it was really all I wanted. I wanted to pass out, wake up late, work out and not unpack. But somehow we ended up at Quaker Steak and Lube (guess who decided that?)… which means I won’t be making this chicken anytime soon. But you totally should.

Crispy Honey Lemon Chicken

serves 4-6

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces

1/4 cup olive oil + 3 tablespoons

3 tablespoons honey + more for dripping/drizzling

the juice of 2 large lemons

1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest + 2 teaspoons

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup all-purpose (or whole wheat) flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons honey, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, and a 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Whisk ingredients together, then add chicken pieces to a ziplock bag and pour marinade over top. Let sit for 30 minutes – 2 hours.

When ready to make, add flour, cornstarch, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and the remaining salt and pepper to a large bowl. Mix well. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat, and once it is very hot, add 1 tablespoons of olive oil. Coat chicken pieces in the flour mixture, then add to the skillet and cook until each side is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove and set chicken on a paper-towel covered plate. Cook remaining batches, adding more/less oil if needed. I used 3 tablespoons, but depending on how coated your chicken pieces are you may need a bit more.

Serve with rice and a few tablespoons of honey mixed with lemon zest for dipping.

If someone could come live my life today while I sleep forever, that would be wonderful.

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111 Responses to “Crispy Honey Lemon Chicken.”

  1. #
    Erika - The Teenage Taste — September 27, 2011 @ 7:02 am

    If only my spur-of-the-moment recipes came out this good. This looks great!


  2. #
    Kathryn — September 27, 2011 @ 7:03 am

    Yum, perfect flavours and textures!

    Hope you manage to recover quickly from your trip :)


  3. #
    kate @ pomelo sunshine — September 27, 2011 @ 7:07 am

    I’m putting a meal plan for next week today and this will fit in very, very nicely. I love lemon-chicken recipes and that added crunch? Looks delicious.


  4. #
    Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles — September 27, 2011 @ 7:10 am

    I totally don’t blame you for not wanting to add to the 200 plus pictures you already take, but it was still nice of you to share :)


  5. #
    Jenn from Much to My Delight — September 27, 2011 @ 7:13 am

    I’m sorrry…there’s a restaurant called Quaker Steak and Lube? Give me a minute while I try to wrap my head around that.

    Okay now–the chicken. Wow. You’ve got some killer key words in there. No one can resist crispy chicken, but honey too? This looks legit.


    • Jessica — September 27th, 2011 @ 7:39 am

      Hahaha yes… funny, right? It’s a wing place. :)


  6. #
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — September 27, 2011 @ 7:17 am

    “taking 200 photos just to get five good ones” = that is why it takes a food blogger to know what a food blogger goes thru and trust me girl, I hear ya!

    Glad you made it home. And hope you get some sleep!


  7. #
    Erica — September 27, 2011 @ 7:20 am

    There is something about sweetness with chicken that is just so tasty. Gotta love when a non “blog worthy” meal turns out to be totally blog worthy!


  8. #
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) — September 27, 2011 @ 7:21 am

    I would have no problem taking over for you today! Oh wait, that’s my life too! I actually have tons of pictures and recipes that I’ve never posted…just waiting, like they did something wrong.

    Get some rest today and welcome home!


  9. #
    Jennifer@Peanut Butter and Peppers — September 27, 2011 @ 7:39 am

    Glad you shared this recipe with us. Funny when you make something and either you forget to take a picture or half way through, your like crap, I need to take a picture or you don’t take it at all and then your mad because it was so good and we will never see it! Did all that make sense? Sorry coffee rambling!! The recipe looks great!! I haven’t had crispy chicken in a while so I think I will have some this week!!!


  10. #
    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh — September 27, 2011 @ 7:44 am

    I’m going to try this one with and without lemon because I had this dish called Princess Chicken at Z&Y Restaurant in Chinatown in San Fran that I have been dying to have again and I’m hoping it’s similar. If it is…chickens will fear me.


    • Jessica — September 27th, 2011 @ 7:53 am

      Ha! Well let me know if it comes close!


  11. #
    Christina @ This Woman Cooks! — September 27, 2011 @ 7:46 am

    Argh traveling sucks sometimes. After I’ve been away (even for a DAY), I always crave a home-cooked meal. And I don’t want to be the one to make it. Can’t someone else feed me from time to time?


  12. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — September 27, 2011 @ 7:49 am

    “After spending 8-10 hours nearly every single day in the kitchen covered in food and taking 200 photos just to get five good ones, the last thing I want to do it pick up a camera” – OMG I TOTALLY know what you mean! My weekends often turn into kitchen marathons and by the time everything is ready, the last thing I feel like doing is setting up a gazillion photos and making everything look all pretty (and my shots don’t come out looking half as good as yours!!!)


  13. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — September 27, 2011 @ 7:59 am

    um, yum! also nate and our neighbor LOVE quaker steak and lube…can’t say i’m the biggest fan. i would have had the cereal dinner instead :)


  14. #
    Vicky @ Recipe Adaptors — September 27, 2011 @ 8:12 am

    If you have jet lag then the tip that always works for me is to only sleep at the ‘right’ time (i.e. stay awake until your normal bedtime at night and then sleep for 7-8 hours). Keep napping at odd hours during the day and you will be suffering for weeks.

    And by the way, the chicken looks great. I wish I had half your photography skills :-)


  15. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — September 27, 2011 @ 8:13 am

    I love the combo of honey and lemon, great idea for chicken!


  16. #
    Lindsay @ Lindsay's List — September 27, 2011 @ 8:31 am

    Hope you get over the jetlag soon!! Unpacking is always sucky!


  17. #
    Elysha — September 27, 2011 @ 8:41 am

    Mmmmmm, I love honey and lemon. And honey with chicken, and lemon with chicken, so I am sure I will love this. When I was little, I always ordered honey as my “sauce” at McDonald’s to dip my nuggets and fries into. Do they even have honey as an option anymore?


    • Jessica — September 27th, 2011 @ 11:50 am

      I did the same! I still do. I also love mixing about 1 part honey to 1/2 part dijon mustard. Really good.


  18. #
    Hilliary @ Happily Ever Healthy — September 27, 2011 @ 8:58 am

    This looks amazing! A must try recipe!


  19. #
    Holly @ The Runny Egg — September 27, 2011 @ 9:00 am

    This looks delicious — I’ve made your crispy honey chicken before and it was excellent and the addition of lemon is a great idea.


  20. #
    Molly @ RDexposed — September 27, 2011 @ 9:04 am

    I’d rather cook than unpack. Heck, I would prefer to clean my bathroom rather than unpack.


    • Jessica — September 27th, 2011 @ 11:49 am

      I hear ya. Unpacking is the worst.


  21. #
    Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots — September 27, 2011 @ 9:16 am

    I really want this like right now and its only 9 am!


  22. #
    Caitlin @ Cake with Love — September 27, 2011 @ 9:19 am

    In our house we love chicken, this one is part of my to do list!


  23. #
    Maria — September 27, 2011 @ 9:41 am

    Wantttttt! Looks sooooo gooood!!


  24. #
    Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking — September 27, 2011 @ 9:43 am

    You poor thing, you need a vacation from your vacation. Get some rest and come back fighting!
    I don’t know why I said that. It sounded good and apropos at the time, but now it sounds silly. Happy Tuesday!


  25. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — September 27, 2011 @ 10:31 am

    “it’s a hot mess and looks nothing like these photos” <–so true! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who runs around with dishes/plates/food everywhere. :)


  26. #
    Ashley — September 27, 2011 @ 10:32 am

    If you can make chicken [or any meat for that matter] look good….you REALLY know what you’re doing behind the lens. I love those linen towels!


    • Jessica — September 27th, 2011 @ 11:48 am

      Pier 1. :)


  27. #
    Anna @ On Anna's Plate — September 27, 2011 @ 10:36 am

    Yum– you can tell how crisp it is just from the pictures.

    Hope you get some rest today!!


  28. #
    Kelly — September 27, 2011 @ 10:36 am

    This looks gorgeous! I find it hard to believe you ever take a bad photo. Your photography has really gotten so gorgeous since you started. I’m jelous.


    • Jessica — September 27th, 2011 @ 11:48 am

      You are so sweet – thank you! But yes, I take tons of bad photos, haha.


  29. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — September 27, 2011 @ 10:44 am

    This looks great! I love squeezing lemon over breaded chicken, so I’m sure I would love this dish.

    Love the color of that blue linen!


    • Jessica — September 27th, 2011 @ 11:47 am

      Thanks – Pier 1. :)


  30. #
    Tina @ My Life as a Mrs — September 27, 2011 @ 11:01 am

    YUM this looks super tasty. PS- thank you for making me feel better about the fact that my kitchen is an absolute disaster zone after cooking in it – and our actual meals are just plopped down a plate and don’t look at all like my photos (that I, too, took 200 photos to get 3 good ones – haha)


  31. #
    CouponClippingCook — September 27, 2011 @ 11:14 am

    This sounds delicious and easy too. Love that whole wheat flour is used. Your pictures look great!


    • Jessica — September 27th, 2011 @ 11:47 am

      Thank you!


  32. #
    Cait's Plate — September 27, 2011 @ 11:49 am

    This looks INCREDIBLE. Seriously. Can you make this chicken just one more time and send it over to me and THEN you can be done??


  33. #
    Andrea — September 27, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

    Haha. I read this blog for its sarcastic humor and its great recipes. Thanks for all the sacrifices you make to get a post up every day! I look forward to my blog-reading time every morning knowing that at least how sweet it is will have something fun for me to read!! This one looks like one I’ll have to try soon.


    • Jessica — September 27th, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

      Thanks so much Andrea – you’re the best.


  34. #
    Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine — September 27, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

    Even it took a while to get them, the photos look great. :) It sounds delicious too!


  35. #
    Dianna — September 27, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

    I wish you were my neighbor- no wait, I wish you were my room-mate. I would unpack for you, be your sous chef (spelled right?) and wait patiently for you to wake up, and cook me (oops, I mean us) something to eat. Our husbands could eat too…
    Love your pics. feel rested soon!


    • Jessica — September 27th, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

      Man that sounds so tempting right now.


  36. #
    Danica @ It's Progression Not Perfection — September 27, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

    Your photos are always amazing!
    This recipe looks delicious and easy! Thanks for sharing : )


    • Jessica — September 27th, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

      Thank you Danica!


  37. #
    Ashley — September 27, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

    This looks amazingly good – thanks for sharing.

    I have been following your blog forever – you are my blog hero!
    I started one myself just last week and I have a recipe on there you may want to try – it’s “Fall-ish” and soo good. It’s called “Pork Tenderloin with Apple Brandy Sauce”. I learned to make it at a cooking class.


  38. #
    Ashley — September 27, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

    This looks so yummy!

    I have been following your blog forever – you are my blogging hero :)
    I started one myself just a couple weeks ago and I have a recipe you might like – it’s “Fall-ish”.

    It’s called “Pork Tenderloin with Apple Brandy Sauce”. Enjoy!


  39. #
    Ashley — September 27, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

    This looks so yummy!

    I have been following your blog forever – you are my blogging hero :)

    I started one myself just a couple weeks ago and I have a recipe you might like – it’s “Fall-ish”.

    It’s called “Pork Tenderloin with Apple Brandy Sauce”.


    • Jessica — September 27th, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

      That sounds delicious Ashley – your blog is so cute!


      • Ashley — September 27th, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

        Thank you!! I know I will never be as good as you, but one can hope :) :)

        • Jessica — September 27th, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

          Girl don’t say that – look back at my first 6-8 months of posting – you pictures are already better than mine were at first!

  40. #
    Ashley — September 27, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

    Here’s where to find it:


  41. #
    Mimi — September 27, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

    Here’s to a quick recovery although I hope you brought home some wine to ease you back into your every-day stress!


  42. #
    Ashley @PeaceLoveYumminess — September 27, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

    MMMMMMM! This looks amazing but easy! I am going to try this one tonight to use up my chicken! :)


  43. #
    Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen — September 27, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

    HA! I’ve been eating granola with almond milk for the last two nights. I just can’t handle cooking…or food, really. This chicken really does look delicious!


    • Jessica — September 27th, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

      Tell me about it… I don’t even think I’ve felt hungry yet.


  44. #
    Bev Weidner — September 27, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

    Just ask Ruth R. to come help you out, SINCE YOU’RE ALL BFFs now or whatever.

    Totes not jealous.


  45. #
    janetha — September 27, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

    I love honey and lemon together! Your chicken recipes always get bookmarked by me because it’s basically all we eat.

    I have sooo many recipes that turned out delicious but I never bothered to take photos so I have them on a “make again for the blog” list. I know what you mean–when you don’t plan to blog it, you definitely don’t worry about presentation.


  46. #
    Courtney — September 27, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

    Jessica- I love ALL of your recipes. I’ve already made several. I have a random question, though. Is there a reason why you prefer cornstarch over flour? Just curious. Cornstarch works wonderfully, but I didn’t know if there was a particular reason why :)

    Thanks for all your wonderful posts!


    • Jessica — September 28th, 2011 @ 11:55 am

      Cornstarch makes the meats SO much more crispy than regular flour. That’s usually what the copy-cat chinese food recipes use (like general tso’s, etc) – it just gives it a much thicker breading and crisp. I actually had no idea about this until I made some of the recipes for Tasty Kitchen and the recipe called for that. I use 100% cornstarch and no flour once in a while, but I don’t like doing that for everyday meals, which is why for some of them I just mix in a few tablespoons of cornstarch. :)


      • Courtney — September 28th, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

        Awesome- that makes perfect sense. Thanks for the explanation :)

  47. #
    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — September 27, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

    Glad you made it home! I hear ya about the camera thing. I finally got this new fancy camera with the special lens and am so frustrated with it because I am having so much trouble figuring out all the settings. It takes good pictures but it takes me forever just to get that one good pic! PS hopefully you can get some rest and recoup from your fun trip!


  48. #
    Laura @ A Healthy Jalapeño — September 27, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

    Honey-lemon, I love it. This had to taste amazingly fresh and comforting. What a wonderful way to prepare chicken. <3


  49. #
    Blond Duck — September 27, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

    I’ll live for you!

    But you’d have to be ok with copious amounts of pie and puppies. :)


  50. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — September 27, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

    I don’t even like chicken and this looks amazing. Fantastic recipe!!



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