Lemon Thyme Chicken

Have you ever fallen in serious love with an item on a restaurant menu, only to have it taken away?  There is a wonderful restaurant from our hometown called Scholars Inn.   We have always been great fans of the restaurant and even had our rehearsal dinner there before our wedding.  They have a wonderful menu (and faaabulous half-price martini nights!)  My favorite item on the menu has always been their lemon thyme chicken.  In fact, I think I would go so far as to say it is the best chicken I have ever eaten.  The restaurant did so well that they expanded and opened a location in Indianapolis as well, which worked out wonderfully since it coincided with our moving here.  However, due to work, life, etc. it had been quite a while since we had dined there.  I recently requested to go there for a date night because I was just dying to have this chicken again.  So you can imagine my devastation when I saw that it was no longer on the menu.

I decided to take a shot and email the restaurant to see if they would be willing to share the recipe with me.  The worst that could happen would be that they said no.  Well, I’m glad I asked because I was promptly contacted by a representative from the restaurant.  Unfortunately no one was able to find a written version of the recipe with specific quantities of ingredients, but one of the chefs remembered well how to prepare the dish and was happy to share the methods of preparation.  They even provided me with a phone number to speak with him if I had any questions.  How wonderful!  Thankfully, just the methods were all I needed and I was able to recreate this dish at home.  It turned out quite wonderfully if I do say so myself, and I am thrilled to be able to make it on my own.

Lemon Thyme Chicken
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2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup flour
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2/3 cup dry white wine
Juice of ½ a large lemon (or the juice of 1 whole lemon, if desired)
2-3 tablespoons butter

Butterfly the chicken breasts to create four halves.  Season both sides of the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.  Place the flour in a shallow bowl, and dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, shaking off the excess.  In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute until lightly golden, about 2 minutes; flip and cook on the other side, about 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and thyme leaves to the pan and saute just until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Off the heat, add the wine to the pan.  Return the pan to the heat and bring the liquid to a simmer.  Reduce until the sauce has thickened and the chicken has become golden brown on each both sides.  Add the lemon juice to the pan and stir in the butter until completely melted.  Serve immediately, and spoon the extra sauce over the chicken.

Source: Annie’s Eats original, inspired by Scholars Inn

25 Responses

  1. mmm….this looks good and super easy. I like that these are all ingredients I usually have at home too!

  2. What do you mean by butterfly the chicken? Does this just mean to cut it in half?

    • Hi Sara,
      Yes, you just cut the pieces in half horizontally so that you end up with two thinner pieces of chicken. I prefer cooking my chicken this way, it is much faster and more evenly cooked.
      🙂 Annie

  3. Yay! Thanks for ANOTHER great way to cook chicken breast. I have a freezer full, so either this or the chipotle chicken may be on the menu tomorrow night.

  4. This looks really good–and easy!

    This is a really stupid question but…you leave the chicken in the pan the whole time, right? As you’re sauteing and creating the sauce, do you flip the chicken around too?

    • Hi Cathy,
      Not a stupid question at all! Yes, I keep the chicken in the pan the whole time to help it absorb the flavors of the sauce while it is cooking. Hope that helps!
      🙂 Annie

  5. This looks wonderful, Annie. I may just have to make it tomorrow night!

  6. I have become a fan of your blog over the last couple of months, and I have to say I love your references to Indy, as I went to college there and only make it back a couple of times a year to visit friends. Scholars Inn and Bazbeaux Pizza are two of my favorite spots. Thank you for sharing your recipes and bringing back some fabulous memories of Indy for me!

  7. Way too good looking and sounding!

  8. Did you ever dream it would be so easy? Sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Oh… Scholar’s Inn! I love their half off martini night — and of course their fabulous food! We may have to make a special trip when in Indy this weekend! Thanks for the recipe – we will be making it soon!

  10. How awesome that you just emailed them and asked. It’s even nicer that they shared their wonderful recipe with you. I had no idea you lived in Indianapolis. My brother used to be stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison and since I only lived in Ohio we would drive there all the time.

  11. Wonderful meal I ‘m going to try to make it over the weekend !

    thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe:)

    Have a great Day ~

  12. What a fantastic story! Looking forward to trying this! Annie, A treat for you here http://bakergirlcreations.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/a-pleasant-suprise/ 🙂

  13. Lemon and thyme is a great flavor combination, and sounds great with chicken. This dish sounds easy for a weeknight, too!

  14. i made this for dinner the night you posted it. soooo good!!!!!

  15. This is my favorite way to cook chicken – dredging in flour and then making a pan sauce. There are an endless number of ingredients and flavors that can be used! Love these flavors and will have to try it.

  16. Tried it last night and ate the leftovers cold this am! It was even better today!! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!

  17. That’s so great that you were able to get info about how to make this recipe from the restaurant! What a treat! This looks like a really tasty meal 🙂

  18. DELISH!!!! Perfect blend of flavors and so easy to make withvery few ingredients.
    Thanks so much for sharing. My husband and I really enjoyed it along with
    the Sautéed Shredded Zucchini.

  19. This was not a favorite of ours. Too… tart? It was fine but not was I expected. Yes I know, lemon & wine – what did I expect? 🙂 Guess they can’t all be favorites! 🙂

  20. Sounds super easy and looks delicious…would love to try tonight or this week sometime…I’m definitely not a great cook so this may seem like the dumbest question in this post….Dry white wine, do you mean cooking wine or actual drinking wine? and which one did you use for your recipe please? 🙂

    • Jazmin,
      I always use drinking wine. Cooking wine has a really high sodium content and doesn’t add as much flavor as regular wine. I honestly don’t remember what I used last time I made this, normally it’s just whatever dry white I happen to have on hand.

  21. YUM, this dish looks fantastic! I love the combination of lemon and thyme, so this will definitely be my next go-to-recipe 🙂

  22. This looks delicious! I went to IU for grad school, and we loved going to get dessert at Scholar’s Inn. Always yummy 🙂

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