People. This is my all-time favorite chicken recipe EVER, from now through eternity. I make this for guests. I take it to people who have had babies. We eat it about every-other Sunday here. Do you know what makes it so wonderful? It’s the sauce. It’s creamy. It’s lemony. It’s peppery. And it’s amazing.
I always make this recipe using frozen chicken. That’s because I only buy frozen chicken from Costco. I used to buy fresh chicken–and then freeze it. Now I do things in reverse. However, I almost always forget to thaw the chicken before making this stellar dinner. That’s o.k.! It totally works!
But I do need to give you a hint about this if you make it using frozen chicken. The recipe says to bake it in a 350 degree oven. Do not turn the oven up to 400 degrees because you have dinner guests coming and the chicken won’t be ready in time unless you do. Two things will happen:
- Your chicken will be tough. Oh so tough.
- It may not get all the way cooked in the middle.
I find that using a meat thermometer is a wonderful boon when cooking chicken. Before obtaining one of these lovely devices, I WAY overcooked my chicken. Now I know that when the thickest part of the breast reaches 165 degrees, it can be safely eaten. If you don’t have a thermometer, just make sure that the juices run clear (not pink) when you insert a knife.
Depending on the size of your breasts, (wait, that’s not right, and borderline offensive)–the chicken breasts, I mean, this whole recipe will take about an hour. The Costco frozen chicken breasts are typically enormous (they only raise buxom chickens), so it does take the whole hour (or longer) for them to cook.
Making this lemon chicken is really easy. You put the breasts in the oven. You sprinkle them with lemon pepper. You take them out of the oven and slather them with the incredible sauce. You put them back in the oven. You take them out of the oven. You eat them.
What I also love about this chicken is that it pairs well with mashed potatoes (the sauce makes a superlative gravy), pasta, and rice. It literally goes with every kind of starch 🙂
So let’s get to the recipe, shall we?
- 4 chicken breasts fresh or frozen
- 2 tsp. lemon pepper
- 1 10.75 oz. can Cream of Chicken soup
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 Tbsp. parsley optional
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
- If using fresh chicken, sprinkle 1 tsp. of the lemon pepper over the breasts and bake for 20 minutes.
- If using frozen chicken, bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven, sprinkle with 1 tsp. lemon pepper and return to the oven for 20 more minutes.
- While chicken is cooking, mix the remaining ingredients together (including the other teaspoon of lemon pepper).
- After chicken has cooked 20 minutes (for fresh) and 40 minutes (for frozen), remove from the oven and pour the sauce over the partially baked chicken.
- Bake for another 20-40 minutes until chicken registers 165 degrees with a meat thermometer or until juices run clear.
- After removing from the oven, let sit for 10 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.