Herb Chicken with Lemon Cream Sauce — Damn Delicious

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Herb Chicken with Lemon Cream Sauce

This cream sauce is seriously out of this world. So tangy, buttery, creamy and just melt-in-your-mouth AMAZING!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! We spent most of our day watching Butters running around in a sequin Santa suit.

Yes, that’s really a sequin suit. It’s truly amazing. And something I want to leave on 365 days out of the year.

But more importantly, I need this lemon cream sauce in my life more than anything.

Coupled with the browned up bits from searing the chicken with added butter, garlic, and heavy cream, this cream sauce is E-P-I-C.

I may even want to try this again in pasta form because like I said – this sauce is everything.

This and the santa suit.

Now my life is complete.

Herb Chicken with Lemon Cream Sauce

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

This cream sauce is seriously out of this world. So tangy, buttery, creamy and just melt-in-your-mouth AMAZING!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the lemon cream sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, mustard, lemon zest, thyme and rosemary; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Using your fingers or a brush, work the mixture onto both sides of the chicken.
  3. Melt butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side; drain excess fat, reserving 1 tablespoon, and set aside.
  4. Add garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, heavy cream, lemon juice and basil; season with salt and pepper, to taste
  5. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Return chicken to the skillet.
  6. Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately.

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i was wondering if i could use milk instead of cream, to cut back on calories. I did this before for other recipes.
Recipe sounds amazing.

Sounds so good. Thank you.

I’m going t make this recipe this week, and I’m going to add a tablespoon of capers to the sauce.

This does look amazing. When it comes to chicken the minute I see rosemary and lemon I HAVE to have it. Can’t wait to make this.

I want to use chicken breasts….my husband doesn’t do dark meat. How long would I have to cook with the breasts..also I will be using 4 breasts.

Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken breasts. As always, please use your best judgment.

Thank you….it’s dinner tomorrow.

I want to use chicken breasts as well. How did yours turn out? Any tips? Time, etc?

This looks amazing! But I am trying to watch intake of fats! What about replacing heavy cream with greek yogurt?

That sounds amazing! But unfortunately, without having tried this myself, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment.

Another delicious dish – i must say i subscribe to a few blogs for recipes and yours without fail are the best around with such easy instructions.

Thanks for your inspiration and help in what to cook next lol

I love anything with chicken thighs. This looks delicious!

I made this recipe tonight. And while the flavors and chicken were delicious, my sauce seemed to become too fatty, and decidedly not creamy, when cooked with the chicken thighs. Did I miss a step where I’m supposed to remove the sauce from the pan before adding the thighs? That doesn’t seem right as you want the chicken to cook and soak in the flavors. anyway, I was a bit confused. Maybe add flour to the “drippings” before serving?

Thanks for another great recipe!

Phil, perhaps there was just too much excess fat? If there is too much, you can simply drain as needed, reserving about 1 tablespoon.

Phil, I’m with you! I felt like the cream sauce should have been made separately. This was tasty, but definitely not like the photo or directions indicated.

So I made this last night and it was almost perfection! I don’t know if I cooked it too long? But the cream sauce didn’t turn out so well. It looked like it seperated.. Any tips for the next time??

Perhaps the heat was set too high?

This looks sooo good I think I will try it tonight x

Made this dish last night with a few modifications- chicken tenders instead of thighs and low fat milk in the sauce instead of cream- WOW was it good! So happy I came across your blog a few weeks ago- your recipes are amazing!

This was SO DELICIOUS! I wanted to lick my plate because the sauce was so yummy. Thanks for another awesome recipe!

This is an absolutely great sauce. We used skinless chicken breast, so coated with Panko bread crumbs before browning. Turned out great.

I made this tonight and my whole family loved it! Even the kid who claims to hate chicken! I used chicken tenderloins. Seared on each side for 2 minutes. Removed from pan, made sauce and returned to pan to finish cooking. Served over rice with limas beans. Everyone cleaned their plates.

When I was making the sauce the milk curdled when I put it in. Is that normal?

Curdling is not normal. Perhaps your heat source was set too high?

I love that you added ranch! I love easy recipes like this!

This was awesome, fiance liked it too 🙂

So I want a crock pot chicken recipe but then love the lemon idea. I think I’ll make your honey garlic chicken crock pot recipe and also the lemon cream sauce to put on over everything. Hope it works well!

can you please post Nutrition Facts.

​Nutritional information is provided only for select and new recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, it is best that you use free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information.

Hello. Thank you for a new recipe. My house smells amazing! It had a lot of flavor but it needed something. Maybe I should have added more salt. And I think I will thicken the sauce more next time! Great first try though. My kids ate it too.

Just made this tonight and it was fantastic! Thank you from everyone.

Really awesome dish!! Would recommend a longer sear at medium temp to render off more fat. That would allow the meat to cook a bit longer and eliminate the separation in the sauce others report, which is probably due to fat released in the oven cooking. The sauce is absolutely fabulous.

Loved this dish! Second what Kathy says….would recommend a longer sear time and allow meat to cook longer to help eliminate the separation in the sauce. Although, my sauce had separated prior to going in the oven, Still tasted amazing, will definitely make again!

You might try evaporated skim milk in place of the cream….it will give you that creamy texture.

I made these tonight and they came out fantastic. I followed the recipe to the tee, and reduced the heat to a low and let the sauce cook for 10 minutes on simmer to thicken. Perfection. Thank you!

Hi there! I am going to try to make this dish with Mahi Mahi. Would you recommend me adding extra butter to compensate for the reduced fat content? Thanks for any advice you could offer 🙂

What a great idea! But unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment.

I made this last night, and it was delicious. I wasn’t sure if my partner was going to like it, but he demanded that I do this again soon.. So thank you!

However, the color of my sauce was more brown than the white sauce in the picture. And at the end, when I was ready to serve the chicken, there was not much sauce left in the pan. Not sure if the chicken absorbed it or if the sauce evaporated…Either way, the chicken was amazing.

I can’t believe no one has asked about the rosemary. It’s not in the list of ingredients however, it is referred to in the directions. So, my question is, how much rosemary.

Never mind, I wasn’t seeing the entire recipe.

Wow wow. I made this for dinner and it was delicious. The sauce was very tangy and good. I did add a little dill and shallots to the sauce and used chicken breasts because that’s what I had on hand. My sauce didn’t thicken very well but that didn’t hurt the taste. I’ll be putting this into the rotation. Thank you!

I made this last week and it came out delicious!! the flavor of the sauce is even better than my favourite beurre blanc, i used fresh thyme as it gives more flavour, i will definitely make it again.

I am obsessed with your recipes. Your site is all I use for cooking, so thank you for months worth of amazing meals! I am going to make this one tonight but I do not have a skillet that is oven proof. Can you advise on what the next best way would be to make this? Should I just transfer it all to an oven safe dish/pan? Thank you in advance + sorry if that’s a bad question!

Nope – not a bad question at all! Yes, you can transfer to an oven-safe dish.

Damn! That was delicious! My second time making it and it was fabulous. Only thing I recommend is doubling the sauce. My husband and I like a lot of sauce on our chicken and brown rice 🙂

This was more amazing the second day (leftover heaven). I did this completely on the stovetop with chicken breasts (cooked separately with the herbs and olive oil, then placed in the sauce pan with the reduced sauce already cooked.) I thought it was a little too lemony (I had used a fairly large lemon) so I think half a large lemon would be perfect. I also added some corn starch which made it thick and awesome.

I made this, tonight, using triple the measurements of the herbs, because I used all fresh from my garden. I have to say that I was very impressed! This dish is out of this world! OMG, that sauce. Mine didn’t come out as thick as in the picture, but it was still amazing! I will make this, again. Next time, I will reduce the cream, first, using a bit more, then, slowly incorporate the chicken broth and lemon juice in. I think I’ll have better success with the sauce being a thicker consistency. This one is a 5 star recipe! 🙂

I am so disappointed…made this last night and the sauce WOULD NOT THICKEN! I don’t understand! These recipes on this site are AMAZING! I wish I knew what I did wrong cuz as far as taste goes, even my extremely picky eaters loved it, it was just watery. Any suggestions?

Angela, did you follow the recipe exactly as written without any substitutions? Also, reducing a sauce takes some time and patience but I promise – it works! 🙂

Chungah, I love your recipes! I am making this tonight for the first time-can’t wait to try it. I was wondering if you could tell me which specific skillet or brand you use for this recipe-I have looked everywhere for an oven-proof skillet big enough to hold 8 chicken thighs and deep enough for some sauce. I have to either cut recipes in half or do multiple rounds since my current oven-proof pans are too small. Any recommendations you have for a big, oven proff skillet would be appreciated!

I use All-Clad – one of my favorite brands!

I have a big family to feed so I usually sear off chicken in batches and move them to a pyrex baking dish and then make the sauce and just pour it over (or under to keep the skin crispier).

Do you think this will freeze well?

Unfortunately, I cannot answer this with certainty as I have never tried freezing this myself – there were no leftovers left to freeze! Please use your best judgment for freezing and reheating.

The chicken breast look perfectly cooked, the sauce is creamy, and the ingredients although simple but combined brought out a great flavor . I love this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

Decent, easy, but lacking in the flavor department. Also, extremely unhealthy but… you can just use less sauce and then it’s not quite as bad! It just tasted like bitter lemon… no depth of flavor. I made it exactly as written. I will not make this recipe again.

I’m sorry that this recipe did not turn out the way you had imagined. I only post recipes that have been successfully tested in my own kitchen, and as you can see from the comments here, many of these readers have had great outcomes in the final dish as well. However, I understand that we all have different taste preferences, and I really appreciate your honest feedback.

Wow, I don’t know how this sauce could lack in the flavor department. I tend to overspice just about everything, and yet this sauce turned out perfectly and overflowing with flavor (and without me meddling with it as I normally do with recipes)! Did you add the garlic?

The chicken breast look perfectly cooked, the sauce is creamy, and the ingredients although simple but combined brought out a great flavor thanks you for sharing.

I made this tonight with reduced fat cream, that I needed to use up.. I threw in some sliced carrot with the chicken and sauce and they absorbed some of the flavours. Served it with mashed potato, steamed cauliflower, broccoli and corn. It was absolutely delicious! Thanks for a great recipe.

Now one of my favorite recipes!

I would say this turns out best if you switch steps 5 and 6. So after sauteing the chicken, go ahead and roast it by itself while making your pan sauce. Then pour the sauce on at the end or put the chicken back in the skillet sauce for 5 minutes after roasting. That way the sauce won’t separate or evaporate into too little sauce during roasting. That’s what worked for me and i got it to look more like the picture. Also I doubled the mustard/olive oil rub because the amount didn’t seem to be enough for 8 thighs. Delicious recipe though with a couple of modifications!

Made this tonight with a pasta dish on the side (pasta, walnuts, peas, garlic, and goat cheese). This chicken is phenomenal, and the pasta dish was complimented perfectly by a tiny bit of the lemon cream sauce that ran around the plate. Absolutely phenomenal chicken! The only downside was smelling the sauce and chicken while it finished cooking. I was SO hungry! 😉

This is lovely one of my favorite dressings. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

I had to come back today to let you know how good this was!! I made it last night for dinner while my husband went out with the guys. He ate dinner while out and STILL POLISHED OFF A WHOLE PLATE of this deliciousness. I served it over linguine that was boiled in chicken broth, and zucchini. I’m so glad the zucchini was only salted and peppered, because the sauce on it was outstanding. Pinning to my “Tried and Loved” board on Pinterest 🙂

Made this – very tasty. While I enjoyed this recipe I was a bit surprised by how much longer the cooking time was than the time listed. The sauce took about 15 minutes to start to thicken and the chicken took over 1 hour in the oven. This the second recipe I have made from this site and both times the cooking times list have been drastically under-estimated. Look forward to making this recipe again on a weekend with more time.

Hi this one really tastes today’s cam make !! thanks your advice

Anyone ever put this over egg noodles or rice? I’m so excited to make this!

Do you think adding spinach to sautee with the chicken and sauce would turn out good? I’m trying to think of a green to add to the chicken and linguine

Made this tonight — sort of. Used boneless, skinless chicken thighs and doubled both the amount of marinade and the amount of sauce, and did the whole shebang on the stovetop. It was excellent, but I think it would be better minus the red pepper flakes, which added distracting heat.

Can the lemon sauce cook on the stove instead of oven.

The lemon sauce is actually cooked on the stove.

I made this gorvdinner this past week. It turned out awesome! Take a little time to reduce but the wait is worth it. I followed the recipe but I added make towars the end. Seated my chicken and then finished it the oven keeping sauce separate. Served sauce over chicken and angel hair. Perfect. I doubled the sauce and still needed more. Will definitely treasure this recipe.

Would there be any way to cook this completely on stovetop?

Yes, but I find that baking yields the best results!

i just love lemon cream sauce! just love it! another great recipe! thank you Chungah! 🙂

I followed this recipe exactly as it is listed. The only thing I did is transfer the chicken and sauce to an oven safe dish. I was disappointed in the sauce. I brought it to a boil and let it simmer for more than 5 minutes, but it did not thicken. It was also more white from the cream and not as pink as shown in the picture. Any thoughts or suggestions? I usually have a good luck with the recipes on this site.

I’m so sorry this did not turn out the way you had imagined. What kind of heavy cream did you use?

Can the lemon sauce cook on the stove instead of oven.

This is outstanding and has become one of my favorite dishes.
The only problem is that there isnt enough of that amazing sauce, so I double or triple it.

I’m horrible at remembering to write reviews of recipes I try. But this one. Oh. my. goodnesss. There’s a reason your website is called damndelicious. Cause this recipe is amazing. I’m literally eating the leftovers from this right now and still can’t get over how delicious the sauce is! I used thin chicken breasts for this, so skipped some of hte oven time so they wouldn’t dry out and then paired with some creamy (and super buttery) mashed potatoes, which the sauce tasted awesome on. I will be making this again and again and again. Now to find a vegetable side that could compete with this deliciousness.

Amazing! This was my first sous-vide bone-in chicken breast cook. I modified the recipe for my precision cooker. Coat breast piece with mustard/zest coating and place in cooking bag. Precision cook @ 145.0 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 1/2 hours, remove and retain bag drippings. Transfer breast to pan on medium-high heat and sear skin to taste. Remove chicken from pan and rip bones from chicken (they come right out). Prepare garlic and pepper flakes with bag drippings along with chicken pan drippings as directed, then add cream/juice mixture and gradually reduce to a thick syrup. Slice chicken breast meat and drizzle with the lemon herb sauce baby! Made my dinner, made my day and made my night. Thank you for the great recipe, I’ve totally bookmarked it on my Pinterest recipe collection and I’ll use it again and again. Muah!

Just wondering are red pepper flakes the same as chilli flakes as I’m in Australia and cant find red pepper flakes.

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