The Angry Chef’s Garlicky Lemon-Pepper Chicken


A lot of folks have asked me for this recipe. It’s one of The Angry Chef’s signature dishes, and I was lucky to pry it away from him.

This recipe is a dream come true for garlic lovers like me. It’s tart and garlick-y and oh-so-fragrant in all the right ways. (As a bonus, you’ll surely be safe from vampires for the evening.)

The instructions below are one part recipe, one part technique.

Basically, the chicken breast is dredged in flour, then shallow fried in a bath of bubbling golden olive oil. It develops a rich brown, garlicky crust and layers of flavor from being flipped and seasoned a handful of times.

Lemon juice, powdered peel, and fresh zest provide a triple dose of bright citrus flavor right near the end of cooking. The chicken meat itself is moist and tender and infused with lemon-y garlic flavor.

Enjoy this chicken with any sort of hot, spicy rice (I have yet to get the recipe for the Demon Saffron Rice that he made around Halloween), some warm, buttered noodles, or grilled asparagus sprinkled with Parmesan. Leftovers make killer toasted subs with oodles of melted cheese.

The Angry Chef’s Garlicky Lemon-Pepper Chicken: A note on ingredients

This recipe calls for three different types of garlicโ€”garlic salt, fresh elephant garlic, and jarred minced garlic.

You’ll also want to use pure olive oil instead of extra virgin, because it has a higher smoke point (making it better for frying).

The Angry Chef’s Garlicky Lemon-Pepper Chicken

6 chicken breasts (about 4 1/2 lbs)
2 cups flour
1 lemon, juice and peel
1 clove elephant garlic
3 1/2 Tbls. prepared minced garlic
pure olive oil
onion powder
garlic salt
white pepper
black pepper
dried oregano
dried parsley
powdered lemon peel

Serves 6-8 as a main course.

The Angry Chef’s Garlicky Lemon-Pepper Chicken: Prep your ingredients

Slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise.

Peel the elephant garlic and cut it into a coarse dice.

Next, zest your lemon then cut it in half.

Put the flour in a gallon-sized zip-top bag.

Grab your chicken.

Drop it into the bag with the flour.

Seal the bag well. Shake it around to coat the chicken well with flour. It should look about like this:

Take each piece of chicken out of the bag. Shake off any excess flour. Lay the chicken out on a board or plate and set it aside for a minute.

The Angry Chef’s Garlicky Lemon-Pepper Chicken: Start to fry the chicken

Pour about 1/4 inch of olive oil into a large, non-stick pan. How much oil you use will depend on the size of your pan.

Heat the oil for a minute or two over medium-high heat.

Add the jarred, minced garlic to the oil.

Sprinkle in the fresh, diced elephant garlic.

Give the garlic and oil a stir. Cook for a minute or two over medium-high heat to infuse the oil with garlicky goodness.

When the oil starts to bubble, carefully put each piece of chicken in the pan. Your pan will be crowded. In this case, that’s just fine.

Cook over medium-high heat until the oil starts to bubble again.

When it starts to bubble, season it by coating the top of the chicken with a thin layer of onion powder, garlic salt, white pepper, black pepper, dried oregano, and dried parsley.

It should look about like this.

Cook for 3-4 minutes over medium-high heat.

As it cooks, push the chicken around a little to let the oil flow in between the pieces of chicken.

The Angry Chef’s Garlicky Lemon-Pepper Chicken: Flip #1

After 3-4 minutes, flip each piece of chicken over. Pieces of golden brown garlic should be stuck to the bottom. That’s the start of your chicken’s garlicky crust.

Reseason the top of the chicken with a thin layer of onion powder, garlic salt, white pepper, black pepper, dried oregano, and dried parsley.

Cook for another 3-4 minutes.

The Angry Chef’s Garlicky Lemon-Pepper Chicken: Flip #2

After about 3-4 minutes, flip each piece of chicken over again.

Reseason the top of the chicken with a thin layer of onion powder, garlic salt, white pepper, black pepper, dried oregano, and dried parsley.

After you’ve done that, sprinkle on a layer of powdered lemon peel.

Then sprinkle with the fresh lemon zest.

Squeeze one of the lemon halves over the pan, getting a little juice and lemon pulp on each piece of chicken. Cook over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes.

The Angry Chef’s Garlicky Lemon-Pepper Chicken: Flip #3 (a.k.a. the final flipping)

After 3-4 minutes, flip the chicken one last time. At this point, it should have a handsome brown crust on the bottom.

Sprinkle with dried parsley. Squeeze the other half of the lemon over the chicken, getting a little on each piece.

Let it cook for 8-10 minutes more. After that time, your chicken should have a good brown crust and be cooked completely though (cut and peek to be sure, if you like).

Remove the chicken from the oil and heap on a platter. Serve and enjoy!

Copyright 2008 The Hungry Mouse๏ฟฝ/Jessica B. Konopa. All rights reserved.

Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. Yanno… I am not a bit lemon pepper person in general, but these look so good I really want to try them. I know my family would like them… Thanks to the Angry Chef for sharing these with us… give him a hug for me ๐Ÿ™‚ And take one for yourself too sweetie!

  2. Splendid looking! You know, so often I’ll walk past a restaurant and smell a major garlic scent–or even create one as I’m cooking with garlic in the kitchen, but the finished dish does live up to the heady fragrance. This chicken sounds like it would!

  3. Wow! This looks amazing! Since technique is so important in this recipe, and you give such wonderful illustrations I feel like you are unveiling some amazing culinary secret. I love garlic, so I will definitely be making this ๐Ÿ™‚ yum!

    I would love to write about this recipe on our blog! If you are interested send me an email ๐Ÿ™‚

    Haley, KI Blogger

  4. Jessie!

    Another winner from you – well from your other half ๐Ÿ™‚

    Gosh! This dish is garlioactive! Radiates garlic all over! Where do you find the Elephant Garlic? Amazon? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Gabi @ Mamaliga.

  5. I tried this recipe tonight, a little skeptically–it’s sort of an unorthodox method for cooking chicken, what with all the flipping and reseasoning and leaving the garlic in the oil.

    The chicken, however, turned out fanTASTIC–juicy, with a nice crust, and awesome flavor that was a little sweet from the lemons and not overwhelmingly garlicky. This one’s going in the recipe file.

    A few suggestions: I brined my chicken breasts in a simple solution of 3/4 c sugar, 3/4 c kosher salt, and 1 qt water. Brine improves chicken immensely, especially boneless/skinless.

    I also found the garlic to start burning and turning acrid after awhile, so I skimmed it off once it turned a deep golden brown. I drained the garlic bits on paper towels and served them on top of the chicken as a crunchy garnish, and it was soooo good (if I do say so myself).

    Also, to ensure perfectly cooked chicken, I’d suggest you check your internal temperature through the thickest part with a meat thermometer on the last, 8-10 minute cooking stage. Take your chicken out when it hits 150 degrees and let it rest, loosely tented with foil. In about 5 minutes, the residual cooking will bring it up to 160, the ideal temperature for juicy chicken. Pour over any accumulated juices.

  6. Thanks, all! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Young & Hungry–Thanks so much for stopping by and giving the chicken a whirl! SO glad you liked it! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I’m with you that brining chicken is great, but I usually don’t bother unless I’m doing a whole bird. The Angry Chef’s been making this recipe just like this for the better part of 15 years, and it’s never turned out dry because of the technique.

    Not sure about your garlic burning, but I’m guessing that you probably had your pan too hot. Temperature instrux are so hard to give for stovetop cooking, as everybody’s range is different. Can’t argue with a crispy topping, though! ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for a meat thermometer, again, I wouldn’t bother with a dish like this. The fact that the chicken breasts are cut in half coupled with the cooking time pretty much ensures that your bird will be done.

    To that end, I wouldn’t tent the cooked chicken either (though, goodness knows that it’s a great thing for other chicken dishes), because the condensation could wreck your nice crunchy crust.


  7. Can’t wait to try this! I’m putting the link back to yours on my web page. Hopefully you’ll get more hits. Keep the recipes coming!

  8. Found this on StumbleUpon, and I’m making the recipe on Tuesday. MAN, I’m looking forward to all that garlic! Also, I’m going to try fresh minced garlic rather than the jarred stuff. For me, fresh is always the way to go!

  9. Hi, just thought I’d let you know that I made the recipe tonight and it was fan-tabulous! The chicken was juicy and the garlic flavor was oh so good — even the odors while cooking made my mouth water. My wife thought it was great too! We served with a stuffed portobello mushroom and bread rolls for a really scrumptous meal. I heartily recommend this one!

  10. I tried this Sunday night and it was ok. I think I blew a couple things in preparation. First it wasn’t overly garlicy. I only used one section of the elephant garlic clove. Should I have used the entire bulb? It wasn’t overspiced, I think because it was getting so many layers I was concerned it would be way to spicy so I didn’t apply enough at each opportunity. We’ve been having the chicken cold in salads and it’s been good. I was just expecting a much bigger flavor.

    • Hey there!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and reporting in. Nope, one clove of elephant garlic is right.

      This dish is definitely packed with a ton of flavor. I think you said it best–you probably didn’t sprinkle on enough spice. Glad you still like the leftovers, though. I’d layer on the spice heavier next time.


  11. Oh my word. I make a lemon garlic chicken recipe…it’s good, we like it. My recipe is NOTHING compared to this. I’m headed to the grocery store today and making this for dinner tonight. I don’t know if I’ll be able to find elephant garlic in my local grocery store, but I’ll sub it if need be. I’ll let you know how it goes over with the fam! (I am already in love with this dish, and I know it will be just scrumptious!)

  12. Was absolutely delicious! I didn’t get the crispy crustiness I was expecting, but I think I may have used too much olive oil – next time I’ll try with less – it certainly didn’t take away from the gorgeous flavor! I wasn’t able to find elephant garlic, so I just used regular garlic, it did the trick! I also couldn’t find the dried lemon peel powder, but did find a lemon pepper seasoning, so I used a bit less pepper that time around.

    Hubby and 4yo LOVED it and ate every bite – the 4yo is the tough critic and it was a huge win with her!


  13. This recipe is AMAZING!!! I made it tonight for myself and my 6 year old. Neither of us could get enough, and he said he wanted me to make it everyday!!! ; ) Thank you for sharing, I love your entire site, especially the pictures! ; )

  14. Oh my goodness this looks amazing! Definitely a recipe that I’m going to have to try! I think I’ll add it to my brand new recipe box! My hubby will never see it coming! (He might smell it though…I’ll have to make it before he gets home =p )

  15. I stumbled upon this recipe today at work, and made it for dinner tonight. It was great, my husband loved it! My garlic also started to burn at med-high, so I had it at medium until the very end, but that’s just a difference on stovetops. I didn’t have any jarred minced garlic, so I just used a couple extra cloves from the elephant garlic, and it turned out really nice and tasty. I served it with mashed gold potatoes, and sprinkled the crunchy garlic bits on top. Yum! Thanks so much for the recipe, it’s one to remember! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. I’m just seeing this recipe & website for the first time today. This dish looks amazingly wonderful! I’m going to be attempting to cook this for supper tonight for my family. I was curious as to how much oil/drippings are left over after the chicken is done? I’m going to make a gravy/sauce out of the oil/drippings, and serve the chicken & gracy/sauce over birds nest pasta with a side of crescent rolls. Any thoughts or feedback? ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. It was super tasty! I didn’t have any garlic cloves, so I just used more of the jarred stuff. Good call with the lemon pepper seasoning!

  18. This was a delicious dish! The powerful flavour was an instant hit at my home, and the crust was beyond this world ๐Ÿ™‚ My family of four literally could not stop eating, even after we got full. Truly an amazing recipe.

    I did not find elephant garlic and used 3 cloves of a regular garlic in stead, and the tip about the lemon pepper was great since I didn’t have any lemon peel powder (not available in my country, I think) and had been wondering how I could substitute that.

    If I was to find any fault with it, then it would be frying the chicken in so much oil, I am usually not into that. I wonder if I can combine some oil, the seasoning and the lemon juice / peel into a bag and let the chicken marinate in it. Then put in on the pan for 5 minutes on each side to get the crust and then finish the cooking in the oven? I think I will try that the next time and see how it works. But the recipe has been perminently written in the family’s coocking book – thank you for a great recipe (and a big thanks to! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Lemon and garlic…I am in! lol …I have had this type of dish in the past and i cant wait to try making it at home! hope you dont mind too much but I am posting a link to this on my blog because its a recipe that just needs to be shared!

  20. Tried this tonight for dinner. Came out just like the picture. It was Fan Tab Ulous!!!! Oh My Gracious! Even my picky eater loved it!

  21. This dish was absolutely delicious. It went over very well, even my husband who “doesn’t like lemon-pepper” ate seconds. This will definitely be added to the rotation. Thank you so much!

  22. Just made this for the 2nd time — I have an electric (smooth) cooktop and the garlic cooks up much more than the pictures show on Medium heat. It’s basically black by the end, but thankfully, not bitter. As someone else suggested, I took a few tablespoons of the sautรฉed garlic out early on to top the chicken when serving. We find it interesting that even the oregano is not discernible on the finished dish — it just tastes really good. For the next preparation of this recipe, I would like to find smaller chicken breasts — perhaps free-range or something more natural than the store-bought breasts on steroids. Thank you for a wonderful dish that my family enjoys!

  23. Okay this is seriously delicious. Just made it and was so grateful for the step by step instructions and pictures!! Perfect amount of garlic and lemon flavor in each bite! I couldnt find elephant garlic though at the grocery time i make this i will make a special trip to the organics store though (they would have it, right?). I didn’t get a great crust but I will definitely be making this again so I’ll have more practice ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for sharing this!

  24. I made this recipe for my family tonight and it was delicious! I had to substitute for the elephant garlic and lemon zest, (used a clove of garlic and lemon juice instead) because we didn’t have them around the house. Served with lemon asparagus, absolutely phenomenal, thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

  25. Planning to make this tonight, but how much onion powder, garlic salt, etc does the recipe call for? I don’t see it specified above.

  26. Can you use only regular garlic? I know I could find elephant garlic, but I’d like to use what I have onhand. Thank you. And is using TrueLemon okay in place of the lemon powder?

  27. Tried this recipe tonight with a few modifications (less garlic for my family!) but otherwise very delicious! Only problem is I wanted to print this out and could not find a way to do so!!! Any help on printing this out is appreciated!!

  28. While I was cooking, it smelled so yummy! I omitted the flour…I’m a Paleo eater, and it was still a hit among the family.
    Thanks and Merry Christmas!

  29. I literally just took this chicken out the pan and all I can say is OMG!!! Me and my daughter love lemon and this will be the only way I make chicken for now on. Thanks for sharing!!!