This is actually the first thing that I ever remember cooking. I think I was in middle school. My friend Sonia and I were allowed to make dinner for her family and I remember getting all excited about that. I also thought, at the time, that this was possibly the most delicious thing in the whole world. So, I decided the other day that I would try to recreate it. I remember the steps that I took to make it but didn’t really remember the proportion of ingredients; when I made this the other day I only used one small lemon, I think it needs at least a lemon and a half to really get the flavor right.
I cut one whole skinless, boneless chicken breast into 4 pieces and flattened them to even width. I wish I had a meat pounder, but instead I had to beat them with the palm of my hands which made me feel weirdly abusive. Coated the pieces of chicken with a mixture of ¼ cup flour, ½ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Heated 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat and added the chicken when it was hot and sizzly. Turned the chicken several times to get all sides and even golden-brown and to cook through—took about 8 minutes over high heat. Removed from pan and set aside. Let the pan cool down somewhat then tossed in about 2 tablespoons of butter. When it was hot and melted, added ½ yellow onion, evenly minced. Cooked onion over medium and gentle heat to get it completely soft and golden-yellow but not at all brown. When it was well cooked, added 1 more tablespoon butter to melt and then ¼ cup of flour. Mixed this to make a roux, browned it lightly then started adding chicken stock. This is where I’m not sure about the proportions. I know I added at least 1 cup of liquid for sure but it wasn’t enough so I’m pretty sure I ended up adding about 2 cups all together. Add it a bit at a time and integrate it to make a smooth sauce. I like it to be not too thick so I ended up adding a lot of liquid. It’s really a matter of personal taste—if it seems to be the consistency that you like, you can stop right there. After I mixed in my about-2-cups of chicken stock and got the sauce very smooth, I turned off the heat and added the juice of one lemon. Again, in retrospect, I would add the juice from at least another half a lemon and also the zest, in order to get the flavor boosted up. So, if you make this, do that. Returned the chicken pieces to the sauce and served it over brown rice.