Peppered Lemon Chicken Bites and Curried Brussels Sprouts

These Peppered Lemon Chicken Bites are a quick & easy dish and one of our favorites.

Bites of lemon chicken marinated with preserved lemons and pepper.

Originally, this post was just going to be just about the Peppered Lemon Chicken Bites, but the Brussels sprouts turned out so good and were the perfect complement for the chicken, that I decided to dish up both. Let’s talk about the chicken first.

In this simple little chicken dish, the chicken is marinated with preserved lemons, garlic oil, pepper and a couple more ingredients.  After marinating, the chicken is cooked on the stovetop or skewered for kabobs and grilled. Both cooking methods yield a cook time of less than 15 minutes.  In the summer we grill them as kabobs, but during colder months, I cook the chicken on the stovetop.  The stovetop version yields chicken pieces that are more moist than the kabobs, plus there is the bonus of a little sauce from the vermouth used to deglazed the skillet. No matter which method used, this peppered lemon chicken is a tasty, quick and easy meal – perfect for the middle of the week.

Bites of lemon chicken marinated with preserved lemons and pepper. #preservedlemons #chicken @mjskitchen


Peppered Lemon Chicken Bites Recipe

These chicken bites could be skewered and grilled, or pan fried on the stovetop.

Inspired by Annie;s Eats Garlic Lemon Chicken Kabobs

Serves 2
Prep time: 15 minutes
Marinate for at least 15 minutes but could be marinated overnight
Cook or Grill time: 15 minutes or less


1 lb. boneless chicken breast or chicken tenders, cut into large chunks (about ¾” – 1”)

1 Tbsp. garlic infused oil
½ tsp. dried tarragon, crushed
1 Tbsp. minced preserved lemons
1 tsp. preserved lemon juice (omit for marinades over 4 hours, could make the meat too salty)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. minced onion

Extra ingredients for Pan Fry
1 Tbsp. olive oil
½ cup vermouth or white wine
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced (optional)

Note: no salt is needed because of the saltiness of the preserved lemon


To marinate the chicken

  1. In a bowl large enough to toss the chicken, add all of the marinade ingredients.  Whisk together.
  2. Cut the chicken into large chunks. Add to the bowl and toss to coat the chicken pieces with the marinade.
  3. Let the coated chicken rest in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or more.

To pan fry on stovetop

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the chicken with marinade and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes, turning the pieces about every 2 minutes or until browned.
  3. Once the chicken bites have browned on at least 2 sides, add the vermouth and deglaze the pan.
  4. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken.
  5. To test for doneness, press into the middle of the biggest piece, if it’s soft, then cook another minute and test again. Chicken is done when it is somewhat firm when pressed in the middle.
  6. Toss with parsley and serve immediately.

For kabobs

  1. Prepare grill for medium heat.
  2. Skewer the chicken pieces. Brush the skewered pieces with marinade leftover in the bowl.
  3. Wipe the grill with a little oil to prevent sticking.
  4. Place the kabobs on the grill and cook 8 to 10 minutes, turning twice, until chicken is just cooked through. (The chicken will continue to cook between the time you remove it from the grill and serve.
  5. Remove from the grill, transfer chicken pieces to a plate, and serve immediately.


Serve with Curry Shaved Brussels Sprouts.

Bites of lemon chicken marinated with preserved lemons, pepper and tarragon.


Kitchen Notes

The Preserved Lemon – If you don’t have preserved lemons, you could either make my quick preserved lemons the night before, or used the lemon zest and juice from half a lemon.  If you don’t use preserved lemon, then I would recommend adding ¼ teaspoon or more salt to the marinade.

The Garlic-Infused Oil – If you don’t have garlic-infused oil, the do what Annie does and use 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 2 to 3 minced garlic cloves.

The Vermouth or White Wine – For a non-alcoholic substitution, you could use apple juice or chicken stock.

The Cook Time – When using the stovetop method, the cook time will vary for different size pieces.  Add the largest pieces to the skillet first and cook for 2 minutes, then add the rest of the chicken pieces.  This will prevent the smaller pieces from overcooking.

These Peppered Lemon Chicken Bites don’t need anything but I nice healthy side dish to finish off the meal.  I recommend the Curried Brussels Sprouts below – a great combination of flavors.

For more recipes that use preserved lemons, check out this post: 30+ Recipes With Preserved Lemons

Curried Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Shaved Brussels sprouts will turn Brussels sprout haters in to sprout lovers.


These Curried shaved Brussels sprouts were my conversion into liking Brussels sproutsThis recipe was inspired by two recipes from Kitchen Riffs:  Hashed Brussels Sprouts  and Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Hot Bacon Dressing which were my introduction into shaved Brussels sprouts.  They were a really nice complement for the Peppered Lemon Chicken.


Curried Shaved Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Serves 2
Prep and Cook Time:  about 20 minutes

Recipe Author:  MJ of MJ’s Kitchen


2 tsp. bacon drippings
¼ cup minced onion
½ pound Brussels sprouts
a heaping ¼ tsp. of a sweet & spicy curry powder
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Remove any discolored leaves from the Brussels sprouts. Wash and drain. Cut off the stem end of each sprout about ¼ of an inch into the body.  Thinly slice the sprouts crosswise.  Break the slices apart, if desired.
  2. Melt the bacon drippings in a skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the cut sprouts and cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the curry powder and cook stirring for another minute.
  6. Add the vinegar, salt and pepper.  Cook for about 2 more minutes or until the sprouts are cooked to your liking.  (We liked ours still somewhat crispy, so 2 minutes was plenty.)
  7. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.



Kitchen Notes

The Bacon Drippings – What isn’t better with bacon?  🙂  The bacon drippings provided just a hint of bacon which was quite nice with the Brussels sprouts, but if you don’t have any drippings, then use butter or olive oil. I would probably use butter, but if your vegan or don’t use butter, then olive oil would work as well.

The Curry Powder – The Sweet & Spicy curry powder from Season with Spice is my favorite of all curry powders, but if you don’t have it, you could substitute with your favorite curry powder.  If it’s not a spicy curry, then add a little chile powder as well.

These Curried Shaved Brussels Sprouts are going to be a great side for a variety of dishes.


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43 Responses to “Peppered Lemon Chicken Bites and Curried Brussels Sprouts”

  1. fati's recipes December 22, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    The marinade for this chicken is divine! They look so gorgeous, too. I’ll definitely give these a go big I’ll have to miss the sprouts as I’m the only muncher around here. They, too sound like a wonderf complement to the chicken though!

  2. The Wimpy Vegetarian December 9, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    what a perfect meal, mj! and this is my favorite way to have brusslies, shredded and barely cooked. perfect!

    • mj December 11, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

      Thanks Susan! It has become my favorite way as well. 🙂

  3. eggmaster December 6, 2013 at 6:42 am #

    What_s up, I check your blog regularly. Your story-telling style
    is awesome, keep doing what you_re doing

  4. Jennie @themessybakerblog December 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    This looks so good. I’ll take two helpings.

    • mj December 5, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

      Come on by Jennie and I’ll give you all you want. 🙂

  5. Soni December 1, 2013 at 8:13 am #

    Ooh loving these delicious bites of chicken and curried brussel sprouts sound perfect to me!On my ‘must try’ list 🙂

  6. Shannon | JustAsDelish November 27, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    I’ve recently tried brussel sprouts, absolutely love it. and adding curry to it is just genius

  7. Raymund November 25, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    That is one damn tasty meal, wanna have them for dinner today.

  8. Yi @ Yi Reservation November 24, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    Having some Brussels sprouts on hand right now and your curried brussels dish sounds just fantastic! It definitely goes well with the lemon pepper chicken. Thanks for sharing it!

  9. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles November 24, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Aren’t brussels sprouts the greatest subject of reinvention?!!? (bacon drippings, O.M.G.) — you’ll turn this veggie around yet :). Haven’t tried curry yet – must do. Your peppery lemon bites look juicy and delicious too – there’s nothing about this recipe that doesn’t delight MJ.

  10. Angie@Angie's Recipes November 24, 2013 at 8:08 am #

    I LOVE Brussels sprouts, MJ. This is a fantastic meal. Those diced chicken look really tender.

  11. cquek November 24, 2013 at 6:01 am #

    Mmmm – what a perfect stuffing recipe

  12. Debra November 24, 2013 at 5:33 am #

    I agree—this is the perfect combination. I really need to make Brussels sprouts more.

  13. Carole November 23, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    Fantastic chicken bites, MJ – love your marinade. Cheers

  14. Hotly Spiced November 23, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    I love preserved lemons and they go so well with chicken. What lovely looking chicken bites and I’m also a fan of Brussel Sprouts xx

  15. rosita vargas November 23, 2013 at 6:21 am #

    Muy rica combinaciòn y suavidad al paladar con su pollo bien preparado,abrazos.

  16. Nami | Just One Cookbook November 23, 2013 at 1:35 am #

    Love both recipes – both are very light, yet very flavorful with the spices and citrus flavor. They sound very appetizing too! I have some brussels that I have to use pretty soon. Your curried recipe sounds just perfect for some Asian theme main dish.

  17. Valerie | From Valerie's Kitchen November 22, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    I love the idea of chicken bites! I do steak bites all the time but why on Earth have I never done this with chicken? Thanks for the inspiration, MJ. I’m sure the preserved lemons make this out of this world good.

  18. Rathai November 22, 2013 at 1:31 am #

    I think those have got to be the most succulent pieces of chicken I’ve seen in years. Looks so delicious. Perfect for me who loves chicken and have very little time for cooking. I’m going to make this with potato and carrot hash.

  19. Bill November 21, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    What’s not to love about garlic, lemon, and chicken. Throw in some tarragon and it’s over the top! I so love everything about this recipe. Keeping this one for grilling season! I’m a huge fan of Brussels sprouts cooked any way. I’ve seen John’s recipes on KR and I’ve got them on my list. Great post, MJ!

  20. Choc Chip Uru November 21, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    While I can only eat the curried brussel sprouts, both of the dishes look exquisite my friend 😀


    P.S I seem to have lost around 1000 subscribers on my blog and I don’t know how, so if you were subscribed, could you resubscribe please? it would really help me out!

  21. ChgoJohn November 21, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    I love the combo of lemon with chicken, MJ, and lately have been experimenting using preserved lemons, too. I’ve not yet tried shaved brussels sprouts but I’ve been tempted by a number of recipes of late, yours with curry being the best so far. You are right about the bacon. Last year, while taking photos in the next room of a still-not-published dish of brussels sprouts with bacon, Max ate all that were left in the serving platter. If bacon can entice a dog to eat sprouts … 🙂

  22. Asmita November 21, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    Hi MJ,
    Love these little bites. Chicken and lemon pair so well together. Going to try this one.

  23. mj November 21, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    Thanks Sissi! Oh heavens – that comment doesn’t make me angry at all!!! Now that you mention it – you’re right. 🙂 I wonder how this marinade would be with tofu? Hum….As far as the Brussels sprouts are concerned, I found this shaved method quite easy to prep and even easier to cook. Just a little chopping and sauteing. I’ll be trying another one of John’s recipes next week as long as the co-op still has them.

  24. Sissi November 21, 2013 at 4:48 am #

    MJ, I hope it will not make you angry but at first I thought it was tofu! These chicken bits look so light, not burnt, not too dry.. and made me think of tofu (which by the way I like a lot!). Anyway, I wanted to say the chicken looks extremely tempting.
    Shaved Brussels sprouts sound original and delicious! Wonderful idea. I have always liked Brussels sprouts, but must admit they are not easy to cook and are often sold too old (i.e. bitter and tough) so I understand most people hate them.

  25. cooking rookie November 20, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    Wonderful dinner! I love Brussels sprouts. Just had some baked ones for dinner today. Baking took 40 minutes, your recipe is certainly much quicker. The spice combo is great too.

    • mj November 21, 2013 at 7:52 am #

      Thanks Rookie! I’m getting there with Brussels sprouts. 🙂

  26. swathi November 20, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    Delicious lemon chicken bites and curried brussels sprouts Mj. I like brussels sprout always think that they are sister of cabbage.

    • mj November 21, 2013 at 7:51 am #

      Thanks Swathi! I’ve never been part of the Brussels sprouts fan club, but I’m trying and this turned out pretty darn good!

  27. Zsuzsa November 20, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    vermouth… well then this one is for me. 😀

    • mj November 21, 2013 at 7:50 am #

      🙂 🙂

  28. john@kitchenriffs November 20, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    Both dishes look terrific! That chicken has a lot of flavor. And I really like what you’ve done with the sprouts! Thanks for the link love, and glad I inspired you to find a Brussels sprouts recipe you like. Love the idea of the curry! I’m going to steal that. 😉

    • mj November 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

      Thanks John and you’re most welcome! this whole shaved Brussels sprout idea really make them quite edible and delicious. I like the texture better as well.

  29. Giulietta | Alterkitchen November 20, 2013 at 7:11 am #

    I’m always looking for easy and tasty chicken recipe, and this seems a right one 🙂
    Thanks a lot, MJ!
    This time you gave me some ideas for the week menus 😉

    • mj November 20, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

      So glad to here that Giulia! This is definitely an easy and yet tasty chicken recipe. Enjoy!

  30. Bill November 20, 2013 at 5:46 am #

    Unlike you, I do like Brussels sprouts. I just need an excuse to eat some and this may be it.

    I’ve got a jar of lemons in the process of being preserved, so this will be a way to try them out.



    • mj November 20, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

      Thanks Bill! So glad to hear there’s another preserved lemon lover out there! It’s my favorite condiment! Enjoy!

  31. Ramona November 20, 2013 at 5:44 am #

    I think lemon and chicken make very good friends. I love these bites. 🙂 I can imagine the lovely flavors with each bite and the kick of pepper. 🙂 You know how I feel about curried anything… so hand over a big bowl of these brussels! 🙂

    • mj November 20, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

      Thanks Ramona! I’m with you – I love chicken and lemon, especially preserved lemon!


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