Easy Lemon Chicken Thighs with Herbs

We love this easy lemon chicken recipe. The chicken is juicy, ultra flavorful, and easy to make. Add this one to your rotation; you won’t regret it! Jump to the Easy Lemon Chicken Thighs Recipe

Easy Lemon Chicken Thighs Recipe with Herbs

How to Make Juicy Flavorful Lemon Chicken Thighs

The chicken bursts with flavor thanks to fresh lemon, oregano, thyme, garlic, and mustard. We’re showing the recipe with chicken thighs, but you can swap them for chicken breast or even drumsticks.

How to Make Juicy Flavorful Lemon Chicken Thighs

There’s so much flavor in this recipe (read the reviews, everyone loves it). We prefer making this with bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, but as we mentioned above, you can use chicken breast or drumsticks. We love cooking with chicken thighs so much, we use them to make chicken noodle soup as well as this Indian-inspired chicken curry.

There are two steps to make the chicken,

First, sear spice rubbed chicken thighs, skin-side-down in a hot pan until the skin is brown, which renders some of the fat and makes sure that the skin won’t be flabby.

Searing chicken thighs, skin-side-down

Second, we flip the chicken, add chicken stock and lemon juice to the pan and then slide everything into the oven to finish cooking.

We do this with other cuts of meat, too. Take a look at this pork tenderloin recipe with apples. In that recipe, we sear the pork on all sides and then slide it into the oven to finish. This method makes sure that the pork or in our case, the chicken is ultra flavorful on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside.

Sliding pan of chicken thighs into the oven to finish cooking

Just before serving, we make a quick sauce by simmering the juices left in the pan with a bit of flour and butter. The flour and butter thicken the juices and makes a delicious pan gravy for spooning over the chicken. I especially love spooning lots of the gravy over creamy mashed potatoes.

After sharing this recipe, many of you asked for a slow cooker version. Our slow cooker lemon chicken makes melt-in-your-mouth tender chicken cooked in a lemon chicken gravy. Wow is it good!

Recipe updated, originally posted December 2012. Since posting this in 2012, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne

Easy Lemon Chicken Thighs with Herbs

  • PREP
  • COOK

These lemon chicken thighs are juicy, flavorful, and easy to make. The chicken bursts with flavor thanks to fresh lemon, oregano, thyme, garlic, and mustard. We love to use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, which we’ve found to be more tender and flavorful than chicken breast. With that said, you can use chicken breast or chicken drumsticks.

Makes 4 servings

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in, trimmed of excess fat

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

1 tablespoon lemon zest (1 teaspoon for rub and 2 teaspoons for sauce)

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons olive oil (1 tablespoon for rub, 1 tablespoon for cooking)

1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

1 1/4 cups (300 ml) low-sodium chicken stock, see our chicken stock recipe

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


  • Prepare Chicken
  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

    Make the rub for chicken. Combine mustard, one teaspoon of the lemon zest, oregano, thyme, salt and one tablespoon of the olive oil in a small bowl. Use fingers or a brush to coat chicken on both sides with the mustard rub.

    In another bowl or measuring jug, combine remaining lemon zest (2 teaspoons), lemon juice and the chicken stock. Set aside.

    • Cook Chicken
    • Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a large oven-safe skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the smashed garlic then cook about 1 minute or until you can smell toasted garlic and the garlic has browned around the edges. Remove and discard the garlic, but leave the oil.

      Add the chicken, skin-side down, into the hot garlic-infused oil and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the skin has turned golden brown.

      Flip the chicken then add the lemon juice mixture from before. Stir then slide the pan into the oven and bake 25 to 35 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reads 175 degrees F.

      • To Finish
      • Remove pan from oven then transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with aluminum foil. There should still be liquid in the pan. Place the pan over medium heat and bring the liquid to a gentle simmer.

        In a small bowl, use your fingers to mix butter and flour, making a dry, crumbly paste. Whisk the flour and butter into the sauce. The sauce will thicken slightly and look glossy. Nestle the chicken back into the pan then serve.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values. We omitted salt from the calculations since you will need to add to your tastes. We assumed four servings.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1/4 of the recipe / Calories 319 / Protein 22 g / Carbohydrate 5 g / Dietary Fiber 1 g / Total Sugars 1 g / Total Fat 24 g / Saturated Fat 7 g / Cholesterol 127 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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174 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Bridget August 7, 2022, 6:14 am

    Really delicious!

  • Kaitlin July 7, 2022, 6:30 pm

    This was absolutely delicious!!!!! It’s easy enough for a weeknight family dinner but could also be perfect for a dinner party. I had to resist the urge to lick my plate… that sauce is perfection!

  • Susie March 19, 2022, 12:13 am

    I made this recipe this evening and it was absolutely wonderful! Tasty, nice bright taste to the sauce, not to lemony (just enough). I’ve tried other lemony chicken recipes before and this one is the winner-winner chicken dinner!

  • alan davey January 12, 2021, 5:04 pm

    here from australia best chicken lemon ever also do you do air fryer recipes as i am a single old guy

    • Joanne June 18, 2021, 4:42 pm

      Hi Alan, We are thrilled you enjoy the recipe! We do not have any air fryer recipes. Sorry!

  • Roger November 24, 2020, 8:08 am

    This dish is wonderful and so easy.For the marinade I replaced dried oregano with finely chopped fresh lemon myrtle leaves – a fragrant tree used in cooking here in Australia. I also added fresh oregano, parsley, and thyme and green olives to the braising liquid. As I used chicken Maryland’s the cooking time was 35 minutes in the oven. When reducing the jus I used cornflour paste to obtain the right consistency and adjusted the sauce to taste with a little sugar to balance the tangyness of the lemon. Absolutely delicious, thank you.

  • Sandy I November 14, 2020, 9:49 am

    This chicken dish is simply thee best! Super easy to prepare and my family absolutely loved it. Chicken has amazing flavor and come out oh so tender! Thanks for all of your easy to make and enjoy recipes! Keep on cooking😀

  • RSP September 25, 2020, 6:18 pm

    First things first. Great chicken, so easy and so flavorful! A few notes: 1. my chicken took a lot longer than 2-3 minutes to get to that beautiful brown. Consequently the longer browning time meant that the chicken was closer to being fully cooked and needed much less oven time. I used a thermometer to check for done-ness. 2. Lots and lots of fat rendered, so I poured almost all of out it, leaving just a slick in the pan. I poured the broth/lemon into the pan before I put the chicken back in, which made it easier to get all that fond into the sauce. 3. I did not put any salt into the rub. Mustard is salty and even a low-salt broth, homemade or store-bought, has salt. 4. I used only flour to thicken for a few reasons. (Kosher; too much fat). The sauce was perfect. Thanks for this genius recipe!! 5 stars

  • mia January 29, 2020, 10:35 pm

    This was an easy and great recipe easy to follow steps and wonderful taste. Just loved it, thank you guys!

  • Hanifia December 9, 2018, 4:17 am

    This chicken was great! I mixed all of the spices, olive oil and lemon juice and rubbed it under the skin of the chicken and then over the top of the skin and poured the remainder in the cavity. I put about 3/4 cup water in the bottom of the pan and baked the chicken upside down with the breasts in the juices. I covered the whole thing in foil and in 2 hours the flavorful meat was falling off the bones. My company raved and everyone ate way too much. Served with baked apples, green beans and fresh bread. Delicious!

  • Zeida November 11, 2018, 8:02 pm

    Great recipe a sure keeper thank you it was yummy ?

  • Val September 23, 2018, 5:45 pm

    I used boneless skinless chicken breasts and it was wonderful! I cooked it completely on the stove. The breasts were juicy and tender. Served over rice pilaf. So,so, so good!

  • Eleanor Silbowitz September 19, 2018, 6:11 pm

    After the rub should the chicken be left to marinate for a period of time?

    • Joanne September 20, 2018, 12:54 pm

      Hi Eleanor, You can definitely let the chicken marinate for a while, but we usually go straight to cooking.

  • Tina August 30, 2018, 1:19 pm

    I got compliments on this chicken, it was sooo delicious. I give it 5 Stars.

  • Heather August 26, 2018, 4:36 pm

    I’d love to make this but don’t have a pan large enough that is oven safe. Would it be ok to let simmer cover on stove after searing both sides? Thanks

    • Joanne August 30, 2018, 12:40 pm

      Hi Heather, Absolutely, although baking in the oven will keep the skin a bit more crisp. You can also transfer the chicken to a baking dish to finish it in the oven.

      • Andrew Morrison November 4, 2019, 3:09 pm

        Found this on the off chance as struggling what to make. Everyone enjoyed it so just to say thanks.


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