We love these easy 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!
Watch the Video
Related: We love this simple whole roasted chicken!
How to Make Juicy Lemon Chicken Thighs
This simple chicken thighs recipe is absolutely delicious, thanks to fresh lemon, oregano, thyme, garlic, and mustard. We love using chicken thighs, but you can swap them for chicken breast or drumsticks. So add this one to your rotation; you won’t regret it!
This recipe has so much flavor (read the reviews, everyone loves it). There are two steps to follow when making this recipe:
First, sear spice-rubbed chicken thighs, skin-side-down, in a hot pan until the skin is brown. This step renders some fat and ensures the chicken skin is golden brown and crisp.
Second, we flip the chicken, add chicken stock and fresh lemon juice to the pan and then slide it into the oven to finish cooking.
This two-part process keeps the chicken juicy and tender. We use this process with other cuts of meat. For example, take a look at this recipe for Pork Tenderloin with Apples. In that recipe, we sear the pork on all sides and then slide it into the oven to finish. This method ensures the pork is golden brown, delicious, and perfectly cooked inside.
Before serving our lemon chicken thighs, we make a quick pan sauce by simmering the juices left in the pan with flour and butter. The flour and butter thicken the juices and make a delicious pan gravy for spooning over the chicken or sides like Creamy Mashed Potatoes or these Mashed Sweet Potatoes!
Slow Cooker Version! 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 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
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.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
1 ½ 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 ½ 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 ¼ 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
1Heat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
2Make the rub for chicken. Combine mustard, one teaspoon of lemon zest, oregano, thyme, salt, and one tablespoon of olive oil in a small bowl. Use your fingers or a brush to coat the chicken with the mustard rub on both sides.
3In another bowl or measuring jug, combine the remaining lemon zest (2 teaspoons), lemon juice, and the chicken stock. Set aside.
- Cook Chicken
1Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large oven-safe skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the smashed garlic, then cook for one minute or until you can smell toasted garlic and the garlic has browned around the edges. Remove and discard the garlic, but leave the garlic oil.
2Add the chicken thighs, skin-side down, into the hot garlic-infused oil and cook for two to three minutes or until the skin has turned golden brown.
3Flip the chicken, then add the lemon juice mixture from before. Stir, then slide the pan into the oven and bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reads 175 degrees° Fahrenheit.
- To Finish
1Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the chicken to a plate, and loosely cover it 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.
2Use your fingers to mix butter and flour in a small bowl, making a dry, crumbly paste. Whisk the flour and butter into the sauce. The sauce will thicken slightly and look glossy. Nestle the chicken thighs 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.