Easy Lemon Chicken Thighs

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

Lemon Chicken Thighs Recipe Video

Related: We love this simple whole roasted chicken!

How to Make Juicy Lemon Chicken Thighs

We have a bit of a love affair with chicken and lemon. See our Lemon Baked Chicken Breasts, Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken Thighs, Lemony Marinade, and Whole Roasted Chicken with (you guessed it) lemon!

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!

Juicy Flavorful Lemon Chicken Thighs

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.

Searing chicken thighs, skin-side-down

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.

Sliding pan of lemon chicken thighs into the oven to finish cooking

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 Recipe with Herbs

Easy Lemon Chicken Thighs

  • 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 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.

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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176 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Michelle Trebtoske December 20, 2022, 10:06 pm

    This is quite literally one of the best chicken dishes I have ever made and that says a lot because I’ve made probably thousands of chicken dishes in my life and I’m 54 and love to cook. It’s juicy flavorful deliciousness. The gravy is amazing.

    • Adam September 18, 2023, 12:16 am

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe 🙂

  • Nancy vella December 10, 2022, 7:36 pm

    It is truly a wonderful dish! Loved it. My only problem was getting the rub to spread. Any suggestions? By far the best chicken dish yet!

  • Bridget August 7, 2022, 6:14 am

    Really delicious!

    • Adam September 18, 2023, 12:17 am

      Thank you for coming back to let us know you enjoyed it 🙂

  • 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!

    • Adam September 18, 2023, 12:17 am

      What a nice review. So glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  • 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.


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