Juicy Lemon Chicken Thighs

These are the most delicious lemon chicken thighs! This is truly one of my favorite chicken thighs recipes, with so much flavor from fresh lemon, herbs, and garlic. The chicken turns out super flavorful, juicy, and tender.

Lemon Chicken Thighs Recipe Video

We’ve been making these lemon chicken thighs for years! They are absolutely delicious and packed with flavor.

With this recipe, you’ll enjoy perfectly cooked, juicy chicken thighs with golden brown and crispy skin. If you don’t have skin on chicken, don’t worry. With this easy recipe, you can use skinless thighs, drumsticks, and even chicken breasts (tips below).

Juicy Lemon Chicken Thighs

Key Ingredients

  • Chicken thighs: I use skin on, bone in chicken thighs for this recipe. I love the golden brown crispy skin, but if you only have skinless chicken thighs, it’s okay. I’ve also made this recipe with drumsticks and chicken breast with great results.
  • Mustard: The base of our flavorful rub. I use whole-grain mustard, but Dijon works nicely, too.
  • Lemon: I use fresh lemon zest and lemon juice in this lemon chicken thighs recipe. I add the zest to my mustard rub and the juice to the skillet for our simple sauce.
  • Oregano and thyme: Add classic flavor to our rub. Use fresh or dried (I use dried in the video).
  • Garlic: I use garlic to make a garlic-infused oil, which I then use to sear the chicken. It’s so good!
  • Chicken broth: Helps make our lemony sauce. You can use store-bought or homemade. Here’s our homemade chicken stock and our recipe for chicken broth.
  • Butter and flour: To thicken our simple lemony sauce, I stir in a small amount of butter mixed with flour. The combo thickens the sauce and makes it glossy.

How to Make Lemon Chicken Thighs

The secret to perfect, juicy, and tender chicken thighs is to sear them on the stovetop before finishing them in the oven. I also follow this method for cooking pork chops and chicken breasts.

To make the chicken thighs, rub them with our easy mustard rub, which consists of mustard, lemon zest, oregano, thyme, salt, and olive oil. This rub adds so much flavor to the chicken!

Rubbing chicken thighs with a lemon mustard rub for one of my favorite chicken thighs recipes.

For a garlic flavor, toss a couple of garlic cloves into oil in the skillet you plan to cook your chicken in. Let it cook until toasty, then remove the garlic and sear your chicken thighs skin-side down in the garlic oil until the skin looks crispy and golden brown.

Searing chicken thighs, skin-side-down for golden brown skin.

Fip the chicken in the pan, then add fresh lemon juice, chicken stock, and more lemon zest to the skillet. Stir to scrape any stuck bits from the bottom of the pan, slide it into the oven, and bake until the chicken is cooked through (about 30 minutes).

We bake chicken thighs at 400°F. This higher temperature helps them stay juicy and tender without drying out. Since the chicken thighs bake with the lemony broth, they stay super moist and juicy in the middle.

Placing a  pan of lemon chicken thighs into the oven to finish cooking (there is lemon juice and chicken stock in the pan also, which keeps the chicken thighs super moist and tender).

Move the baked chicken thighs to a plate, and then finish the sauce by bringing it to a simmer and stirring in a paste made of butter and flour. This simple trick will thicken your sauce and turn it into a lemony gravy (so tasty).

Thickening the lemon gravy to serve with our chicken thighs.

Storing Tips

Leftover chicken thighs last, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen chicken thighs overnight in the fridge.

To reheat, place on a rimmed baking sheet or in an oven-safe skillet and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

What to Serve with Lemon Chicken Thighs

These lemon chicken thighs have an amazing, creamy pan sauce! We love serving these chicken thighs with something that will help soak it up like our homemade mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, fluffy homemade biscuits, or pita bread.

I also love adding extra veggies to my plate and especially enjoy a side of quick sautéed cabbage, crispy roasted broccolini, or sautéed green beans. They’re the perfect complement to the chicken thighs. Adam also LOVES these with our fermented sauerkraut.

More Chicken Thigh Recipes

Chicken thighs with golden brown skin cooked in a lemon and herb sauce

Juicy Lemon Chicken Thighs

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

These lemon chicken thighs are juicy, flavorful, and super easy! You will love the spice rub made with lemon, oregano, thyme, garlic, and mustard. We prefer bone-in, skin-on thighs for the best flavor, but chicken breasts or drumsticks work, too. For skinless chicken, add a bit of extra oil.

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

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice, from 1 large lemon

1 ¼ cups (300ml) low-sodium chicken stock, see chicken stock recipe

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Directions

  • Prepare Chicken
  • 1Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).

    2Make the rub for the chicken thighs. 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.

    2Add 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.

    3Place 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.

    4Flip 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°F.

  • To Finish
  • 1Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the chicken thighs to a plate, and loosely cover it with aluminum foil.

    2There should still be liquid in the pan. Place the pan over medium heat and bring the liquid to a gentle simmer.

    3Use your fingers to mix butter and flour in a small bowl, making a dry, crumbly paste.

    4Whisk the flour and butter into the lemony sauce. The sauce will thicken slightly and look glossy. Nestle the chicken thighs back into the pan, then serve.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Should you cover chicken thighs when baking? We like crispy skin, so we rarely cover our chicken thighs. This lets them get golden brown and delicious!
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We omitted salt from the calculations since you will need to add to your tastes.
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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183 comments… Leave a Review
  • Zoe Stone July 2, 2024, 3:09 pm

    I liked that this can be made in advance. I gave it a trial run tonight to serve to guests at the weekend. It was perfect. Your instructions are so clear and concise, plus the video was helpful. I’ll be serving it with total confidence. Best lemon chicken I’ve ever made! Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Adam July 3, 2024, 6:47 pm

      You are so welcome! Glad you loved it 🙂

      Reply
  • Pamela April 15, 2024, 10:35 pm

    Juicy Lemon Thighs: Flavorful, juicy . . .OH My, easy to make! We recommend that you try it first; and OH how quickly you will also add this to your “Favorite List for chicken recipes!”

    Reply
  • Peter March 18, 2024, 7:09 pm

    Absolutely love this recipe. I also use gravy over basmati rice which is very good as a side. Followed recipe exactly and wouldn’t change a thing.

    Reply
  • S March 5, 2024, 5:14 pm

    Can you make in advance and reheat next day?

    Reply
    • Joanne March 8, 2024, 7:57 pm

      Hi there, Yes! I’ve updated the article with reheating instructions. I like to reheat in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

      Reply
  • Diane klauber November 10, 2023, 4:18 pm

    I have shared this recipe with so many people. I need it for a group of ladies and everyone loved it. Just made it last night and he might’ve myself how good it was. No changes to it at all-love it!

    Reply

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