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 or watch our quick recipe video showing you how we make it.
Watch Us Make The Recipe
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.
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.
- 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.
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
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.
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
- Cook Chicken
- To Finish
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.
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.
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.