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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172 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Leanne April 8, 2018, 4:42 am

    Great easy recipe. I doubled all the ingredients except the chicken. Added some orzo pasta and baked it in the over. Added chopped up asparagus I ln the last 10mins. delicious and loving the 1 pan clean up afterwards.

  • Julie Parkes January 2, 2018, 3:40 am

    This was an amazing meal. The flavors were absolutely beautiful. I actually converted this to cook in my pressure cooker. I kept to the recipe but instead of the oven it was cooked in the pressure cooker. It turned out so well and my husband said that it was the best lemon chicken that I had cooked. We had it with rice and salad. Will make this again and again. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

    • Heike February 8, 2018, 1:14 pm

      How long did you cook it in the pressure cooker?

      • Joanne February 8, 2018, 2:09 pm

        Hi Heike, We have not made this recipe using a pressure cooker, however, it is definitely possible. I’d still render and brown the skin of the chicken. Then follow the manufacturer’s guide for locking the lid and preparing to cook. I’d expect to cook on high, for 8 to 10 minutes.

  • Pat Yates December 31, 2017, 10:42 pm

    Made this chicken tonight and my family loved it! Served it over rice with a vege and clean up was so easy!

  • Sparrow August 8, 2017, 7:56 pm

    I made exactly as described and it was wonderful–my family insisted I copy out instructions in case I forgot where they came from. Loved the easy to follow steps and use the quasi-roux in other dishes. So easy! Thanks!!! People who think it’s too sour: maybe your taste is different than others, or perhaps you scraped off too much of the white (pith)–be gentle 😉

  • Olivia July 26, 2017, 7:55 pm

    This recipe turned out terrible. The chicken stock was bland and sour. Will not make again. I think I’ll stick to the traditional family recipes from now on.

    • Garry August 24, 2017, 1:29 pm

      Add honey to taste after adding the flour. That will balance the acid from the lemon.

  • Helen July 17, 2017, 8:30 pm

    Made this dish this evening, great reviews by all. Will be repeating this delicious recipe for certain. I followed the recipe fairly close with one exception….it was baked it in a Dutch oven for 40 minutes in the floured base sauce, Perfect results.Thanks for the recipe.

  • Emily Thomas June 19, 2017, 7:37 pm

    I make this recipe all the time and it’s one of my favorite chicken dishes.

  • Angélique May 15, 2017, 8:42 am

    Bonjour, je découvre avec plaisir votre blog.Cette recette de poulet est très alléchante, je vais faire la recette dimanche et je vous dirai le résultat. Bonne journée!

  • Farida March 18, 2017, 11:25 pm

    Tried it but had to make some major changes as I found the broth bland but overly sour. I would recommend using a Meyer lemon instead of regular lemons for more flavor and less tart. I added one cup each of broth and coconut milk, along with ginger garlic parsley turmeric and a bay leaf for additional flavor and in an effort to tone down the exceptional tartness. It did the trick. Baked covered In a cast iron Dutch oven and served over cheese tortellini. No need to thicken with flour. I find it an exceptional base recipe instead.

  • Elyse March 12, 2017, 3:27 am

    I made this chicken tonight 3/11/17. It was delicious. I forgot to pat the chicken off, but the herbs still stayed on the chicken. We served it with a little bit of pasta with butter, parm and a little fresh parsley. I have made Chicken Marbella from the Silver Palate cookbook a thousand times. I was searching for a new chicken recipe. This is my new go to recipe for chicken. Both adults and kids loved it. Thank you!!!!

  • sharyn caruso January 13, 2017, 9:23 am

    i made this the other day, was looking for a recipe made with thighs. OMG we flipped over this. what a great winter dish. i just printed it out so we will have it forever. YUMMMMM

  • Charlotte Gordon November 27, 2016, 3:08 pm

    Loved it! Didn’t have the specific type of mustard described but used a grainy, dijon and all turned out well 🙂

  • Dawne T October 25, 2016, 7:39 pm

    I just made this last week and it was Delicious!! Thank you so much for the recipe! Keep them coming please!!

  • Mar September 24, 2016, 12:42 pm

    Wow. I never tried a recipe from a blog, but I am so glad I did and from your blog because this recipe was so delish! I made it two weeks ago and next week, I will be making it again!

  • Michael Malone August 10, 2016, 1:52 pm

    I marinated this all night in the spices !! Up very early this morning and finished it for breakfast !! It was so easy and had a very very savory flavor and tender. Later in the day I opened the fridge and found the lemon juice and zest still sitting in another container !! LOL Even without the extra lemon juice it was wonderful. Thanks for sharing the recipe !


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