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Roast chicken thighs with garlic and lemon recipe

Roast chicken thighs with garlic and lemon recipe


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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Roast chicken
  • Lemon roast chicken

A family favourite! Chicken thighs and drumsticks are roasted in a pot with potatoes, lemon slices, garlic and thyme.


County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK

13 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 850g chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • 1 lemon, sliced into chunks
  • 1 garlic bulb halved or 6 - 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 10 - 12 baby potatoes
  • fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:1hr30min ›Ready in:1hr35min

  1. Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas 5.
  2. Arrange the chicken thighs and drumsticks, lemon, garlic cloves and potatoes in a heavy ceramic pot that has a lid. Drizzle with olive oil and scatter over thyme leaves. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cover with lid and roast in the oven for 1 hour, or until juices run clear.

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Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Oregano

Preheat oven to 425°. Very thinly slice half of lemon discard any seeds. Cut remaining lemon half into 2 wedges. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.

Step 2

Coat a large room-temperature skillet with 1 teaspoon oil. Add chicken, skin side down. Place skillet over medium heat and cook, letting skin render and brown, and pouring off excess fat to maintain a thin coating in pan, until chicken is cooked halfway through, about 10 minutes.

Step 3

Scatter half of lemon slices over chicken and half on bottom of skillet (the slices on top of the chicken will soften those in the skillet will caramelize). Transfer skillet to oven, leaving chicken skin side down. Roast until chicken is cooked through, skin is crisp, and lemon slices on bottom of skillet are caramelized, 6-8 minutes.

Step 4

Transfer chicken pieces, skin side up, and caramelized lemon slices from bottom of skillet to a warm platter. (Leave softened lemon slices in the skillet.) Return skillet to medium heat. Add oregano sprigs, shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Step 5

Remove skillet from heat. Add wine cook over medium heat until reduced by half, 1-2 minutes. Add broth cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Squeeze 1 lemon wedge over and season sauce with salt, pepper, and juice from remaining lemon wedge, if desired. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil. Return chicken to skillet, skin side up, to rewarm. Serve topped with caramelized lemon slices.

How would you rate Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Oregano?

I used small skin-on, bone-in thighs for this recipe. I added 10 minutes to both cooking phases to compensate (20 minutes stove, 16 minutes oven), and they were cooked to tender perfection. The sauce was good as written, but I added a touch of honey and hot mustard to liven it up. I also omitted the 2 tsp of oil at the end, because with respect, that's what grass-fed butter is for. I also removed the lemon slices from underneath the chicken just before serving. They added excellent flavor, but did not look very appetizing in the end. Served with mashed potatoes and roasted carrots.

I only had boneless skinless chicken thighs on hand so I modified this recipe. It still had great flavour with pretty presentation. I pan seared the chicken thighs and arranged them in a single layer in an oven-proof dish. I scattered the lemon slices over top with an extra squeeze of lemon juice and then poured the shallot, oregano, wine, stock, chilli pepper and broth reduction over top and baked until the thighs were cooked through. Quick, easy weeknight dinner. I’ll try the proper bone in version next.

The flavour is definitely on point, but like many other reviewers have said, the timing is incredibly inaccurate and way too low. On a cast iron on medium heat, I had to cook skin side down at least 12-15 minutes, pouring off liquid once every 2 minutes or so to ensure crispy skin. Then, I had to bake at 425 F at least 16-18 minutes (much longer than the 6-8 the recipe suggests). Great flavour recipe, but in terms of technique it needs to be tested much more. The recipe calls for 4 large thighs but reads like it was developed for 4 tiny thighs. My times were accurate for medium. With these adjustments, though, it turned out well.


HOW TO MAKE ROASTED CHICKEN THIGHS

For this chicken thigh recipe, I am using meat with the bone and skin in. If you’re trying to lower your calorie intake, I recommend removing the skin first. Thighs without the bone will need a few minutes less in the oven but will work fine following the instructions exactly.

The meat is marinated using dried oregano, garlic and lemon juice – a classic Mediterranean combination that works so well with white meat. The longer you can marinate the chicken the better it will be but even 20 minutes will suffice.

If oregano is not your speed, feel free to use some parsley, basil, thyme or coriander, or mixed dried Italian herbs.

The chicken is first cooked in a frying pan to seal in all the juices and to brown the skin. It is then transferred to the oven to finish. If you have a cast-iron or another oven-proof skillet, you can do the pan-frying and roasting in the same dish. Otherwise, use a pan and an oven tray.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH OREGANO GARLIC CHICKEN

Roasted chicken thighs will go well with a variety of side dishes. I served them with my pumpkin and beetroot salad as you can roast the vegetables at the same time as the chicken (give them a head start, though). A big, nutritious rainbow slaw salad or my Georgian salad will go great in summer or you can batch-cook my Spanish vegetable stew for a comforting, autumn or winter dinner.

For a more satiating meal, you can serve chicken thighs with quinoa, rice or sweet potatoes.


No-Fail Roast Chicken with Lemon and Garlic

This roast chicken recipe is proof that there’s really nothing simpler, more delicious, or more comforting than a beautifully browned roast bird surrounded by a puddle of buttery, garlicky pan juices. While cooking a whole anything can feel intimidating, this recipe is dubbed foolproof for a reason—it’s converted many an intimidated meat-cooker by eliminating the uncertainty of knowing whether the chicken is done. We’ve made that point easier to identify with lots of visual cues that anyone can follow, and if you do have an instant-read thermometer, you can feel free to use that, too: Just remove the chicken from the oven when the thickest part of the thigh hits 160°.

And it’s not just easy—it’s also delicious. We take it to the next level with lots of lemon and garlic and a “healthy” pour of melted butter to crisp up the skin while keeping the meat moist and tender. Consider this roast chicken, a hunk of good baguette, and a simple green salad your Sunday dinner from now on.

Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published November 9, 2018.

All products featured on Bon Appétit are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through the retail links below, we earn an affiliate commission.


Recipe Summary

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 (8 ounce) skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Place 3 tablespoons butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in a microwave oven until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Smash garlic cloves with the side of a chef's knife and add garlic to the warm butter. Stir in lemon juice and onion powder. Set aside.

Sprinkle both sides of chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium-sized oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken, skin-side down, for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip chicken over and brush skin with lemon-butter mixture. Pour remaining butter mixture into skillet and remove from heat.

Bake in the preheated oven until chicken is no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 30 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Brush skin every 10 minutes with pan juices.

Remove skillet from the oven and place chicken on a serving platter. Drizzle chicken with pan juices and garnish with parsley.


Pre-heat oven to 220°C/430°F/Fan 200°C/Gas Mark 7.

Score the outside of the chicken thighs and place in a bowl.

Add the olive oil to the bowl, along with the finely grated zest of the lemon and its juice.

Finely chop the garlic cloves and add to the bowl along with the stalks of tarragon and some salt and pepper.

Give the chicken a good mix and tip out the contents onto an ovenproof tray.

Chop the squeezed lemon and place on the tray around the chicken and then place in the oven.

After 40 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven. Discard the chopped lemon and serve.


Roasted Lemon Chicken Thighs

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 45 M
  • Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients US Metric

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 (about 3 lbs) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed with the flat side of a large knife
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 lemon, preferably organic, very thinly sliced (about 1/16 in |1.5 mm thick)
  • 1 store-bought or homemade preserved lemon, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce* (See * below)
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet with the garlic and thyme. Cook until golden brown all over, 3 to 5 minutes per side.

Pour the vinegar into the skillet and simmer until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and honey, shaking the skillet to mix the sauce.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the water, fresh lemon, and preserved lemons, and bring to a simmer.

Place the skillet in the oven and roast until the chicken is cooked through, registers an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), and the sauce has reduced to a thick syrup, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the chicken thighs.

Transfer the chicken to a serving dish and sprinkle with the parsley. Spoon the sauce from the skillet over the chicken. Serve immediately.

*A Note About Dark Soy Sauce and how to Make this Recipe Gluten-Free

Soy sauce comes in many variations, including light, dark, and sweet versions. For this recipe, dark soy is used for its rich flavor and slightly thicker consistency. Many brands of dark soy also contain a small amount of molasses, which adds the slightest hint of sweetness. (Black soy sauce, which has a more marked sweetness, is not recommended for this recipe.)

For a gluten-free rendition of this dish, simply substitute an equal amount of tamari (check the label to make sure it doesn’t contain wheat or any other grain) and a pinch of brown sugar, if desired.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Joanna Burnett

Delicious lemony flavor! I love lemon and this recipe did not disappoint. The combination of the fresh lemon and preserved lemon gave a really nice bitter lemon flavor balanced by the honey and soy sauce. This is a definite make again recipe.

When I bought the chicken, my grocery store didn't have bone-in, only boneless so I bought 8 boneless and the weight was close to 3 pounds. Adding vinegar to the pan reducing time was just seconds. One tablespoon in a super hot pan is reduced by half almost instantaneously. After adding the water, the chicken was done after 15 minutes and the sauce was fine but not syrupy. It was delicious as it was but a little thickener would add a nice touch to the sauce. When making again, I will add 1/4 tsp cornstarch, just enough to add a little more body to the sauce.

We had this with steamed rice and roasted broccoli. A bit of sauce on the rice was fabulous and the cooked lemon, both sliced and preserved, was SO yummy!

Irene Seales

Love a recipe that comes together so easily yet has a complex flavor and takes humble ingredients to a new place. Of course, any recipe with lemon and chicken gets my attention, and blending the fresh and preserved lemon is delicious, but what makes this so “more-ish” is that the use of the dark soy and honey bring the lemon flavors to a perfect balance. No single note of sweetness or sourness, but a blend that's interesting and seems more complex than the actual individual elements—a brilliant pairing that gives a lushness to the sauce.

This is not your sheetpan crackling crisp chicken, but it has all the same ease with a bit more developed sauce and with no more time or effort. I made a half recipe and used an enameled cast iron pan with slightly higher sides than a frying pan and two handles, which makes sliding it into the oven from stovetop easy and safe.

I began with the thighs skin side up and gave them 3 to 4 minutes before turning, then gave the skin side a good 4 minutes, turned them back over skin up, and made sure to reduce the heat by the time I was adding the dark soy and honey so I didn’t risk scorching, and jostled everything to make sure the pieces had a coating on all sides (the skin is nicely browned but will not stay shatteringly crisp). Almost as soon as the sauce starts bubbling, it thickens and you can now slide this into the oven. I checked and ended up giving it about 18 minutes, and each piece was 170 to 178℉ when checked with a Thermapen.

What makes this such a memorable and special treatment is the flavors are so well balanced. That said, I included the flesh of preserved lemon (removing seeds) and so I made sure to not oversalt the meat in the beginning. The end result was just right for us, and there was a nice amount of sauce—much appreciated with rice and a flageolet salad (which also let us have the restraint to stop at one piece per person, tho it was so very tempting to have seconds).

File this under delicious chicken dinner in 45 minutes and a reason to preserve lemons. Did I mention that chicken thighs may be the best dinner miracle ingredient ever?

B. Shanly

This chicken was yummy if you love citrus. It was very easy to prep for and took no time to complete. Easy to make as a weeknight meal. I especially liked the bite when I got a small piece of the preserved lemon. The chicken stayed very moist and the flavors really infused the entire dish. I will try it again using chicken breast.

Nadine Bonda

This roast lemon chicken thighs recipe makes a very flavorful chicken and a dish that's easy enough for a weeknight family meal but tasty enough for company. The combination of preserved lemon and fresh lemon provided a wonderful subtle lemon taste for the chicken while the sherry vinegar, dark soy sauce, and runny honey provided complexity. The sauce is wonderful and should be passed alongside the chicken.

Although I served this with just a large salad and it worked well, it would also be terrific over rice or another grain. Since I am a fan of boneless chicken and I liked the flavors in this recipe, I tried it a second time with skinless, boneless thighs, and it was wonderful. It took a shorter period of time in that I cooked it on each side for 2 minutes and left it in the oven for only 5 minutes. It was juicy and flavorful.

Jenny Latreille

I was hesitant to try this because I'm actually not crazy about lemon. I figured that double lemon would be far too much for me to stand but I was very, very wrong. This chicken is an absolute delight. It is, of course, rather lemony, but the other strong flavors balance it all out. The dark soy sauce, garlic, and all that honey turn the abundance of lemon into a rich sauce that's absolutely full of flavor.

This dish is quick to prepare but the taste belies how incredibly easy it is to get it on the table. It didn't take long for the sauce to reduce, maybe 10 minutes, until it was rich and syrupy.

I served this with roasted green beans and pasta with olive oil and capers. I didn't add much salt to anything else, as the lemon sauce was salty on its own. The sauce was really, really fantastic on everything. I almost felt like there wasn't enough because it was so tasty.

Peter Quick

My first read of this recipe made me think of honey garlic chicken that we might order at a Chinese restaurant. When I have had honey garlic chicken, it has typically been too sweet, so knowing that there was double lemon in this recipe, I thought this would counteract the too sweetness and make for a tasty dish. This roast lemon chicken thighs makes a good dinner. The flavors were rich and layered, and most importantly, the final product is not too sweet.

This recipe comes together very easily. I have never used preserved lemon before. It was a good addition to the recipe (and something I will try again in other recipes).

To accompany the Double Lemon Chicken, I made jasmine rice with peas which was a perfect companion.

Michelle Stein

I suppose that by beginning this review at the finish, this could be considered a backwards entry, but the finish was so much more positive than the start! I often make chicken thighs, and they are a staple in my household. This was delicious.

My usual preparation of thighs/chicken pieces involves a sheet pan, various vegetables depending upon what is in the fridge, and then the appropriate seasonings, all depending upon the slant aimed for on that particular day. More thighs than we need are always put in the oven because the leftovers are happily anticipated for lunches, soup, or just plain old snacking. I happened to have made a batch of preserved lemons early on in the pandemic and so I was eager to try this recipe. It was a great opportunity to use my lemons, which I often incorporate into Middle Eastern dishes. This recipe provided a perfect pairing for the preserved lemons with the thinly sliced fresh lemon. While slightly more labor-intensive than the "throw on the sheet pan" method, this recipe provided a wonderfully savory and interesting sauce that paired so well with the chicken. Save for the preserved lemons, this recipe calls for pantry-friendly ingredients and would be a treat for both family and guests.

I found the dish to be too "blond" so I put it under the broiler to crisp the skin and improve the visual appearance. I may remove the chicken next time and reduce the sauce slightly to thicken a bit more.

Paul N.

Preserved lemons are an old favorite of mine, dating back to the 1980's in Salt Lake City where they were impossible to find. I learned to make my own, and kept them stocked in the back of my refrigerator up until about a year ago when I realized all the good local (Seattle-area) grocery stores stock them. So I tossed my jars of preserved lemons (and limes!) to save space and started buying them individually when needed.

Fast forward to the present day when this lemon chicken caught my eye. Perfect for a weeknight dinner after work: simple to prepare, quick to cook, and with flavor that packs a punch. The only problem: the local food cooperative where I get our groceries told me they no longer stock preserved lemons. The formerly high-end grocery store chain now owned by a company that used to advertise itself as the world's largest bookstore asked me if "preserved lemons" meant "lemon juice." I gave up the search after striking out at a third grocery store with high-end ambitions. Then, back home, I found a jar of preserved lemons in the back of a pantry shelf. Their provenance is questionable and the flavor was muted, but I was in business. On to the testing.

Side notes on home-preserving lemons:
There are variations on how to preserve lemons my version, probably cobbled from cookbooks before the internet made recipe searching easy, is simple and only requires two ingredients: lemons and salt. After washing the lemons, slice from top to near-bottom twice to nearly quarter the lemons but leave them connected at the bottom. Drop a tablespoon or so of coarse kosher salt in each lemon from the top (amount depends on lemon size, but isn't critical). Stuff the lemons in a clean jar with a wide lid (else they won't fit). Add enough fresh-squeezed lemon juice to completely submerge the lemons and fill the jar. Put the lid on, shove the jar in the back of your garage refrigerator, and forget about it for at least two months. As far as I know, the lemons will keep indefinitely.

It didn't take me long to consider preserving limes as another variation. The results are even better than preserved limes. You can preserve them both in the same jar, and since limes are usually smaller you can fill the bottom with lemons and top off with limes when the remaining space is too small for lemons. Use lemon juice or lime juice, or a mix, to fill the jar.

Having tried limes, it was inevitable that I would eventually try preserving kumquats, lemonquats, and limequats. Also keffir limes and Key limes. Also adding bay leaves, other whole spices, and hot peppers.


Slow Roasted Garlic and Lemon Chicken

This is one of those recipes you just can't make once: that's to say, after the first time, you're hooked. It is gloriously easy: you just put everything in the roasting dish and leave it to cook in the oven, pervading the house, at any time of year, with the summer scent of lemon and thyme - and of course, mellow, almost honeyed garlic. I got the idea of it from those long-cooked French chicken casseroles with whole garlic cloves and just wanted to spritz it up with lemon for summer. The wonderful thing about it is that you turn the lemon from being a flavouring to being a major player left in chunks to cook slowly in the oven they seem almost to caramelise and you can eat them, skin, pith and all, their sour bitterness sweetened in the heat.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

This is one of those recipes you just can't make once: that's to say, after the first time, you're hooked. It is gloriously easy: you just put everything in the roasting dish and leave it to cook in the oven, pervading the house, at any time of year, with the summer scent of lemon and thyme - and of course, mellow, almost honeyed garlic. I got the idea of it from those long-cooked French chicken casseroles with whole garlic cloves and just wanted to spritz it up with lemon for summer. The wonderful thing about it is that you turn the lemon from being a flavouring to being a major player left in chunks to cook slowly in the oven they seem almost to caramelise and you can eat them, skin, pith and all, their sour bitterness sweetened in the heat.


Preparation

Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels and lay them, skin side up, in a single layer on a baking sheet. Put the baking sheet in the refrigerator, uncovered, and refrigerate the chicken overnight or for at least 8 hours. Take the chicken thighs out of the refrigerator 45 minutes before you're ready to cook them, to bring them to room temperature.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 500°F.

Trim and discard the root end of the onion and cut the onion in half root to tip. Cut each half in half again root to tip so the onion is quartered. Separate the layers of the onion, stack 2 or 3 layers at a time on top of one another, and slice 1⁄4 inch thick lengthwise.

Spread the onion slices and garlic cloves in a single layer in the center of a large baking sheet to create a bed large enough to nestle the chicken thighs in a single layer. Lay the lemon slices on top of the onion and garlic and scatter the thyme sprigs and rosemary sprigs on top of the lemon.

Prepare a double bed of paper towels on a flat work surface to put the chicken on. Remove the chicken thighs from their baking sheet and put them, skin side down, on the paper towels. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the pepper over the bone side of the chicken thighs. Turn the chicken thighs and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the pepper on the skin side of the chicken. Transfer the chicken thighs from the paper towels to the baking sheet, nestling them, skin side up, snugly next to one another on the bed of onions and seasonings. Once you've laid down all the chicken thighs, push the onions inward with your hands so they are not spread out wider than the thighs. If the chicken skins appear wet, pat the thighs dry with paper towels and season them again.

Roast the chicken for 40 to 50 minutes, until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a small knife. Turn the oven to the broiler setting and move the chicken so it is closest to the broiler. Broil the chicken for about 5 minutes, until the skin is deep golden and crispy.

To serve, move the chicken thighs off the bed of seasonings and fish out and discard the lemon slices. Spoon the thyme, rosemary, onions, and garlic onto a large round or rectangular serving platter. Using tongs, lift the chicken thighs off the baking sheet and lay them on the bed of onions and garlic. Serve with tongs.


Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken

Preheat the oven to 350°. On a work surface, mince the garlic with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl and whisk in the lemon juice, rosemary, sweet paprika, cumin, hot paprika and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Whisk in the olive oil.

Using your fingers, gently loosen the skin from the chicken breasts, thighs and drumsticks try not to tear the skin. Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper and put the chicken in a roasting pan. Using a small spoon, pour all but 1 tablespoon of the seasoning mixture under the skin of the chicken, rubbing it into the breasts, thighs and drumsticks. Rub the butter under the skin of the breast meat. Rub the remaining 1 tablespoon of the seasoned oil all over the chicken and season it with salt. Put the reserved lemon halves in the cavity of the chicken and tie the legs together with twine.

Roast the chicken for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices from the cavity run clear and the chicken is browned and crisp. Let the chicken rest in the roasting pan for 15 minutes.

Tilt the chicken to drain the juices from the cavity into the pan transfer the chicken to a carving board. Pour the pan juices into a bowl and skim the fat from the surface. Strain the juices into a small saucepan and keep warm over low heat. Carve the chicken and serve with the pan juices.



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