Zingy Simple Lemon and Garlic Chicken Thighs

The very essence of simplicity and packed with zing and this garlic lemon chicken recipe can be on your plate in 40 minutes & 30 of that is all about relaxing

Portrait overhead image of chicken thighs cooked with onion lemon and garlic in an enamel cast iron pot

You Can’t Beat Lemon Chicken.

I love this simple chicken thigh recipe for a host of reasons, sure it is easy, of course it is delicious and it is cheap too!

But it is also one of those magical dishes the straddles the seasons so well.

In the height of summer the lightness of the lemon makes it feel gloriously summery. But in the depths of winter, it adds some much-needed brightness and fake sunshine to the dinner table.

The flavours in this lemon chicken recipe are European in influence and really very simple.

Ain’t nothing of exotic influence here, just some chicken with some really easy to find ingredients.

Really, classic flavour combinations that simply work!

Portrait close up image of chicken thighs cooked with onion lemon and garlic in an enamel cast iron pot

Ingredient Advice.

Kicking off with the chicken, I use bone-in skin-on chicken thighs.

Technically speaking cooking chicken on the bone does not result in juicier chicken… In a test kitchen anyway.

However, it is my prefered way of cooking chicken thighs when cooking them whole.

I find that the bone adds to the aroma of the dish and to the richness of the sauce.

It does not matter if they are cooked in the Instant Pot like these fruity chicken thighs or coated with big flavours like these pomegranate chicken thighs.

As this dish is super simple the only other ingredient with any notes to follow is the lemon. I always try and use unwaxed lemons in this recipe.

But if I cannot find them then I do not bother to try and rinse off the wax. It is a food-safe product and I do not find that it has any impact on the flavour or texture of the recipe.

If you only have waxed lemons and it bothers you, pour boiling water over them and give them a gentle scrub with a nail brush

Portrait close up image of lemon and garlic chicken thighs served with roasted onions and a millet side dish served on a white plate

Serving Suggestions.

As I have mentioned this recipe is very much one that straddles the seasons.

In winter I am inclined to serve this with a buttered couscous or even better a toasted millet.

In summer it is a simple green salad featuring anything that is good and fresh.

The lemon is not for serving but to flavour the sauce.

Add the chicken thighs and onion to a plate with your desired side and nap over a little of the sauce.

Lemon and Garlic Chicken Recipe

Lemon and Garlic Chicken Recipe

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

To call this lemon and garlic chicken recipe simple would be an understatement, just as calling it delicious would be!


  • 4 Chicken Thighs
  • 200 g Onion
  • 2 Lemons
  • 1 Head Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste


  1. Cut the lemons and head of garlic in half through the centre.
  2. Peel the onion and remove a little of the root, but keep enough to hold it together when cut.
  3. Cut the onion into 8 wedges.
  4. In a heavy based pan that can go into the oven sear your lemons over a high heat.
  5. Remove the lemons from the pan and add the olive oil and bring to temperature.
  6. Season the chicken thighs with the salt & pepper.
  7. Sear the chicken thighs skin side down until golden then turn over.
  8. Add in the garlic and lemons both cut side down, then the onion and sprinkle over the thyme.
  9. Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 200°C or 400°F.
  10. Use a meat thermometer to check when meat is cooked to perfection, place the probe into the fattest part of the chicken and look for an internal temperature of 73°C or 165°F.
  11. I like to mash some of the roasted garlic into the sauce before serving.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 757Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 37gCholesterol: 333mgSodium: 598mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 64g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

39 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. This chicken dish sounds divinely delicious. I love the combo of lemon and garlic and the fact that it can all be done in one pot! Fab!

  2. This chicken dish looks and sounds amazing! I love the combination of lemon and garlic. I will be trying this recipe.

  3. Hey Skip…

    Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed comment and thank you very much for flagging up a couple of areas where I could have done better… I love doing this but proof reading my own work is one of those things I really dislike and as you can tell I am not very good at 😉

    I’ll go through your points one by one and hopefully improve on something you liked.

    1: I cut the onion into 8 wedges (Updated in the recipe)… I do this as I like the onion to maintain a little shaped and texture but sliced thinly will work.
    2: This is one of those Whole Garlic clove dishes, I have confirmed it in the recipe, you can either peel the garlic or leave it in the paper like skin. In the cooking time this garlic will become very soft and mellow, if cooked in the skin it will need squeezing out as I find the paper like skin unpleasant to eat.
    3: I guess this is a case of two nations separated by the same language, in all fairness the UK is separated by the same language too… Singing something is a high fast burn so you end up with little caramalised sections. Sounds like you got it spot on.
    4: I’m working on a conversion plugin at the moment and have largely settled on using the °C to denote Centigrade, not sure how I missed this when I went back and to clarify my early recipes. I am really struggling getting my conversions to work with Cups but may abandon that notion and just run it with temperatures and weights.

    I hope you enjoy the recipe and thank you very much once again for taking the time to give me some pointers.

  4. Thanks for the great idea about roasting the lemon for some extra lemony kick! This chicken dish is going to come to my house soon. I have a bowl of lemons that need using. Enjoy your weekend I am following you on instagram and love your pics there!s

    • Thanks Diane, I do mean to post on Instagram more often but I never seem to get round to it. The lemons in this really are a star and searing them off just adds that little extra 🙂

    • Mine too Renee, there is just something so satisfying about using one… Mine has followed me around for 20 years and is never getting retired 😀

  5. Delicious looking chicken! I’ll definitely enjoy giving this recipe a try! We’re still enjoying sunny summer days, so this will be perfect!!

    • Thanks Renee, it is bright and vibrant and most importantly keeps you out of the kitchen, chuck it in the oven then come back, perfect summers day fare for me 🙂

    • Thank you, it really was so simple it hurts, throw it all in the pan, relax with a cooling drink… Go back 30 minutes later and eat, perfect for a hot summers day 🙂

  6. Thanks Roy, it really is one of the easiest things I cook, chuck it in a pan stick it in the oven and your only concern is making sure the chicken is not under or overdone… So easy it makes me feel like a bit of a fraud posting it 😉

  7. If only I could get shrimp I would give it a try, unfortunately being landlocked in the centre of Europe means no fresh seafood 🙁

  8. Definitely an easy one Jessica, I doubt I spent 10 minutes in the kitchen and then just throw it in the oven, grab a glass of wine and relax 🙂

    • Thank You very much, you should give it a whirl it is so quick and easy to make I almost feel like a fraud posting it 😉

    • That’s pretty much how we ate it, just picked some salad leaves from the garden (rocket worked really well), dressed it and that was all she wrote 🙂

    • Give it a go and let me know how you get on, I love it simple but satisfying… Just what is needed on a summers day 🙂


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