I have a love hate relationship with lemon chicken. It has to be a done a certain way before it takes. It should have some skin or a crispy battered shell. Cause if it’s just plain Jane naked chicken cubed and all with a lemon sauce, I’m not gonna be all enthusiastic about it.
But this one has CRISPY skins so it’s all good. I know the skins are super crispy heaven because I made a honey mustard version of them. Those skins didn’t stand a chance. The chicken was moist and juicy too cause it’s chicken thighs. They just taste so much better than breasts. I suppose that’s the trade off, cooking longer for more flavor. This recipe is enough to feed six people with some sides. Or if there’s just the two of you it’s good for the next day too.
Instead of just chucking in some lemon juice and slices in there, I’ve tried giving it deeper flavor with some fresh garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar and honey. There’s other seasonings too like thyme and oregano.
You could just use plain lemon juice or cut up a few slices of lemons and place them under the chicken while it bakes to caramelize nicely or in between the thighs. It’s up to you. Lemon slices optional. Although I have found the lemon slices great for adding more flavor once you get down to eating the meat. Just kinda mix it in with the juices from the lemon slices and you get instant flavor.
As with all chicken thighs, this will take awhile to bake but it’s pretty hands free after the prep stage. It’s done in either 45 minutes or when the juices run clear when pricked with a fork or when the meat thermometer reaches 175 degrees F.
- 6–7 bone in, skin on chicken thighs (about 3 lb.)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper to taste
- In an oven-safe skillet over medium high heat, sear the thighs on both sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes each side. Drain any excess oil and arrange chicken thighs skin side up
- Mix garlic, lemon juice, honey, soy sauce, brown sugar, thyme and oregano
- Spread the lemon sauce on the thighs
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes or until the juices run clear. A meat thermometer should read 175 degrees F
- Drain off any excess fat before serving
- Dish and serve hot