Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken // shutterbean

My brother and I like to have these conversations about what dishes we enjoyed the most while growing up. My mom’s Lemon Chicken always comes up in the top 5 because THE SAUCE OMG THE SAUCE. We would fight over the crispy burnt onions on the edges of the glass baking dish; my mom never had to work hard to scrub the pan. Having a sibling who also loves crispy bits was a just a weeeeee bit dangerous. Fights ensued and then came taunting. Growing up is fun!

Lemon Chicken // shutterbean

Now, I’m the only person in my family that likes crispy bits (totally awesome!) but Cooper and I BOTH are pizza crust people so I guess there’s that…We fight over Casey’s crust…

Lemon Chicken // shutterbean

Let’s get back to the sauce. It’s dreamy/tangy and the onions are mostly soft while some of them are crispy!  My parents were out of town and I didn’t want to bug my mom asking her for the recipe so I came up with my own interpretation.  First I used olive oil instead of butter. If you want to sub butter for olive oil, she uses about 1 stick. Or– you can go half & half. Either way, it makes a delicious sauce. The olive oil is just as good.  My mom also uses chicken thighs on the bone while I go boneless. Casey doesn’t like having to cut around the bones (I don’t blame him!) so we almost always go boneless.  She also dredges the chicken in flour before she bakes it. Doesn’t do much for the texture but I assume it thickens the sauce? I also added a bit of parsley at the very end to garnish and some sliced lemons in the mix. Fancy!

Any who- this is a pretty quick/easy recipe with a big impact. I almost always serve it with rice and a side of broccoli. I hope one day you’ll have people talking about how it’s one of your top 10 meals. Enjoy and thanks, Mom!

And we’re off!

Lemon Chicken // shutterbean

We’re gonna chop up the onion, mix the herbs with the olive oil (or butter) and add the thyme & oregano.

Lemon Chicken // shutterbean

See? The juice of 1 1/2 lemons goes in as well.

Lemon Chicken // shutterbean

Now we stir in the chopped onions & garlic.

Lemon Chicken // shutterbean

Lightly oil up the baking dish you’re going to bake the chicken in. Add the onion mixture on top and stir!

Lemon Chicken // shutterbean

Season with salt & pepper and divvy up the lemon slices around the chicken.

Lemon Chicken // shutterbean

And we’re baked! It takes about 35-40 minutes at 375F. If you want to make the sauce creamier, add a little butter at the end.

Lemon Chicken // shutterbean

I highly recommend serving the chicken over rice. It’s really good with potatoes too.

Lemon Chicken // shutterbean


Lemon Chicken // shutterbean

Here are those burnt bits I was telling you about…

Lemon Chicken // shutterbean

Lemon Chicken

serves 4

  • 1  1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for pan
  • juice of 1  1/2 large lemons, plus 5-6 slices of lemon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • kosher salt & pepper
  • chopped Italian parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 375F.  Lightly drizzle olive oil in a glass baking dish or enamel pan. Add chicken thighs and set aside. In a large measuring cup or bowl mix together olive oil, lemon juice, onion, garlic, thyme and oregano until well combined. Pour onion mixture over chicken thighs and toss to coat. Nestle lemon slices around the chicken and season with salt & freshly cracked pepper.  Place chicken into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes (depending on the thickness of the chicken), until chicken is thoroughly cooked and the juice is bubbling. Cover the pan and let chicken sit for 5 minutes and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve on top of rice, making sure to spoon the juices on top.

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  • Debbie

    I use those seasonings in everything & they only make everything better. I don’t know about the oil…I’ve since bought a new bottle but oil wouldn’t turn bitter even if it was stale would it?

    • Tracy

      Perhaps it was the lemons then? I am sorry it didn’t work out for you!

    • Johanna

      The bitterness was from the lemon slices. The pith from the rind released its bitterness while cooking. I ruined an otherwise perfect piccata by adding slices to the sauce while it was cooking. The next night I made the same dish without adding the slices, no bitterness. It may have to do with the variety of lemon — not sure why others didn’t have that problem. But I’m making Tracy’s dish tonight (looks really good!) and will trim the pith from the slices before cooking just to be on the safe side.

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  • Marie

    This is in the oven right now. My house smells delicious. We will have it over rice. Can’t wait to try it :-)

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  • Donna

    I have made this several times and it is my favorite chicken thigh recipe. It is so good. I usually make cauliflower rice to go with it. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Emily

    Four questions:
    1. Will this recipe work without thyme??
    2. Can you use cilantro in this??
    3. Will it taste the same if you cut the outside of the lemon?
    4. Will frozen chicken thighs work out for this dish???

    • Tommy

      No thyme? Of course… It just won’t have thyme flavor.
      Cilantro? Why not. Experiment!
      I’m unsure what you mean by cut the outside of the lemon?
      Why wouldn’t frozen ones work? Once you that them they’re, guess what, raw chicken thighs!

  • Jenny Wylott

    Delicious! Kenny and Jasper cooked them for me on Mother’s Day. I loved them! BTW how do you get all these recipes? Tracy, you are absolutely marvellous. Please reply, maybe send some pix. So long!

    Jenny W.

    Kent Manor, Abersonne Street, Charleston

    Please contact me by email.



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