This is a great baked lemon chicken thighs recipe, If you don’t already love chicken thighs, I am determined to get you to love them at least a fraction of how much I do. These chicken thighs with lemon are easy, flavorful and fancy enough for guests but easy enough for a quick weeknight meal too.
I love how I can do anything while this Paleo baked lemon butter chicken bakes and how it makes a delicious lemon butter sauce right in the pan. It gets such a wonderful, deep flavor from browning the chicken in brown butter and then those yummy bits from the bottom of the pan.
I love chicken! If you have followed my blog for my long, you understand what I mean. I eat grilled boneless skinless chicken breast almost daily (usually tossed into my salad at lunch). Even though my love goes deep for chicken breasts (that could be grossly misinterpreted…anyways, moving right along) I like to switch it up every once in a while.
My favorite way to switch up my chicken recipes is to use chicken thighs. They are dark meat, so they have a little bit more fat and flavor, and are also cheaper than chicken breasts. Organic boneless skinless chicken thighs frequently go on sale at my local grocer, so I usually buy a pound or two when they do. I can’t pass up a sale on high-quality meat.
Chicken breasts also tend to dry out really quickly and are really easy to overcook, while chicken thighs tend to get tender and juicy when overcooked a bit. Think of chicken breasts for fast and high heat and chicken thighs for slow and low heat.
I actually made myself some of these for lunch the other day, that’s how easy they are…and no, I don’t “cook” myself lunch every day – I am not that crazy – promise. I just had some thighs defrosted in the fridge, and they sounded really good, so I whipped some up for myself.
Anyways, they are easy and so flavorful. The little bit of butter and rosemary is so dang tasty with all of the lemon flavor, and it makes the dark meat of the thighs almost melt in your mouth – really it is so GOOD…so the next time you see chicken thighs on sale, buy some and try this recipe. You won’t regret it!
Once it’s in the oven, you have plenty of time to make a side or dessert while you breathe delicious smells from the oven. I love how all the ingredients in this dish are things most people keep on hand, except maybe the coconut milk. I guess just because I have several boxes of coconut milk in my house, doesn’t mean everyone does. However, if you don’t have coconut milk, you could sub heavy cream or half and half and it should work fine too.
I actually came up with this recipe while on a family vacation in a little kitchen and I had only brought a few ingredients with me, so I put everything I had in a pan and it was this huge hit.
I love how this makes its own sauce that you can use to put over a side dish, like rice, mashed potatoes, etc. You could even add a little thickener and make some lemon gravy if you want. Sometimes I add a little squirt of mustard to this dish and it gives it a subtle kick. Parmesan cheese would be good sprinkled over the top (if you don’t do Paleo) and you could also add some veggies, like onions, peppers, zucchini, summer squash or mushrooms and I bet that would be delish too.
Or if you don’t like soggy vegetables, roast your veggies separately in the oven at the same time so they are crispy and you could still use the veggies to sop up the lemon sauce. I haven’t tried it myself, but I’m sure chicken breasts would work ok too.
Tips and tricks
- Rosemary is really easy to grow indoors with a grow light or if you are lucky enough to have a bright window. Or it grows well outside in the garden. We get pretty cold winters here in Utah, like usually a few days under 0 degrees F and we’ve been able to get rosemary to weather over the winter. We’ve found if you can get it to last the first winter, there’s a good chance it will last for a long time. You just have to find a somewhat sheltered spot, like against the house or fence in the sunny part of the yard. And yes, it is worth the effort. We use rosemary on lots of food around here.
- If you don’t mind a little extra fat, adding a little extra butter and lemon fresh at the end is really good.
- Sometimes I throw in some fresh garlic cloves in the pan in the oven for even more flavor.
- The honey is totally optional. It is good, but I really try to limit my sugar and often leave it out.
I would love to know if you try this recipe and what you think of it. Please comment below and let me know what you think!
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Baked Lemon Chicken Thighs Recipe
I love how I can do anything while this bakes and how it makes a delicious lemon butter sauce right in the pan.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 70 minutes
- Total Time: 80 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Main Dish
- Cuisine: American
- 4 Tbl Grass Fed Butter (ghee for Whole30 or a fat of your choice for dairy-free like avocado oil or coconut butter )
- 6 Chicken Thighs (Either with the skin on and bones in or boneless skinless. Nutrition information is for boneless, skinless.)
- Real Salt
- Black Pepper
- 4 Cloves Garlic (thinly sliced)
- 1 Tbl fresh Oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 Cup Chicken Stock
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Cup Coconut Milk
- Fresh Oregano (to garnish)
- slices Fresh Lemon (to garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat a ceramic coated dutch oven over medium/high heat. Add the butter and melt. Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of the chicken.
- Add the chicken to the hot butter, skin side down. Let chicken cook for a few minutes, until a deep, golden brown. Flip chicken over and brown the other side as well. Remove the chicken thighs from the pan and set aside.
- Add the garlic and oregano and sauté for 30 seconds. Pour in the chicken broth and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and stir for one minute to deglaze the pan. Add the chicken thighs back into the pan and pour the coconut milk over the top. Bring to a boil and turn off the stove. Place the dutch oven in the preheated oven and bake for an additional 50-60 minutes (40-50 minutes if boneless, skinless) until internal temperature reads 165°F.
- Chicken skin should be crispy and meat tender when chicken is done. Place chicken on a platter. Taste the sauce and add more salt, if needed. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with fresh oregano and lemon slices.
Keywords: Baked, Easy, Healthy