Add a citrusy twist to your usual chicken recipe with this incredibly flavorful and appetizing Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs. Simple yet bold in taste, this chicken dish is bound to have your taste buds dancing with excitement.
Easy, delicious recipes like this Easy Chicken Breast Schnitzel- French Style, Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken With Potatoes, or Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken are perfect for those busy weeknight dinners when you need something scrumptious but don't have hours to spend in the kitchen.
They're also fantastic for those impromptu gatherings where you need to whip up a crowd-pleasing dish that looks like you've put in more effort than you actually have.
Whether you're a seasoned chef or a cooking newbie, these recipes have got your back.
Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs is an easy recipe and a favorite due to its delightful fusion of zesty lemon, aromatic thyme, and tender, juicy chicken. The thighs are marinated in lemon juice, thyme, and other spices and are baked in the oven.
While it's a year-round favorite, this dish especially shines during summer months when lemons are in their prime and outdoor dining calls for light, tangy flavors.
This chicken with lemon and thyme can also grace your holiday dinner table as a refreshing break from traditionally heavy dishes.
Ingredients and shopping tips
This recipe uses simple ingredients that you probably already have in the pantry.
- Chicken Thighs: The star of the show. Chicken thighs are used for their moist and flavorful nature but can be swapped with breasts if you prefer leaner meat. You can also use a whole chicken cut up in pieces if you prefer other parts of it.
- Green onions: Adds a mild, sweet onion flavor. Red or even regular onions can be used as substitutes.
- Thyme: Gives an earthy, slightly minty flavor to the dish. If fresh thyme leaves are not an option, dried thyme works just as well., dried thyme works just as well.
- Garlic: Enhances the overall taste of the dish. Garlic powder could be a potential substitute, but I prefer the fresh one.
- Lemon: Fresh lemon juice provides the dish with a refreshing, tangy flavor. Lime can be a suitable substitute.
- Butter: For richness and flavor. Olive oil can be used as a healthier alternative.
- Salt & Pepper: To enhance the overall taste of the dish.
- Optional: Fresh parsley or cilantro for garnishing the dish, slices of limes or lemons for decoration.
For those who like a little heat, feel free to add some crushed red pepper flakes to your marinade. If you're preparing the dish for kids, you might want to tone down the garlic. Some might even prefer to add some sweet elements like honey or maple syrup to balance the lemon's acidity.
I use a round enamel baking pan for roasting the chicken, but you can also use a 9x13-inch glass, metal, or ceramic pan. If you're using a glass pan, remember that it takes longer to heat up and retains heat for longer than metal pans. This could result in a slightly longer cooking time.
How to make this recipe
Preparation: Start by placing the chicken thighs skin side down in your baking dish or roasting pan. Ensure there's enough room for all of them. Use a sharp knife to make a lengthwise slit along the thigh bone of each piece.
Making the marinade: In a separate small bowl, combine your chopped onions, thyme, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, lemon juice from fresh lemons or limes, and melted butter. Mix everything well.
Marinating the chicken thighs: Spoon your prepared marinade over each chicken thigh, spreading it evenly. Once all the chicken thighs are covered with the marinade, cover the dish with plastic wrap.
Refrigeration: Allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours. If you've got time, preparing the chicken the day before and leaving it to marinate overnight is even better.
Preheating the oven: When you're ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375F/190C.
Cooking the chicken: Remove the plastic wrap and cover the chicken with aluminum foil. Bake in your preheated oven for about an hour.
Final touches: After an hour, remove the foil and continue baking the chicken for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the chicken turns golden brown.
Garnishing and serving: Decorate the Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs with lemon slices and fresh coriander, if you like. Serve it hot, ideally over rice.
Rice recipe ideas
The secret to a wonderful meal is the use of fresh ingredients. Also, to maximize the flavor, make sure you spoon the marinade into the slits you've made in the chicken thighs. You'll end up with a more flavorful, juicy chicken that's infused with the delicious lemon and thyme flavors right through.
How to store
The chicken pieces can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, place it in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes or until it's heated through.
This dish can also be frozen for up to 3 months. After the chicken has completely cooled, place it in freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
To reheat, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then heat it in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until it's warmed through.
Leftovers make a perfect meal for either lunch or dinner.
Yes, you can, but keep in mind that chicken breasts cook faster than thighs and can dry out if overcooked.
You can prepare the chicken and marinate it the day before for a deeper flavor.
Yes, you can, but keep in mind that bone-in chicken thighs generally yield more flavor. If you're using boneless thighs, you might need to reduce the cooking time to prevent them from drying out.
Check out the web story for this recipe: How to Make Lemon Thyme Chicken
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Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs Recipe
- 8 chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or one teaspoon of dried thyme
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 large lemon, juice or 2 medium limes
- 6 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- lemon or lime slices
- fresh parsley or cilantro
- Place the chicken thighs skin side down in a baking dish or roasting pan that accommodates all of them. Using a sharp knife, make a lengthways slit along the thigh bone of each.
- In a small bowl place chopped onions, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice and melted butter. Mix well, then spoon the mixture over each chicken thigh, spreading evenly. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours. You can also prepare the chicken the day before and leave to marinate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375F/190C. Remove the plastic wrap and cover the chicken with aluminum foil. Bake for about an hour. Remove the foil and continue baking further 5-10 minutes, until the chicken turns golden brown.
- Garnish with lemon or lime slices and fresh coriander if you like, and serve over rice.
- Cooking a delicious meal safely is key to maintaining a healthy kitchen. When cooking chicken, ensure that the meat is cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to kill any potential bacteria.
- Always use separate utensils for handling raw and cooked foods to prevent cross-contamination.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw chicken.
- Leftovers should be stored promptly in the refrigerator and consumed within four days for the best quality and safety.