Pan Roasted Lemon Chicken
These chicken thighs are amazingly crisp and flavorful, and you won’t believe how easy this is to make!
As Jason and I are trying to stay away from red meat, we’ve been eating a lot of chicken, from this BBQ chicken salad to this easy lemon chicken. But as I still had a Costco-sized bag of lemons to use up, I decided to put them to good use in this pan roasted chicken. Now when I say “pan roasted“, I mean a 2-step process. But there’s no need to be alarmed – it’s unbelievably easy and foolproof!
A lemon rub is made first with a handful of pantry ingredients and of course, lots of lemon goodness. One that’s brushed onto the chicken, you’ll give it a nice sear in a hot pan to get that amazingly crisp skin. Then you’ll pop that right in the oven until it’s cooked through. Done and done.
I told you it was easy! And with that crusty skin and the juicy meat just oozing with lemon-herb goodness, this dish is sure to be a hit with the entire family.
Pan Roasted Lemon Chicken
- 1 ¼ cups chicken stock
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the lemon rub
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- To make the lemon rub, combine olive oil, mustard, lemon zest, oregano, thyme and salt in a small bowl. Using your fingers or a brush, work the lemon rub onto both sides of the chicken.
- In a large bowl, whisk together chicken stock, lemon juice and lemon zest; set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Add chicken stock mixture.
- Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
Did you make this recipe?
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This is a favorite recipe of ours. I’ve made it many times.
This time, I wasn’t feeling well and didn’t sauté chicken beforehand. I couldn’t stand for a long time at the stove. It was actually better! The rub didn’t get burned in the searing.
Mustard takes it to a whole new level. Thank you so much. We use chicken quarters. A great lower carb recipe!!!
I was only able to find bone in, skinless thighs. Any tips to adapt for skinless? Can’t wait to try this!
This review is long over due this is by far my husband‘s favorite chicken dish I make I’ve used this recipe about six times now making it tonight and realized I havent posted a review! follow it to a T and it is delicious!! Thank you
Best chicken I have ever made!!!! Husband was amazed. LOL. We don’t love cooking chicken, but doing more with bone-in thighs and I think that is the way to go. I accidentally started it in a skillet that I wouldn’t put in the oven for 30 min at 400…so I added stock to pan with chicken, deglazed the pan after searing the chicken. I let it simmer with the lid on for about 5 mins, then transferred the chicken to a baking dish (skin side up) and then poured the liquid from skillet into baking dish..then baked for 25 mins. It turned out incredible. Super juicy and crispy skin. This will be in regular rotation. Also, I didn’t have whole grain mustard so used high-quality dijon and added about 1tsp of minced garlic to the rub and it was incredible. Thank you!!!
This was EXCELLENT!!!
I was just diagnosed as diabetic, so I can’t make many of your recipes now. Maybe someday.
But this recipe is fabulous! The whole grain mustard takes it to a whole new level!’n
That did you serve these with? I am thinking some nice tender roasted red potatoes.
Hi Claire! My absolute favorite side dish is the garlic parmesan roasted potatoes. But please feel free to check out all of my side dish recipes here.
I made this for my very picky husband and two boys. They loved it, but I backed off on the lemon juice It was too sour last time.. I made pasta aoili, salad and braised zuchini as accompaniment. I added a tablespoon of flour to thicken sauce just a bit. the sauce blende with everything super nicely. don’t ‘forget to pull out your liquids and take out some of the fat/oil. then return to the pan and THEN add a thickener. flour //corn starch
Thank you for sharing Jane!
This sounds delicious. I cant eat mustard though. Can you suggest an alternative to the mustard
Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.
OMG! This was soooo damn delicious!
Made this last night. The sauce was so flavorful that I ended up using it on my noodles and dipping my broccoli into it. Definitely on the meal rotation plan now.
Didn’t have whole grain mustard, so just used honey mustard. Only used 2 tsp, instead of 1tbs, in case the kids complain about the “spiciness”. It was soooo yummy!
Will any mustard work or does it need to be whole grain?
Yes, any mustard should work but whole grain is best!
I have made this 1 time and it was great. Will be making again this weekend and will add 1 heaping tbl of bottled minced garlic with the broth. Lemon chicken and garlic chicken are our two favorite dishes, So why not do a little combo action? Will follow up after the weekend.
When internal temp reaches 162, I increase the temp to 500 degrees to crisp the top a little more. 30 min is just about right on the cooking time I have found.
Please do! It sounds amazing!
Made this tonight and loved the flavor. Had to cook my chicken for 55 minutes before it was done! Thanks for the recipe.
Chicken stock or chicken broth?
Either will work!
Am going to make this tonight with a whole, cut up chicken. I plan to serve it with some leftover spinach & artichoke rotini that I made the other night.
I love how absolutely simple this is and it uses ingredients I always have on hand. I may try a variation sometime with smoked paprika & garlic instead of the thyme and oregano.
This is a wonderful recipe. I mixed orange with the lemon juice and zest and added 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes to the lemon rub. Yum!
Can you use a glass dish for the oven roastin or does it have to be in the skillet?
Nope – a glass baking dish is perfect.
I wish you had a print option that shows the pictures as you make your recipes! Step by Step pictures are the best!
What type of skillet is oven proof, besides cast iron?
I’ve made one of your recipes each weekend for my son and every one has been amazing! Thank you for what you do!
You are so welcome! 🙂
Stainless steel cookware can also be oven-safe. Hope that helps!
Thank you! Making this tomorrow, can’t wait!
I have a set of Calphalon Professional that is all oven proof.
Farberware is also oven proof
1 and 1/2 cups of liquid for 8 thighs ???
I ended up with boiled chicken !!!
A D, what kind of pan did you use? It is best to use a shallow pan.
I didn’t see the weight watcher points anywhere???
Weight watcher points are not provided – please use free online resources to obtain such information.
Does this taste totally mustardy or is it minimal?
The mustard taste is very minimal.
I made this tonight …omg it was amazing!!! I just didn’t have any oregano so I used basil instead. And still it was out of this world!!!!
My husband & I LOVED this. I added a few scallions, a small crown of broccoli & served it with simple boiled potatoes. The chicken came out sooo very flavorful and the skin was very crispy. Thanks for a great recipe. Love your website.
I used this recipe and it was delicious! Love all the lemony flavor! It was even better with home-grown-and-dried thyme. I had to use a longer cooking time – my thighs may have been a bit larger than the ones pictured here. Also I had to wear them longer than it says in order to get a nice crisp skin. Bonus – zesting lemons makes the kitchen smell amazing.
Awkward, *sear not wear. Lol that would be weird.
I want to make this but don’t have thyme. Is there something else I can use in place of it that will still make it tasty? I’m just trying to be resourceful and use what I have at the house. Any suggestions? Thank you!
You can substitute other pantry herbs that you have on hand – oregano, basil, etc.
Made this tonight and it was so quick and easy! I wasn’t sure what kind of mustard to use but ended up using ground mustard (the spice) and it was good! I served with roasted brussel sprouts and roasted parsnips that I roasted in the oven at the same time as the chicken – super easy! I’m sure it would work well with any roasted vegetables. Thanks!
Okay, so I currently have this chicken in the oven. Let me first say it is the simplest recipe to make, very mess free and kid friendly. My 3 year old daughter loved to help making the broath & rub. My personal favorite part of this recipe is the searing of the skin. It brings such an amazing aroma into the air.
If you’re lost on sides, this time I’m making jasmine rice and butter asparagus. Next time I plan on making mashed red potatoes with roasted veggies (maybe asparagus again
WOW – just made this it was absolutely delicious. Thank you!!!
I took the fat off the thighs, ugh I completely forgot!! Lol. But the chicken still turned out great!
I had a former boss over for dinner and tried the chicken AND the roasted asparagus! Delicious! I used fresh organic chicken. Will make it again! Yum! Thank you!
I made this over the weekend & it turned out great! I didn’t have a lemon on hand but used an orange instead. Still delicious & the family loved it.
Just cooked this with boneless, skinless thighs and it was a total flop. Not good. Eatable but not good. Darn, I was hoping it would! I can’t find any really tasty natural chicken dishes with boneless and skinless chicken. My children are picky eaters!
Oh no! I hope you get a chance to try this with bone-in, skin-on thighs as the recipe states – the results are completely different!
I loved this with skin on bone in thighs but my kids are fussy too and wouldn’t eat it.
They do love this recipe for boneless and skinless thighs:
After reading concerns about the amount of liquid I reduced chicken broth to 1 cup and juiced 2 meyer lemons to get enough juice (they’re smaller than regular lemons). We followed the recipe with the rub, searing, & oven roasting. Our results was crispy skin with tender chicken in a lemony broth. This dish would be most appreciated with something to sop up the broth but we served ours over leftover roasted zucchini. Indeed, this was daaaamn delicious!!
Just got done eating this. Everyone enjoyed it! The whole grain mustard really added a nice flavor to the rub! I could drink that broth like it was soup! We served it with green bean casserole and buttery red potatoes. Superb!
This recipe looks yummy. I am making it tonight. Is it okay to do the rub a few hours before, and then just leave in the fridge until ready to cook? Maybe take out of fridge 1/2 hour before cooking so it’s not super cold? Thanks and really looking forward to making this!
Yes, that should work just fine!
Thanks!! I’ll get started now!
Discovered this recipe yesterday afternoon. Had 3 hungry 11-year-old boys at the table. It was a real hit! I too love the pan sear/braise combination, it does seem to intensify the flavors. I managed to pack about 10 thighs into my extra large pan and used Dijon-style mustard. Superb!
I’m so glad you commented! I totally had no clue what whole grain mustard was; I looked for it in the SPICE section. Knowing dijon worked well is saving me a trip to the grocery store 🙂
I didn’t have the correct mustard on hand, so I used spicy brown mustard and it came out great!
This recipe is absolutely AMAZING! It has become a regular in my household! Thank you!
we added a little shake of lemon pepper seasoning to the chicken after putting our servings on our plates…it was very good for those who want a little more zing
I’m making these right now for the 3rd time…its definitely becoming a staple on my weekdays! Thanks for such an easy, flavorful recipe!
Like the other poster, I followed the directions exactly and ended up with cooked chicken thighs swimming in the broth mixture. I seared my chicken thighs just like you said, then placed the broth mixture on top of the seared chicken and placed it all in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, but the 1 1/2 c of chicken broth mixture did not reduce in the oven. 🙁
Jan, the chicken broth is not really meant to be reduced in this recipe. The purpose of the broth is to let the flavors meld along with the chicken thighs in the oven.
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This looks amazing and will be cooking it this week! Just curious as to which sides would compliment this dish. I was thinking maybe some green beans and potatoes, but that sounds boring!
That sounds amazing! We served it with some rice and loved it!
I made this with skinless, boneless thighs, AWESOME. The next day I used pork tenderloin, it was just as awesome. I cooked it in my electric frying pan, didn’t want to heat up the house more in this 100 degree weather. It worked perfect.
I would like to make this for a family dinner on Sunday. Can the searing part be done before hand? Then pop it in the oven at a later time?
Unfortunately, I do not recommend searing beforehand as this may result in a soggy texture.
Made this tonight along with the Garlic Mushroom Quinoa. They were both super easy and the family loved the meal! Love your blog and look forward to trying more of your dishes!
I didn’t have whole grain mustard and subbed Dijon. DELISH!!!!! I did have some war wounds, burnt arm in frying the skin, but soo worth it!!
Tried this recipe yesterday and it was damn delicious!!!!!! Light and refreshing. Thank you
This is one of my new go to recipes! It is so full of flavor! My only addition was minced garlic into the chicken broth mixture (so it doesn’t burn in the browning process) great recipe!
I just made this for dinner tonight but the skin doesn’t seem to be that crunchy 🙁 I followed the recipe to a T!
Sharon, unfortunately it’s really difficult for me to help troubleshoot what went wrong since I was not in the kitchen with you. Perhaps the thighs weren’t seared appropriately or the oven temperature was off, causing the thighs to lose it’s crispness.
I made this for dinner yesterday and it was delicious! Easy for a weeknight meal, too. I’ll definitely add this to our “repeat” list.
I made this tonight and it was a delicious! The only change was adding a tablespoon of honey to the chicken stock.
making this tonight- can’t wait! I think i’m going to serve it on pan fried polenta wedges with a corn salad on the side. i’m missing summer!!
What can I use if I don’t have an oven-proof skillet?
You can transfer them to a baking dish.
I don’t have any skillets or pans that can go into the oven, would it be fine to sear the chicken then transfer it to a baking dish and pour the chicken stock in then?
I made this last night using boneless, skinless thighs. I managed to achieve the same color and it was very good!
I made this tonight for my husband and five year old along with steamed asparagus and penne pasta (for my husband). I couldn’t find the required mustard so wound up using the basic yellow variety and I hoped there would be a nice punch of flavor but ultimately it was quite average. I don’t know if the mustard makes that much of a difference. I probably won’t make it again but I liked the crispy skin and may use that method for future recipes.
Kristy, my recipes call for certain ingredients because those ingredients work best. Substituting various ingredients will result in a mediocre outcome.
The chicken is in the oven! Can’t wait to taste it.
I love chicken thighs, but have family members who don’t. Have you tried the recipe with breasts or drumsticks? Looking forward to making this, looks delicious!
JJ, I recommend using skin-on breasts or drumsticks. That crisp skin is the star of this dish!
Chicken thighs are my favorite part of the chicken! This recipe looks easy and so delicious! I love how crispy your chicken looks. I was wondering though, would adding the chicken stock before putting it in the oven make the chicken less crispy? I’ve roasted chicken thighs in the oven over a grill pan without any liquid and it turned out nice and crispy yet juicy. Would adding the chicken stock in the pan make the chicken less crispy? Thanks in advance for your help and keep up the lovely work! Your site is wonderful!
I would love to see a section on your favorite recipes too. There are so many yummy recipes that I want to try. It would be great to see what your favorites and start with those.
Eunyoung, feel free to add the chicken stock before or after placing it in the oven. I prefer to add it before to really let the flavors meld and to give the chicken thighs more moisture. As for a favorites section, I honestly love ALL of my recipes. I only add the ones that I TRULY love and enjoy.
I made this for dinner tonight and it turned out amazing! So easy and foolproof, it’s hard to make a mistake. I will definitely be making this again! I noticed the original recipe with the flour and butter after I made this, but the sauce still turned out great. So moist and flavourful, I can’t say enough about this great dish! 🙂
I’m so glad you were able to give it a try! As for the butter-flour mixture, I gave that a try myself and I honestly did not see that it made much of a difference. It was actually just another extra step, which is something we don’t need on those busy weeknights when we’re scrambling to get dinner on the table!
Making this right now with Maryland pieces….the kitchen smells amazingly good & it was so easy too….trying this out in a cast iron grill pan as well…
Looks delicious, will be trying this tomorrow. I will not use flour for thickening either, I wii just stir some butter into juices in bottom of pan and that should thicken it a bit.
Is there anyway of making the recipe smaller for printing. I don’t want to print all the pictures too. Thanks.
Mary, you can use the “PRINT” function in the recipe box to print the recipe only.
Question, Do I add all 8 thighs to the pan or cook them in batches?
Teon, that really depends on the size of your skillet.
Also, I wanted to inquire about the chicken stock mixture. I see that you could only fit 6 in your pan. How much of the stock mixture did you add? Your pan looks to have very little liquid going into the oven.
Heather, I added the entire stock mixture to the pan.
This may sound dumb, but I put the lid on when I transferred the chicken to the oven. Don’t do what I did, or bid your crispy skin goodbye! It was still good, but I miss that beautiful crispness. 🙁 Chung-Ah, you may want to add that into your recipe for clueless people like me!
What a bummer! Yes, adding the lid will definitely get rid of the amazing crispy skin. And for my recipes – if a lid is required, I will add that to the instructions. I hope you get a chance to give this a second try!
Nope. Definitely not a braise.
Making these for dinner tonight…can’t wait!
I am in love with the simplicity of this dish. I bet it tastes amazing, it looks perfect 🙂
Aghhh I’m drooling already! And I am loving this!
I can’t wait to try this – love the simplicity of the recipe, Chung-Ah! This would be a great dish to serve to guests!
Oh, love chicken thighs Chung-Ah the skin gets all crunchy and delicious! The marinade sounds awesome, especially with all that lemon! Pinned!
How many lemons did you use to get a 1/4 cup lemon juice?
I use one lemon, not enough zest ( I has some already frozen from another use to add to this one). And just under 1/4 cup.
Use two lemons and freeze the extra.
Oh my gosh, I LOVE that crispy outer crust on those thighs! Haha, that sounded weird. It’s so fantastic that it’s all prepared in one pan – I’m a huge fan of that!
New cook here! Is that prepared mustard or dry?
You can find whole grain mustard at your local grocery store. It is neither prepared nor dry.
Whole grain mustard is a prepared mustard
Most folks would refer to prepared mustard as yellow mustard. I have never seen a wholegrain mustard being referred to as prepared mustard.
I just looked at the original recipe and saw that you omitted the flour in yours. Would the sauce still thicken up without the flour?
Giselle, feel free to add in the flour as the original recipe recommends. I tried it out myself and didn’t really see much of a difference. It was more of hassle to transfer the chicken thighs elsewhere!
Lemon chicken is one of my favorites! Your version looks so juicy and yet crisp on the outside! 🙂
Yummm! These look so juicy and flavorful.
LOOOOVE lemon chicken; it’s so bright and fresh and yet savory and all delicious. And the quicker it can get into my belly, the better. 🙂
This looks fabulously easy! Does it make much of a sauce? What do you serve it with?
It makes a little bit of a sauce. And you can serve it with any kind of side dish really – we served it with rice but some roasted vegetables would also work great with this.
I’ve made this dish three times over the last six months or so, and I’m making it again for a dinner party tonight. It’s super easy to throw together, is really cost-effective because chicken thighs are so darn cheap, and OMG it is so delicious!
I use the leftover thin sauce/pan drippings and thicken it up a bit with either flour or cornstarch. (take some of the hot liquid out first and mix it together before adding it to the main pan – will avoid lumps). It turns into this wonderfully light lemony sauce, just thick enough to add an extra oomph if you need it. I always make roasted red potatoes and fresh green beans with this dish, and the sauce pairs well with both of those as well.
Lemon chicken is a long time favorite of mine – it just is so easy and so delicious!! This looks like a rockstar recipe. That skin looks so perfectly crispy. Pinned!
Fantastic job, that looks absolutely delicious! Great job 🙂
Happy Valley Chow
Your chicken looks so juicy and flavorful. Gorgeous!
Looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it.
I love the method you used, part braising/part roasting with the most amazingly crispy skin – looks totally delicious!
It doesn’t have a lid on it in the oven does it? It’s open liquid reducing to a sauce?
Technically that’s not braising.
Unless there is a lid on it for the steam to condense and return? Now I’m confused.
That crispy skin is gorgeous, Chung-Ah! Chicken thighs are my favorite, so I can’t wait to try this lemony goodness the next time I buy a package.
I’m just wondering if it would be possible to do this with skinless thighs, or chicken breasts?
You must certainly can, but you won’t obtain that crisp skin, which is really the beauty of this dish!
If we do use breast, how do you suggest we adjust the time/temperature on it? Lower and slower?
Unfortunately without further recipe testing, I cannot advise on the appropriate cooking temp and time. Please use your best judgment.
I tried without skin, kept it I oven for a tad bit longer, but it came out crisp and delicious. Thank you for the yummy idea. Also maybe a tad bit oil to compensate for no skin, but delicious and moist nevertheless.
Wow. This looks delicious. Delicious food and very nice fotos!
This looks delicious. Lemon and chicken are always a great combination and I love the use of thighs. So much tastier!
Yum, this looks so good. I have a bag of lemons that have been looking for inspiration too. This will be great to try!
Sorry. More rambling. I wanted to tell you I made a lovely roast chicken on Friday. I shmeered it with garlic butter and it was sooooo good. The chicken was falling off the bone.
I don’t know if we get something you don’t, but I doubt it. Packets of little potatoes that go into the microwave? We had those too with butter. Of course. My veggies weren’t very good. Next time I’ll use different veggies.
you’re clearly an idiot. see a therapist
Be nice, Ella.
Be nice, Ella.
I believe she might have been ‘in her cups’ as mom used to say. I’m sure she will be coherent the next time.
A question Jo. Roughly for 6 people with 8 thighs!
My family would need almost double that. At the moment we are 12 with some very large appetites. My wonderful skinny granddaughter told me last week when I asked if she’ll eat jacket potatoes said she eats anything! As a child she got them all eating broccoli and cauliflower etc because she loves them. Have you forgotten what I sort of asked after all this rambling? 🙂
Judy, I’m a little confused if a question was asked in your comment. If you’re questioning the serving size, feel free to double or triple the recipe to suit your family needs. I can personally stomach about 1-2 chicken thighs but I guess it really depends on what you are serving this with.
I love roasted chicken and that lemon rub sounds incredible. Can’t wait to try this!