Lemon Chicken
Lemon Chicken

This easy lemon chicken recipe is perfect for a weeknight dinner! Not too lemony, just right. It consists of garlic, butter, lemon, thyme and rosemary.

Heard at the market, “I’m a bosom girl.” “Really? I’m definitely a thigh girl,” pause… “dark meat, so much more flavor.”

Video: how to make lemon chicken


lemon chicken

Tips for preparing lemon chicken

Lemon is acidic and helps balance out the stronger flavor of the dark meat in thighs and legs and the fat in the chicken skin.

Of course, you can use chicken breast if you prefer. Depending on the size of your pieces, you may not need to cook them as long as thighs.

Don’t you like the skin? Not everyone does. But cook with the skin if you can. Cooking with the skin not only protects the meat from drying out, it also envelops the chicken in the aroma of the skin as it cooks.

A fan favorite

This recipe has been one of the most popular on Simply Recipes for years. It’s easy to make – just a simple marinade with lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and herbs and then pop it in the oven.

And the taste is right! Not so lemony that it makes your mouth curl. Goes perfectly with rice, butter noodles, angel hair noodles or mashed potatoes.

Want more easy chicken recipes?

  • Fried Chicken with Cheesy Orzo and Zucchini
  • One Pan Pepper Chicken with Potatoes and Tomatoes
  • Fried chicken with baby bok choy
  • Skillet Chermoula Chicken
  • Cheesy Bruschetta Chicken Chops

lemon chicken

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
45 minutes

60 minutes

total time
115 minutes

up to 6 servings


  • 3 to 4 lb chicken parts (thighs and legs recommended), with skin, bones, trimmed of excess fat

  • 4 teaspoon Lemon peel (about zest of 2 lemons)

  • 1/3 Cup lemon juice

  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed

  • 2 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried)

  • 2 teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoon melted butter

  • lemon slices for garnish


  1. Marinate Chicken:

    In a large non-reactive bowl, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper and whisk together.

    Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut about 1/2 inch into the bottom (skinless) of each chicken piece once or twice. (This will help the marinade penetrate.)

    Place the chicken pieces in the bowl and turn to coat with the marinade. Place in the fridge and marinate for 1 to 2 hours.

  2. Place the chicken in a casserole dish, brush with butter:

    Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place in a single layer, skin-side up, in a large casserole dish. Reserve the marinade. Use a pastry brush to brush each piece of chicken with melted butter.

  3. Bake and baste with marinade:

    Bake for 20 minutes and generously brush the chicken pieces with the reserved marinade. Bake an additional 15 to 25 minutes (35 to 45 minutes total) until the skins are crispy brown and the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear (internal temp of 165°F).

    Depending on the size of the breasts, they may finish before the thighs. So if you’re making a mix of chicken pieces, keep in mind that you may need to remove them from the oven before the thighs.

  4. Let the chicken rest:

    Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest, covered with foil, for 10 minutes before serving.

  5. Reserving Meat Juices for Serving with Chicken:

    Pour the juice from the pan into a serving bowl. Use a tablespoon to skim the fat from the top (save the fat for cooking later or discard, but don’t throw it down the drain or it will set and clog your drain).

    Serve the chicken with the juices on the side or some poured over the chicken.

    Serve alone or with steamed rice, buttered pasta, angel hair pasta, or mashed potatoes.

nutritional information (per serving)
599 calories
31g Fat
3g carbohydrates
73g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!