You have some dinner guests tonight and looking for something easy but special? You’re at the right place. This Easy Baked Lemon Garlic Chicken recipe offers an exquisite flavor with simple ingredients like garlic, onion, lemon, olive oil and spices. It is THE chicken dinner that will cater for everyone! Use the leftovers to make a keto chicken salad.
This garlic lemon roasted chicken is one of the dishes we cook frequently for dinner. It’s because it has everything I want. It is easy to put together, calls for just a few minutes of work. It requires few simple ingredients. It is very healthy and light. And it is so delicious that everybody at home or friends coming over for dinner just love it! Plus, you can match this dish up with many side dishes easily and make a special meal for occasions. Even eating it plain with a piece of bread would be satisfying enough.
The ingredients for this recipe are very simple. Yet coming all together, they make a fancy lemon chicken dish. What do we need for this recipe?
- I prefer using chicken thighs but you can also use chicken breasts.
- Onions and garlic which will take your chicken to another level with their tangy aroma.
- Lemon gives a refreshing and zesty flavor along with a good amount of vitamin C.
- We need spices to have a piquant aroma. Dried thyme, black pepper and salt work very well in this recipe.
- I use olive oil instead of butter as it is lighter. Also, olive oil matches better with the ingredients like garlic and lemon.
How To Make
This is a super easy lemon chicken recipe with 3 simple steps:
First, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, black pepper and salt in a small bowl.
Second, arrange chicken thighs in a baking dish (skin side up if using skin-on thighs). Now place onion rings and lemon slices over them. Pour the sauce over the chicken thighs, onions and lemon slices.
Third, bake it in a preheated oven at 400F/200C uncovered about 30 minutes. Then, remove from oven and using a spoon, drizzle some juice in the pan over chicken pieces. Put it back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes. Again, drizzle a little juice from the pan over the chicken thighs when you remove it from oven. That’s it! Your delicious lemon roasted chicken is ready! Serve warm with the onions and a little juice.
What I do to keep my chicken tender and juicy in this recipe is to completely cover the chicken thighs with onion and lemon slices. This prevents chicken from drying out. Plus, I take the pan out of the oven after 30 minutes of baking and drizzle a little bit juice from the pan over the chicken thighs with a spoon.
Here are some other tips you might want to consider to have a tender and juicy chicken:
- Always thaw your chicken before baking it (overnight is the best) or simply bake it fresh.
- Rest the chicken in the sauce for an hour.
- Bake at the right temperature.
- Bake your chicken in roast bag or aluminium foil. They help chicken keep the moist by trapping it inside.
- Baste your chicken with butter, sauce or chicken broth.
Do You Cover Chicken When Baking? It depends. If your chicken has skin and you want to make a golden and crispy roasted chicken pieces recipe, you do not need to cover it. Make sure you place the chicken pieces on the baking pan with their skin on top. We don't cover it even when making a rice stuffed roasted whole chicken recipe.
If your chicken is skinless, it is better to cover it if you want to have a juicy chicken.
Aluminium foil is not the only option, you can cover the chicken with onions on the top like I do here in this recipe, but you still need to take it out of the oven in 20-30 mins and baste it with chicken broth and continue baking it.
The Best Temperature
It is very important to cook chicken properly. It is definitely not safe to eat undercooked chicken. So make sure it is not below 165 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the right internal temperature for chicken. The easiest way for this is to check it using a meat thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, check the meat using a knife. The meat or the juice coming out of it shouldn’t be pink.
Also, you can be sure the chicken is cooked as long as you know the right oven temperature and right cooking time.
The best oven temperature to cook chicken varies a lot depending on what part of the chicken you cook and how you cook it.
When making this baked lemon garlic chicken recipe, I cook skinless chicken thighs at 400 F for 50 minutes because they are dark meat and need to be cooked at a high temperature. If you keep the skin on, you will bake them at 425 F for 35-40 minutes.
A lot of simple food can keep good company to this delicious chicken dish. Our Turkish rice pilav with orzo will carry this dish to perfection. If you want to go light, make any kind of salad you like. No salad can go wrong with it.
Whenever I make these baked lemon garlic chicken thighs for dinner, I add in an extra portion to use in a sandwich or make a salad for a great lunch the following day.
Does lemon dry out chicken?
Baking chicken only with some lemon slices on it or lemon juice might dry it out. However, if you use oil and some spices in your sauce, like I do in this recipe, it will eliminate the drying effect.
Can you leave chicken in lemon overnight?
1 or 2 hours is fine. You don’t have more flavor or a softer chicken as it rests longer.
Don’t leave it only in lemon. Add oil. Marinades including acid like lemon, vinegar or wine tend to toughen the chicken as they make water squeeze out.
Why is my baked chicken tough?
The reasons for tough chicken might be related to the following issues:
- Overcooking chicken.
- Not adding oil or butter in the lemon sauce
- Not marinating your chicken
- Baking the chicken directly from the freezer
How do you make dry chicken moist again?
It is better to shred the chicken and then warm it in pre-heated oven for 5-10 minutes with a small piece of butter and some broth on it. You can even do this in a pan over the stove. You will end up with a completely different dish, which is no longer dry.
Other Easy Chicken Recipes
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Baked Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs
Chicken thighs roasted in a lemon garlic sauce with lemon slices and onions.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- 8 chicken thighs
- 2 red onions, sliced
- 1 lemon sliced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, mashed
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 and ½ teaspoons salt
- fresh parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, black pepper and salt.
- Arrange chicken thighs in a baking dish (skin side up if using skin on thighs). Place onion rings and lemon slices over them.
- Pour the lemon sauce over the chicken thighs, onions and lemon slices.
- Bake uncovered about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and using a spoon, drizzle some juice in the pan over chicken pieces. Put it back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes. Drizzle a little juice over the chicken thighs again when you remove it from oven. Serve warm with the onions and a little juice.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 287
- Sugar: 2.5 g
- Sodium: 507.4 mg
- Fat: 15.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 6.8 g
- Protein: 30 g
- Cholesterol: 140.1 mg
Keywords: baked lemon chicken, lemon roasted chicken, baked lemon garlic chicken thighs
Randy Carney says
Just printed this & plan on making it in the near future. I once owned an eatery that received nearly five stars when reviewed but it's nice to have this recipe even in its simplicity. I keep a binder handy of favorite recipes where this will go which also goes as a reminder to prep things I'll sometimes forget about making. l also like the idea of the thighs, very inexpensive, more fat so more flavor, and thus beats out breasts. Thanks so much & will be checking on you from time to time for your regional fare. Be safe and peace to you both. R Carney
Hi Randy! So happy to hear that you are putting our chicken thighs in your list of favorite recipes. Feeling honored! Cheers from Turkey!