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In the market for perfectly tender and juicy chicken thighs with golden crispy skin and loads of roasted lemon and garlic flavor, all totally achievable on a weeknight? Then this is your recipe. As a bonus, you’ll blend the pan drippings into a velvety and deeply savory sauce that tastes terrific alongside mashed or roasted potatoes. You can even assemble the dish a day in advance and store it in the fridge, ready to bake for an hour as you prep any side dishes.

Karen Rankin


Credit: Photo by Caitlin Bensel / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe Summary

15 mins
1 hr 15 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels; set aside. Cut lemon in half lengthwise, then into thirds crosswise; discard seeds. Finely grate 4 garlic cloves on a Microplane grater.

  • Arrange lemon slices, grated garlic, remaining 12 garlic cloves, and half of thyme sprigs in a single layer in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish; toss briefly to disperse the grated garlic. Place chicken thighs over lemon mixture, skin side up, in a single layer. Drizzle chicken thighs with olive oil, and season evenly with 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper.

  • Bake until chicken skin is a deep golden brown and a thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 165°F, about 1 hour. Transfer chicken to a serving platter, reserving lemon mixture in the baking dish.

  • Remove lemon pieces from baking dish and discard. Pour remaining drippings, including garlic cloves and thyme sprigs, into a blender. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until smooth, about 30-40 seconds. Add honey and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to sauce mixture and stir to combine, adding more salt or honey as desired.

  • Remove thyme leaves from remaining sprigs and sprinkle evenly over chicken thighs. Serve thighs with sauce and additional lemon wedges, if desired.