Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Herbs

by Emily Kemme
Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Herbs

Roasted chicken thighs get a marinade treatment resulting in fork tender chicken infused with lemons, garlic and fresh herbs. Think of it as a spa experience for your dinner. Because seriously, who doesn’t benefit from sustained contact with ingredients designed to soften and enhance flavor? Layer the chicken thighs over thin slices of lemon to continue the full-on lemon exposure.

Why use chicken thighs?

I like using thighs better than chicken breasts when you’re roasting pieces. The method is completely different from when you are roasting a whole bird. There is less chance of the meat drying out if you aren’t roasting different cuts, and the way chickens are raised today, the thighs are meaty and full of flavor. Bred to be a larger bird, this doesn’t mean the size is the result of hormones. It’s just because the birds have been developed to be larger than they were in the past. It only makes sense that the result is a generous portion.

Serve with oven roasted new white potatoes tossed with chopped kale. It’s a meal that is amazingly simple, yet stunningly complex in flavor.

Roasted Chicken Thighs

Roast up a batch of meaty chicken thighs to serve a hungry group or guarantee lunch leftovers!

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Herbs Recipe

For the marinade:

2 lemons, rinsed and dried, bright yellow zest peeled off in wide strips, lemons reserved

1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves, stripped from woody stems

2 T fresh sage leaves, minced

2 T fresh Italian parsley, long stems discarded, leaves and tender stems minced

12 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the flat side of a chef’s knife

1 tsp red chile flakes

1/3 cup grape seed or sun-coco oil (for high temp cooking)

For the chicken:

9 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs, patted dry with paper towels

18 fresh sage leaves, rinsed and patted dry

3 large garlic cloves, sliced thinly

thinly sliced lemon

To make the marinade:

Place lemon strips, thyme, sage, parsley, garlic, chile and olive oil in medium bowl. Whisk to combine.

To prepare the chicken:

Place chicken thighs on plates. Using fingers, gently separate skin from flesh taking care not to remove it. Arrange two sage leaves and several slices of garlic on chicken flesh; cover with skin. Gently place thighs in ziplock bag. Add marinade and squeeze out air as you close the bag. Carefully distribute marinade among chicken pieces, taking care not to disturb sage leaves. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Heat oven to 400°F.

Thinly slice reserved lemons and layer over bottom of baking dish. Remove chicken thighs from marinade and place on top of lemon slices. Remove lemon peel and garlic from marinade and tuck between chicken pieces. Discard remainder of marinade.

Roast in oven for an hour, or until skin is browned and crispy.

Serve alongside new white potatoes tossed with one bunch of chopped kale tossed, 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Award-winning author Emily Kemme writes about human nature, illuminating the everyday in a way that highlights its brilliance. Follow her on her blog, Feeding the Famished,, or on Twitter @EmFeedsYou . Life inspired. Vodka tempered.

Art Director: Mia Kemme

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