This recipe highlights how great high-quality chicken can taste when combined with just a little seasoning, fresh herbs and lemon juice. I know this coming Sunday is National Chicken Coq Au Vin Day, but I am not really into making that and the sauce this weekend. This easy recipe just seems to fit into my busy schedule better. This lemon and thyme chicken thighs recipe allows the chicken to stay very moist, tender and full of nutrients, and it’s ideal as a meal or for a snack; even great as a picnic dish served cold the next day, since many of us are experiencing some warm weather right now.
This recipe is also in Amy Densmore’s cookbook, The Paleo Cupboard as well as a few others she has shared, like honey chipotle meatballs and comforting beef stew. Amy has this to add about her recipe: “A well-seasoned cast-iron skillet is the perfect pan for this recipe because it prevents the chicken skin from sticking and transfers well between the stovetop and oven. The pan will get very hot and might smoke a bit, so turn on the vent and crack open a window just to be safe.”
Now let’s get on to the cooking part and be sure to let me know how your chicken turns out!
Lemon and Thyme Chicken Thighs
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (2 pounds)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon ghee, lard or tallow
- 1 large lemon, sliced
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Heat the ghee in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
- Place the chicken thighs in the pan, skin side down, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking the thighs without touching them for another 10 minutes, or until the skin has released from the pan (the skin will initially stick to the pan and then will release once the fat has rendered).
- Drain any excess fat from the pan, then transfer the skillet to the oven (remember, the handle will be hot).
- Cook for 10 more minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the oven and flip the chicken pieces over.
- Nestle the lemon slices and thyme sprigs between the chicken pieces, then return the pan to the oven for 5 minutes, or until the skin is crispy and the juices run clear when a knife is inserted and the meat is no longer pink inside, or the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
- Remove from the oven.
- Drizzle with lemon juice, and serve.