This Crispy Baked Lemon Chicken Thighs with Lemon & Garlic recipe requires only a few ingredients for perfectly baked chicken thighs. Serve them with roasted asparagus, a green salad, or your favorite vegetable for an easy gluten-free and low-carb weeknight meal!
Hi Friends! I’m Sarah, and I’m excited to be sharing another recipe at Joy Filled Eats! I’m a mama of four-year-old twins and a one-year-old. When I’m not chasing them around, I write about food, faith, creativity, and motherhood at sarahjhauser.com. I love sharing wholesome recipes for everyday life that fit a variety of lifestyles. In addition to my blog, you can also find me on Instagram (@sarah.j.hauser) and Facebook (/sarahjhauser).
This recipe for Baked Lemon Chicken Thighs makes an easy weeknight meal and only requires a few ingredients—many of which you may have on hand. But don’t relegate this dish to the weekends only. It’s definitely flavorful enough for weekend entertaining! I love serving it with a simple side salad, roasted asparagus, cauliflower rice, or whatever other veggies I have on hand.
Benefits of Bone-In Chicken
If you’ve baked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, you know that it can be minutes before the chicken goes from perfect to dry as the desert. While I still enjoy that cut of chicken, bone-in chicken is definitely more forgiving. The darker meat has incredible flavor and cooking bone-in, skin-on cuts keeps the meat from drying out.
How Long to Bake Chicken Thighs at 400?
I bake my bone-in chicken thighs at 400 degrees which takes 35-40 minutes. Sometimes I'll pop the chicken thighs until the broiler for an additional couple minutes to crisp the skin further.
Ingredients for Baked Lemon Chicken Thighs
- Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- Olive oil
- Lemon zest
- Fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper
- Baking powder (optional)
Why Baking Powder?
This is a trick I learned from Cook’s Illustrated to make skin-on chicken extra crispy! Ideally, you pat the chicken dry and let a mix of baking powder and salt sit on the chicken overnight for extra crisp skin. But with three little kiddos running around my house, I never think that far in advance!
However, I tested the baking powder trick without letting it sit overnight. I simply added it to the mix of garlic, lemon zest, thyme, and salt. I made a second batch without the baking powder to see if I saw a difference, and even though I didn’t leave the baking powder on overnight like Cook’s Illustrated recommended, I definitely noticed a difference! Both batches of Baked Lemon Chicken Thighs were delicious, but the one with baking powder did have better crispier skin.
That being said, most store-bought baking powder includes ingredients like cornstarch. If you’re avoiding grains entirely, you can either make your own grain-free baking powder or skip it altogether. Just finish the chicken under the broiler for the last couple minutes for extra crispness.
What to Serve with Baked Lemon Chicken Thighs
For another great recipe using chicken thighs try these Buffalo Chicken Thighs.
- 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder (optional)
- Lemon wedges or halves for serving
- Take the chicken out of the refrigerator about a half hour before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Trim any excess skin off the meat, being sure to leave enough skin to cover the top of each piece.
- Thoroughly pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Drizzle the olive oil evenly over the chicken thighs.
- Mix together the garlic, lemon zest, thyme, salt, pepper, and baking powder (if using).
- Rub the mixture evenly on each of the chicken thighs, making sure to get some of it underneath the skin.
- Place the chicken on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. If you want the skin to crisp up a bit more, turn the oven to broil and cook an additional 2-4 minutes.
- Serve with lemon wedges. You can also broil or grill lemon halves for a couple of minutes just until they get a little bit charred.
- Squeeze the juice over the baked chicken for the perfect finishing touch of flavor. Enjoy!
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