An easy and delicious garlic chicken dinner recipe is coming your way today! Juicy chicken thighs, and crispy skin, such a delicious meal! We all need more of these simple recipes at the moment. Life has enough challenges as it is without unnecessary struggles at the dinner table.
I love this garlic lemon chicken recipe because it can be made ahead of time. You can marinate the chicken and put it in the fridge for a couple of days. Or you can put all the ingredients together in an air-tight bag and freeze it for up to 3 months. Take it out on the day you plan on cooking it and it will marinate as it defrosts. 30 minutes in the oven, rice, green beans or some veggies, dinner is ready. You are welcome, your new family favorite!
To make the lemon garlic chicken thighs we will need only a very few ingredients. You probably have most of them in your fridge and pantry already.
- Chicken thighs, skin on, bones out. I like to use boneless chicken thighs because they require less time to cook. If you prefer to leave the bone in, you will have to extend the cooking time to 40 minutes.
- Extra virgin olive oil. We need some to sear the chicken thighs.
- Lemon zest and lemon juice. Choose an organic or unwaxed variety
- Fresh cilantro leaves. We call it coriander in Australia. You can use parsley instead of cilantro if you don't like the taste of it.
- Fresh garlic
- Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. Leave out if cooking for kids.
- Ground cumin
- Garlic powder. Don't worry if you don't have any garlic powder on hand. This ingredient is optional and it won't change the delicious outcome.
- Sea salt and black pepper to season.
Garlic lemon chicken marinade
Not a big surprise here, that the deliciousness of this chicken dish is in its marinade. It might in fact be the best marinade on my blog. The mixture of garlic, lemon, cumin, and olive oil works its magic, making the chicken so deliciously crunchy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside.
For the best results marinate overnight or at least for 3 hours. Soooo good!!!
How to make it
- Make the marinade. Grate the lemon zest, cut coriander (cilantro), and crush the garlic cloves. Put everything in a mixing bowl along with the olive oil, ground cumin, garlic powder, and salt and mix well to combine.
- Add the chicken thighs and mix well so that the chicken is fully covered with the marinade. I like to "massage" the chicken to make sure every little bit got the delicious marinade.
- Refrigerate it in an air-tight container or a ziplock bag for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Meal-prep option. At this point, you can transfer everything in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate it for later use. This recipe is a great make-ahead dinner
- Preheat the oven to 200'C (400'F)
- Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in an OVEN-PROOF frying pan or a large skillet. Place chicken thighs skin down and fry them on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, until the skin is nice and golden. Turn the thighs around, skin side up, and cook for another minute or two to seal the other side.
- Bake it. Transfer the frying pan to the oven and bake the chicken for 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Please be mindful that the frying pan is VERY HOT. I usually put a kitchen mitten on the frying pan handle so I don't grab it accidentally. Yes, that happened to me before... Ouch!!
Make it ahead
This recipe is a great meal prep idea. Marinate the chicken and refrigerate it for 2-3 days. Or freeze it in a freezer-safe container. Simply take it out the day before you will cook it and leave it in the fridge to defrost it naturally. The chicken will marinate while it is defrosting. Perfect easy dinner for a busy weeknight.
Watch the video below to see how I do it all in one Ziploc bag 😊
How to store
Did you happen to have some leftover garlic chicken? This is great because you can use them the next day to make sandwiches or add meat to a salad. Simply refrigerate the cooked thighs in an airtight container for up to 3 days. This chicken is delicious cold, but you can reheat it in the pan or microwave if you use one.
How to serve
You can serve this chicken dish with some basmati rice and veggies, or chop it up and fill corn tacos, so good! For a low carb version serve it with cauliflower rice. We had it with the CUCUMBER AND AVOCADO SALAD.
What would you serve it with? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to connect with you!
Yes, you can, make this recipe with chicken breast, follow the recipe, but reduce the cooking time by 10 minutes.
While the skin gives this dish some extra flavour, you can make it with skinless thighs as well. Just keep in mind that you won't have that delicious crispy chicken skin, in my opinion, the best part of the dish
Yes, follow the recipe and extend the cooking time in the oven to 40 minutes.
If you are not sure your chicken is thoroughly cooked, feel free to use a meat thermometer. The chicken thighs bone-in or out are fully cooked when an internal temperature is about 170-175°F (77-79°C).
And if you prefer your chicken in a creamy sauce, why not try the Creamy Chicken and Mushrooms recipe? Another chicken recipe that makes a perfect weeknight dinner.
More chicken thigh recipes
More easy-to-make chicken recipes:
Watch how to make it
Easy garlic chicken thighs recipe
- 6 organic or free-range chicken thighs skin on, bones out
- 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Lemon zest of ½ lemon
- 4 tablespoons of lemon juice approximately ½ large lemon
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander leaves cilantro
- 2-3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes leave out if cooking for kids
- 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Combine all the ingredients for the chicken marinade in a medium-size bowl.
- Add the chicken thighs and mix well so that the chicken is fully covered with the marinade.
- Cover with an air-tight lid and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200'C (400'F)
- Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in the OVEN-PROOF frying pan and fry the chicken thighs on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer the frying pan into the oven and bake the chicken for 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy!