These easy and delicious glazed lemon chicken thighs come together quickly for a perfect weeknight meal. Lovely served with rice or mashed potatoes.
I have been making these delicious glazed lemon chicken thighs for a long time. I love the delicious lemon sauce, made easy by starting with store-bought apricot jam and fresh lemon juice, zest and slices. The jam provides the perfect glaze, while being subtle enough to allow the lemon flavours to shine.
If you’re a lemon lover and looking for a tasty new way to enjoy chicken thighs, I hope you’ll give this one a try!
Chicken – I love skin-on/bone-in chicken thighs for their flavour and moistness, but you can use bone-in/skin on chicken breasts here as well. The cooking time may be slightly longer with for the chicken breasts. I have never tried this with boneless/skinless chicken. I suspect it would work, though I think the oven time would definitely be less.
Apricot Jam – Yes, apricot jam! It may seem strange to make lemon chicken with apricot jam, but the subtle flavour of apricot jam works perfectly for providing the “glaze” part. Add to it the lemon juice, zest and slices and the result is lemon flavour, not apricot flavour. I love Bonne Maman Apricot Jam myself, but any apricot jam will work just fine here.
Mustard – You’ll just need regular, prepared yellow mustard here.
Lemon juice and zest – Fresh lemon is always best and of course, you won’t be able to get the zest without fresh lemons. You will need 2 lemons – 1 for the zest and juice and a second one, for the lemon slices to put on top of the chicken pieces.
Step 1: Cook the chicken thighs, skin side down, until golden. This will set the skin and cook off some of the fat, that we can remove and discard before adding the sauce. Meanwhile, mix up the easy sauce.
Step 2: Flip the chicken over to cook the underside slightly, then remove and discard the fat, add the sauce and pop in the oven. Meanwhile, cut some lemon slices and after 15 minutes of baking, remove the chicken from the oven, top with a lemon slice and return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Garnish with some fresh thyme leaves or some chopped fresh parsley, if you like.
- You can tweak the amount of added lemon juice a bit up or down to suit. Some jams are sweeter and need a little more lemon juice to balance it, or if you just like a more forward lemon flavour.
- I like to sear the chicken in a non-stick skillet on the stove-top (because non-stick!), then I transfer the chicken (leaving the fat behind) to a baking pan or dish to do the oven-cooking.
- Placing the lemon slices on top of the chicken will soften the skin underneath them, but the upside is that the lemon juice will cook down into the chicken. If you really want to preserve the glaze and skin on top of the chicken, you can place the lemon slices a little askew, leaning on the side of the chicken (between the pieces), instead.
- It’s always good to check the chicken with an instant read thermometer before removing from the oven. Make sure it has reached at least 165F internal temperature.
- I love to serve this dish with rice or mashed or roasted potatoes and a vegetable.
Get the Recipe: Glazed Lemon Chicken Thighs
- 5-6 bone-in/skin-on chicken thighs, *see Note 1
- 1/3 cup apricot jam
- 1 Tbsp prepared yellow mustard
- 4 tsp lemon juice, fresh
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- Pinch salt and freshly ground pepper
- 5-6 lemon slices, thinly sliced
- Fresh thyme leaves, or chopped parsley, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Heat a skillet (preferably non-stick) over medium-high heat on the stove-top. Pat dry the skin of the chicken thighs and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Add the chicken thighs, skin side down, and cook until nicely golden, about 5-6 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by mixing together the jam, mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest and garlic in a small bowl. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper and stir in.
- When chicken skin is golden, flip over and cook the underside for a minute, then remove chicken to an oven-safe baking pan or dish (not too large - just enough to hold the chicken with a little space between). Spoon the sauce over the chicken pieces.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and place a slice of lemon on top of the chicken. Return to the oven and bake 15 minutes more, or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches at least 165F internal temperature.
- Serve garnished with fresh thyme leaves.
- You could also use skin-on/bone-in chicken breasts, though you may need to increase the time in the oven slightly, to cook the chicken through thoroughly.
This was great, thank you!!
So glad you enjoyed it, Jola :) Thanks!
We always have lemon on hand and this is such a great use for it! Love that you used both the zest and juice. I can only imagine just how flavourful and delicious this recipe is! Perfect meal for any day of the week. :)
Thanks so much, Dawn :)
Tonight will be my second go at this tasty dish. I still have the rest of the apricot jam from first time which was soooooooo tasty gone in minutes. I served it with rice. I wondered how you figured out that lemon chicken would be so tasty with this kind of jam. I thank you for letting us in on these secrets. Thank You.
Enjoy (again :) Pat! Apricot jam is one of those super useful products that work so well as a glaze on pastries … and meat.
This sounds delicious! Would it be okay to use an oven-safe skillet instead of cooking the chicken in a skillet and then transferring it to a baking dish?
Hi Kelly and yes, you can definitely save an extra pan :) You’ll just want to spoon off the fat in the pan after you’ve cooked the chicken thighs on the stove-top, before adding the sauce. (The reason I tend to go the two-pan route, is to avoid my chicken skin from sticking and becoming messy, which sometimes happens with my oven-safe pans, but never with my non-stick pan :) Enjoy!
Every recipe you have with this cut of meat has worked perfectly for me. I will try this one tonight since I have a bag of lemons. Just need to go buy the chicken and jam. Pictures are wonderful!
Thanks Pat and enjoy!
Great tip about using the apricot jam as a vehicle for the lemon flavors to create a glaze. Absolutely love the results!
Thanks Milena :) Apricot jam is a handy thing to have around for glazing all kinds of things. Works great on pastries, too.