Honey Lemon Garlic Pepper Chicken Thighs

If you’re looking for a meal bursting with flavour, try these honey lemon garlic pepper chicken thighs. Pan-fried for golden skin, then baked and finished with a mouthwateringly sweet, tangy and citrusy sauce. A must-bookmark for chicken thigh recipes!


Honey LemonHoney Lemon Garlic Pepper Chicken Thighs

Honey Garlic Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs

Pan-fried for golden skin, then baked and finished with the magical sweet, tangy and citrusy sauce, these honey lemon garlic pepper chicken thighs are mouthwateringly delicious.

I often make these when I have friends coming for dinner as they are a crowd favourite and I am yet to meet a person who didn’t like that flavour combination. Plus, they are super versatile when it comes to side dishes and can be served with everything from mashed potatoes and rice to zucchini noodles and coleslaw salad.

This chicken thigh recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo-friendly and overall pretty healthy.

What You’ll Need

Here is what you will need to make this chicken thighs recipe.

Chicken thighs – I like making this recipe with skinless, boneless chicken thighs but you can use meat with the skin on. Bone-in thighs should cook in the same amount of time.

For the honey lemon sauce – You will need a large lemon or two smaller ones, good quality honey, freshly ground pepper (for maximum flavour), fresh garlic and garlic powder and salt. Plus olive oil or another cooking fat for pan-frying chicken thighs at the start.

How To Make Honey Garlic Lemon Chicken

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 200 C / 395 F. 

Step 2. Place the chicken thighs flat on a cutting board close together. Sprinkle with half of the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Turn the meat over and season the other side with the remaining salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Step 3. Pan-fry the chicken. You can do this in one or two batches. I like to use two frying pans to speed up the process. Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in each pan over medium-high heat (7-8 on induction). Once hot, add the chicken thighs without overcrowding the pan too much. Cook for 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown crust forms. 

Step 4. Prepare the honey lemon sauce. Grate the zest 1/2 of the lemon, about one tablespoon, and juice the whole lemon. Add both to a mixing bowl. Follow with diced garlic and honey and whisk using a fork until well combined and smooth. Set aside.

Step 5. Transfer pre-cooked chicken thighs to a large baking tray or dish. Pour the honey lemon garlic sauce evenly over the chicken. 

Note: Leave one of the frying pans uncleaned as we will use it to finish our sauce.

Step 6. Place in the hot oven on the middle shelf. Set the timer for 7 minutes. Then, take the tray out and use a spoon to scoop and baste the meat with the sauce. Place back in the oven for another 7 minutes and repeat with the basting. Cook for the final 5 minutes, remove from the oven and transfer the chicken to a serving plate. A total of about 20 minutes.

Step 7. Pour the sauce from the baking dish into the used frying pan. Place on high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the sauce reduces by half. The flavour will get more intense, sweeter and saltier as the liquid thickens and becomes more glossy. I like to stir in a teaspoon of butter to give it extra shine. 

Finally, pour the reduced sauce over the chicken and serve. You can reserve some of the sauce to pour over the sliced chicken when once plated.

Honey Lemon Garlic Pepper Chicken Thighs

What To Serve With Glazed Chicken Thighs

These honey lemon garlic pepper chicken thighs pair nicely with many sides:

White or brown rice – I like making yellow rice with a little turmeric; coconut rice also works really well with these flavours. Rice is great for soaking up all those sweet and tangy juices.

Potatoes – I’ve done these with both mashed potatoes and roast potatoes with equal success. Highly recommend!

Quinoa or couscous – these are my other favourite sides with this chicken dish.

Vegetable options – for a lighter side, try these with cauliflower rice, broccoli rice, zucchini noodles or steamed green beans, asparagus or broccoli. They will even go well with a simple salad or coleslaw, which I often make as a second side dish anyway.

Honey Lemon Chicken Thighs With Rice

More Chicken Thigh Recipes


Full Recipe

Find the full list of ingredients, instructions and extra cooking notes below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let me know in the comments and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.

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Honey Lemon Garlic Pepper Chicken Thighs

Honey Lemon Garlic Pepper Chicken Thighs

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Australian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Pan-fried for that golden skin, then baked and finished with the magical sweet, tangy and citrusy sauce, these honey lemon garlic pepper chicken thighs are mouthwateringly delicious.


Ingredients

Scale

2 tablespoons olive oil

10 chicken thighs (skinless, no bone), about 1.3 kg – 3 lb

1.5 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground pepper

2 teaspoons garlic powder

Zest of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

Juice of 1 large lemon (1/3 cup of juice)

3 cloves of garlic, finely diced

1/4 cup honey (4 tablespoons)


Instructions

  • Heat oven. Preheat the oven to 200 C / 395 F. 
  • Season chicken. Place the chicken thighs flat on a cutting board close together. Sprinkle with half of the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Turn the meat over and season the other side with the remaining salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  • Pan-fry the chicken. You can do this in one or two batches. I like to use two frying pans to speed up the process. Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in each pan over medium-high heat (7-8 on induction). Once hot, add the chicken thighs without overcrowding the pan too much. Cook for 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown crust forms. 
  • Prepare the honey lemon sauce. Grate the zest 1/2 of the lemon, about one tablespoon, and juice the whole lemon. Add both to a mixing bowl. Follow with diced garlic and honey and whisk using a fork until well combined and smooth. Set aside.
  • Bake the chicken. Transfer pre-cooked chicken thighs to a large baking tray or dish. Pour the honey lemon garlic sauce evenly over the chicken. 
  • Note: Leave one of the frying pans uncleaned as we will use it to finish our sauce. 
  • Place in the hot oven on the middle shelf. Set the timer for 7 minutes. Then, take the tray out and use a spoon to scoop and baste the meat with the sauce. Place back in the oven for another 7 minutes and repeat with the basting. Cook for the final 5 minutes, remove from the oven and transfer the chicken to a serving plate. Total of 20 minutes.
  • Reduce sauce. Pour the sauce from the baking dish into the used frying pan. Place on high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the sauce reduces by half. The flavour will get more intense, sweeter and saltier as the liquid thickens and becomes more glossy. I like to stir in a teaspoon of butter to give it extra shine. 
  • Serve. Finally, pour the reduced sauce over the chicken and serve. You can reserve some of the sauce to pour over the sliced chicken when once served on individual plates.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1-2 chicken thighs
  • Calories: 393
  • Sugar: 12 g
  • Sodium: 819 mg
  • Fat: 15 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.2 g
  • Fiber: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 49.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 233.4 mg

Keywords: Chicken Thighs, Chicken Recipes, Honey, Lemon, Garlic, Pepper, Dinner Recipes

Honey Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs
Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. Here at Cooked & Loved you will find simple, delicious recipes worth sharing. From new dishes to old-time favourites with a twist, this is the food I cook and love. More about me here.

PS. Some posts contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

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Comments

4 Comments
  1. Followed the recipe exactly as written, fairly simple and straight forward. The results were not bad but perhaps a bit too simple for my taste. If you like sauce I would recommend doubling the sauce recipe, that was the best part of the recipe.

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