Lemon rosemary chicken thighs for two, baked in the oven! The flavor combination of rosemary and fresh lemon is a classic for a reason, and after one bite, you’ll love this 30 minute dinner for two!

two plates of chicken thighs with lemon slices and rosemary

A great no-fail roasted chicken recipe is the little black dress of the kitchen.  You keep it on standby for any occasion when you know you need to look fabulous.  Rosemary chicken is gorgeous (look at those roasted lemon slices—so fancy!) and delicious.

We have to talk about how chicken thigh recipes are my absolute favorite cut of chicken to use in the kitchen because the meat is so tender! The bone helps the meat stay tender while baking in the oven, and the skin on top gets lovely and crisp. My honey mustard chicken thighs recipe taught me this love. Cutting into each thigh with a knife and fork is the best sound in the world, second only to the feeling of taking your first bite!

Lemon rosemary chicken marinade ingredients:

  • chicken thighs: Since we’re cooking for two, a small pack of chicken thighs with just 4 thighs is perfect for this recipe. You may absolutely scale this recipe up or down, though! I’ve bought the jumbo pack for a party in the past.
  • olive oil: Any type of olive oil is fine here, because we’re roasting, it doesn’t need to be extra virgin–save that for salad dressings, like my creamy greek pasta salad.
  • rosemary: Fresh or dried rosemary is fine here because rosemary oil is so potent and flavorful. If you’re using dried, use 1 tablespoon; if you’re using fresh, use double because dried is more concentrated. For true rosemary lovers, try my small batch focaccia recipe, too!
  • fresh lemons: You’ll need 1 whole fresh lemon, give it a rinse before using since we’re using the skin.
  • salt: You would never bake chicken thighs in the oven without salt, right?
  • pepper: Freshly ground is the way to go, my friends!

 

Step by step:
chicken thighs in a plastic bag with lemon slices and rosemary

  1. First, place the raw chicken thighs in a resealable plastic bag using tongs. Next, whisk together the marinade: the lemon slices, olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Pour this over the chicken in the bag.
  2. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge in the bag for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours. Because we have fresh lemons in this marinade, you don’t want to marinate too long or the chicken starts to ‘cook’ in the lemon juice. You’ll have mushy chicken if you do this, so set a timer. I like to marinate the chicken during baby’s afternoon nap.
  3. We’re going to sear this chicken on the stove and finish baking it in the oven, so preheat the oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit. 
    chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet with lemon slices and rosemary
  4. While the oven preheats, preheat a cast iron skillet, and when it’s hot (meaning you can only hold your hand a few inches above the surface for a few seconds), add the chicken pieces, skin side DOWN. Sear the first side for 4-5 minutes–it will release from the pan when it’s ready to flip.
  5. Sear the second side of the chicken for 5 minutes, and then move the chicken thighs (they won’t be cooked all the way at this point) to an 8×8-inch baking dish.
  6. Bake the chicken for 20 minutes, and then test the thickest part of the thighs with a meat thermometer–it should register 165-degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s not, cook it for 5 extra minutes and re-test.
    plate of chicken thighs with pasta and micro greens
  7. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving so the juices stay in the meat. Optional: pull the seared lemon slices from the pan and serve them on top for a pretty plate. Serve these chicken thighs with a yummy side, like couscous with a lemon vinaigrette and a few micro greens on top.

If I’ve helped you do one thing today, I hope it’s that you rely on chicken dinners for two because they’re so easy and flavorful! Once you’ve mastered this rosemary lemon chicken thighs recipe, you have to make my honey garlic chicken thighs for sure! Maybe you’ll fall in love with chicken thighs so much that you’ll buy the large pack, even when cooking for two. They freeze very well!

two chicken thighs roasted in the oven on a plate

Yield: 2

Rosemary Lemon Chicken

two chicken thighs roasted in the oven on a plate

Rosemary lemon baked chicken thighs to serve two.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

    1. First, marinate the chicken: place the chicken thighs in a resealable bag, and drizzle over the olive oil, rosemary, lemon slices, salt and pepper. Mix to combine and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This can be done up to 4 hours in advance.

    2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and have a small 8x8-inch baking dish ready by spraying it with nonstick spray.

    3. Preheat a cast-iron pan over medium high heat. When hot, drain each chicken breast of excess oil, and place each chicken thigh in the pan, skin side down. It's fine to sear the lemon slices with the chicken. Sear the chicken on each side (for about 4-5 minutes each), but do not worry that the chicken is not cooked all the way through. Once both sides are brown, move the chicken thighs to the baking dish.

    4. Bake the chicken for 20 minutes. Test the temperature in the deepest part of the thigh with a food thermometer - it should be 165°F. If it isn't, return it to the oven for 5 minutes intervals, and re-test.

    5. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

chicken thighs: Since we're cooking for two, a small pack of chicken thighs with just 4 thighs is perfect for this recipe. You may absolutely scale this recipe up or down, though! I've bought the jumbo pack for a party in the past.
olive oil: Any type of olive oil is fine here, because we're roasting, it doesn't need to be extra virgin--save that for salad dressings, like my creamy greek pasta salad.
rosemary: Fresh or dried rosemary is fine here because rosemary oil is so potent and flavorful. If you're using dried, use 1 tablespoon; if you're using fresh, use double because dried is more concentrated.
fresh lemons: You'll need 1 whole fresh lemon, give it a rinse before using since we're using the skin.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 756Total Fat: 57gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 42gCholesterol: 333mgSodium: 1512mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 62g

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