Herby Lemony Chicken Thighs with Potatoes

published Apr 15, 2022
Herby Lemony Chicken Thighs with Potatoes Recipe

Lemon adds acidity, brightness, and freshness to this easy skillet meal.

Serves4

Prep15 minutes

Cook50 minutes

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herby chicken thighs with potatoes served on a plate at the table
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Someone recently pointed out that many of my recipes start with ‘Lemony’ to describe the predominant flavors of the recipe. After a moment of recalling some of my favorite dishes (I see you Lemony Brussels Sprouts Pasta), I realized that lemon does play a large role in most of them because I’m a big fan.

Lemon adds acidity, brightness and freshness (and a bit of color when serving some on the side), plus I almost always have some in the house. Serving wedges on the side also lets everyone add a splash of lemon as needed, and I find a squeeze of lemon juice is an easy way to reinvigorate leftovers.

In this recipe, I char lemon slices in the skillet with the potatoes to infuse the potatoes with flavor. As the slices cook they release some juice, which mixes and mingles with the herb-coated chicken thighs and helps create the most delicious pan juices, best soaked up with some crusty bread. While I know the cooking time might look a touch long for a weeknight dinner, the actual recipe is quite straightforward with a lot of downtime, and you’ll end up with a comforting, warming meal at the end.

This dish also makes great leftovers, which you can just reheat and eat or transform into an easy next-day meal. I like to shred any leftover chicken, and add any potatoes and lemon slices to chicken broth for a quick soup, stirring in cilantro or spinach at the end. 

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Two Secret Ingredients That Make This Dish Sing

The richness in this recipe comes from mixing in two condiments with the cooking liquid. Soy sauce adds that little something you can’t quite put your finger on and Dijon mustard adds a bit of vinegary flavor and some spice. And then, of course, I top that off with lemon juice (what else?) to add even more bright flavor. 

The Key to Perfectly Pan Roasted Potatoes

The potatoes here are browned on both sides. Then they finish cooking in the doctored-up liquid, becoming tender, almost like lemony Greek potatoes. The key is using small potatoes (around the size of a golf ball), and cutting them into small pieces so that they cook quickly. If you have larger potatoes, you can just cut them into smaller pieces.

Herby Lemony Chicken Thighs with Potatoes Recipe

Lemon adds acidity, brightness, and freshness to this easy skillet meal.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 50 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds

    bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (4 to 6)

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons

    dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1 1/2

    large lemons, divided

  • 1 pound

    baby yellow potatoes or small, golf-ball size Yukon Gold potatoes (8 to 10)

  • 1/2 cup

    low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, or water

  • 2 teaspoons

    Dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons

    low-sodium soy sauce or tamari

  • 4 sprigs

    fresh parsley

  • Crusty bread, for serving

Instructions

  1. Pat 2 pounds chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Trim off any excess skin and fat with kitchen shears. Season all over with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Season the skin of the chicken with 2 teaspoons dried oregano and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and gently press to adhere.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch cast-iron or high-sided skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering, tilting the pan to evenly coat it with oil. Add the chicken skin-side down in a single layer (it’s OK if they are snug) and cook undisturbed until browned and easily released from the pan, 6 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cut 1/2 large lemon into wedges and set aside for serving. Halve the remaining 1 large lemon, then thinly slice one half and remove any seeds (reserve the remaining half for later). Quarter 1 pound baby potatoes, then cut each quarter in half so that they are about 1/2-inch each.

  3. Flip the chicken over with tongs and cook until golden brown on the bottom, 4 to 7 minutes, reducing the heat to medium if excessively splattering. Transfer the chicken to a large plate.

  4. Add the potatoes and arrange into an even layer, making sure they have contact with the pan. Place the lemon slices on top of the potatoes or tuck in on the sides of the pan. Cook until the potatoes are browned on two sides, stirring halfway through, 8 to 10 minutes total. Meanwhile, place 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water in a measuring cup or small bowl. Squeeze 1 tablespoon juice from the remaining lemon half and add to the broth. Add 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard and 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, and stir until smooth.

  5. Use the tongs or a wooden spoon to stir the potatoes and lemons around. Arrange the chicken to rest on top of them and pour in any accumulated juices on the plate. Carefully and slowly pour in the lemon juice mixture. Reduce the heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer with small bubbles forming across the surface of the liquid.

  6. Partially cover and cook until the chicken is tender and registers at least 165ºF in the thickest part and the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, sliding a wooden spoon under the potatoes and chicken to stir them around halfway through, 15 to 20 minutes total. Meanwhile, pick the leaves from 4 fresh parsley sprigs until you have 1/4 cup and coarsely chop.

  7. If you’d like to crisp the skin of the chicken more, place the pan under the broiler about 6 inches away from the heating element and broil until desired crispness, 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with the parsley and serve with crusty bread and the lemon wedges.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The chicken can be seasoned with salt, pepper, and the spices ahead of time, covered, and refrigerated overnight.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.