Skillet Lemon Rosemary Chicken

Easy! Lemon Rosemary Chicken ~ Chicken thighs rubbed and marinated with lemon, rosemary, garlic, then seared in skillet and finished in oven.

Skillet Lemon Rosemary Chicken
Elise Bauer

One of the blessings of our mild California climate (aside from the shorts and flip-flops weather while much of the country is bundled up in several layers of wool and fleece) is that I can look outside my kitchen window in February and see a lemon tree heavy with fruit and bushes of rosemary, oregano, and other herbs. Thus the inspiration for this easy skillet chicken thigh dish!

I chose rosemary to go with the lemon and garlic in the rub for the chicken, but you could easily use oregano or thyme or a mix of all three if you want. My father for one is not too fond of rosemary, so if I were making this for him, I would use thyme.

Skillet Lemon Rosemary Chicken
Elise Bauer

The dish couldn't be simpler. You first make a rub with rosemary, lemon zest, garlic, and olive oil, and marinate the chicken pieces in this rub with a little lemon juice for an hour or two.

Then you brown the the thighs skin side down, turn the chicken pieces over, wiggle some garlic and shallots in between the thighs, and roast in the oven until cooked through.

Do a little bit of thinking ahead to marinate chicken and then cook up the whole thing in less than half an hour. Easy!

Skillet Lemon Rosemary Chicken

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Marinating 60 mins
Total Time 95 mins
Servings 3 to 4 servings

We are using fresh rosemary. Dried rosemary can get a bit "stick"-like, so I'm not sure how well it would do as a substitute (if you try it with dry rosemary, please let me know how it works out for you in the comments!). I suggest that if you don't have fresh herbs, use half as much of a dry Italian herb mix.

Can substitute 1/2-inch thick wedges of red onion for the shallots if desired.


  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped

  • Zest of one lemon (1 to 2 teaspoons)

  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 6 pieces)

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 clove garlic, crushed

  • 3 shallots, halved


  1. Make rub with the rosemary, zest, garlic, salt, and pepper:

    Place the rosemary, lemon zest, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper in a mini-chopper and pulse until well ground. (If you don't have a mini-chopper, just mince the rosemary and garlic very fine, and mix with the rest). Then add the tablespoon of olive oil and pulse again.

    Elise Bauer
  2. Marinate chicken thighs with rosemary lemon rub:

    Place the chicken thighs in a (non-reactive) bowl and rub all over with the rosemary lemon herb rub. Arrange the thighs skin-side down and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Let marinate for an hour at room temperature, or chill several hours or overnight, and let sit at room temp for an hour before cooking.

    Elise Bauer
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F
  4. Sear the chicken thighs:

    Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a cast iron (10 to 12-inch) or other large relatively stick-free oven-proof skillet (hard anodized aluminum will work well) on medium high to high heat.

    As soon as the oil is shimmery hot, pat dry the chicken thighs with paper towels and lay them skin-side down in the pan.

    Sear the thighs without moving them for 3-5 minutes or until nicely browned.

    Turn the thighs over in the pan so they are skin-side up. Remove the pan from heat.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  5. Arrange garlic and shallots between chicken thighs and roast in oven:

    Place garlic cloves and either shallots or onion wedges in between the chicken thigh pieces in the pan. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken thighs reach 170°F.

    Elise Bauer

    Remove from oven.

    As a safety note (having burned my hand in the past), I recommend rubbing an ice cube on the handle of the hot pan as a way to cook it down quickly. Then be sure you keep the handle covered with a pot holder so that someone (including yourself) doesn't inadvertently pick up the pan with the hot handle on their bare hands.

    Serve with a side of rice, pasta, bread, or potatoes, or over a bed of baby arugula or spinach leaves for a low carb option.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
738 Calories
49g Fat
10g Carbs
68g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 738
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 49g 63%
Saturated Fat 13g 66%
Cholesterol 363mg 121%
Sodium 1131mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 68g
Vitamin C 8mg 38%
Calcium 63mg 5%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 901mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.