Lemon Thyme Chicken

Lemon Thyme Chicken

This week has just about killed me. And I’m writing this on a Wednesday. I like to think that I’m someone who is a decent time manager. Where I fall down – hard, face on the floor –  is with things I book well in advance. Know what I’m talking about? Of course I’ll come and talk to your students about working in the magazine business next spring! I would love to write a research-heavy feature for you four months from now! No problem for me to be on that committee next year – sign me up! Then of course next month, spring and year roll around and you’re doing everything you normally do AND the extra thing you committed to.

This is how my week ended up including a re-arranging of our entire home, a birthday party for Esme (five, can you believe it?) and house guests. They’re all things I’m really happy about but also necessitate some very easy dinner plans. I wish I could take credit for making this busy week One Pot themed, but that was Laura’s idea. Maybe she got a glimpse of my calendar and took pity? She’s nice like that! Okay, enough of my high-class problems and onto dinner! I love lemon and thyme together and I really love a meal that comes together as easily as this one. If you don’t have zucchini handy, mushrooms would also be good, too.

photos by Maya Visnyei

Lemon Thyme Chicken


  • 8 chicken thighs (I buy boneless, skinless), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 glugs of olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, cut 3 thin slices and juice the rest (you'll be left with about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of juice)
  • 2 small-ish zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
  • 6 to 8 branches of thyme
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot or Dutch oven, warm up your olive oil over medium heat.

Add the chicken in batches - don't over crowd your pot or the chicken won't brown nicely.

You're not cooking the chicken right through so don't worry about that yet.

Place the browned chicken on a clean plate (never put it back on the plate or cutting board where you had your raw chicken) and set aside.

Drain most but not every bit of the fat left in your pot.

Put the pot back over medium heat.

Don't worry if you've got some bits of meat sticking to the bottom, it will come off once you add your liquid.

Saute the onion, garlic, zucchini, thyme, and lemon slices.

Stir it all together and allow the vegetables to just begin softening, about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken back to the pot and  pour the stock and lemon juice over top.

Give it all a stir, turn the heat down a touch and simmer for 30 minutes.

I served this with couscous I made with chicken stock and parsley at the end. Which, okay, makes it two pots but couscous is so fast to make and is so easy to clean up I’m not going to feel too bad about cheating. Okay? Okay!

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  1. Laura
    January 19, 08:06 Reply

    Wow – doesn’t get much easier than that! I’ve been buying more thighs too lately because the price of chicken is nuts … must try this!

  2. Barbara Yankoski
    January 22, 13:05 Reply

    First, happy belated birthday wishes to Esme – five years old sweet girl. How wonderful!!! I am having one of those weeks and since I retired I have become very lazy about keeping track of my “appointment”. The regular ones, like you, I’m all over it but those set months back – OMG. Yes, I’ll do the Toast To The Laddies at our annual Robbie Burns dinner (this week( but I volunteered before Christmas! Yikes. I am making this delicious sounding one pot dinner tonight and will let you know how it turns out. Cheers as always from me on the west coast of Canada. 🙂

  3. Ceri Marsh
    January 25, 11:44 Reply

    Hi Ladies,
    Let me know how you like this one. It’s dead simple, I promise.

    I’m with you Laura – I really prefer thighs to breasts. Well, that’s sounding naughtier than I intended… but honestly I think there’s so much more flavour in thighs plus they’re not as prone to dry out.

    Thanks for the birthday wishes, Barbi! Esme had a great day and is loving life as a five year old.

  4. Julia
    January 27, 13:31 Reply

    I tried it today, but it still turned out very bitter, although i only used 3 slices of lemon. i think it’s because of the zucchini, maybe peeling it would help. i then added a whole can of tomatoes, and it was very nice, still a little bitter, bur a nice meal (served it with quinoa) 🙂

    • Ceri Marsh
      January 30, 20:47 Reply

      Hi Julia – I’m so sorry to hear that! Hmm…. wonder if it’s the size of the lemons? I’m glad you were able to get creative and salvage the meal – nothing worse than putting the time in and ending up with no dinner!
      Heather – so delighted that you had better luck! Your roommates must love you for making them dinner! Now if only I could get MY little roommates to cook my dinner….
      Thanks so much for reading!

  5. heather
    January 30, 18:49 Reply

    I just made this for my roommates and we all loved it! It was delicious and very easy. The only thing I changed was that I added two carrots in.

    Thanks so much for the recipe!

  6. Michelle
    February 03, 16:18 Reply

    I made this, and I was not a fan at all. The sauce was bitter despite adding more salt and a touch of sugar. The vegetable disintegrated. Such a shame because all of the ingredients are things that I normally love, but I could not get past the bitter sauce. Perhaps less lemon juice added at the END would make it better.

  7. Ceri
    February 03, 16:24 Reply

    Oh, no! I’m so sorry it didn’t work out for you Michelle! That’s such a drag. I wonder if there is a big difference between lemons? I don’t know – the second time I made it the bitterness was definitely gone but maybe the lemons I used were a different variety? In any case, I’m really sorry it was a bust!

  8. Kathy
    February 15, 19:02 Reply

    6 thumbs up here!

    I did it in the slow cooker (pre-browned the thighs and onions) so cut back on the stock and added about a Tbs of flour to thicken the sauce. It smelled FABULOUS when we got home from work! I’ll be printing this out to go in the “permanent file”.

  9. Ceri Marsh
    February 15, 19:05 Reply

    Ooh, doing it in the slow cooker is a really good idea! I’m so glad it worked out well for you. Don’t you love coming home to the smell of dinner? Even if you did the prep you feel like someone else made dinner!

  10. Vanessa
    February 13, 13:59 Reply

    Sounds yummy and I’m planning to try it. Just wondering how many servings it makes?

    • Ceri Marsh
      February 13, 21:22 Reply

      Hi Vanessa,
      Depending on the appetites in your family I’d say it’s four servings plus a bit leftover. Please let me know how it goes!

  11. Dana @ Celiac Kiddo
    March 18, 20:49 Reply

    I made this with boneless chicken breasts and it came out great! I changed the chicken stock to 1/2 cup white wine and 1+1/2 cups chicken stock just because that’s what I had on hand. It was fragrant and delicious. My husband walked by and was in awe of how pretty it all looked in my blue Dutch oven. Thanks for a great recipe and I’m looking forward to more!

  12. Ceri
    March 19, 11:23 Reply

    Hi Dana,
    So glad it was a hit for you! Let us know if there’s anything in particular you’re looking for. We love reader requests!
    Thanks for reading!!

  13. Kaitlyn
    April 19, 17:25 Reply

    I just made this tonight for Sunday night dinner, I was concerned the flavor would be a tad too mature for my 6 year old nephew but he really liked it! We served it over penne pasta!!
    This will certainly be staying in my recipe booklet!
    Thanks so much!

  14. Ceri
    April 20, 11:56 Reply

    Yey! So glad it was a hit for you, Kaitlyn! Thanks for stopping by. Let us know if there’s anything you’re looking for.

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