One Skillet Meyer Lemon and Thyme Chicken Dinner

January 27, 2015

One skillet dinners mean easy prep and easy clean-up. This lemon thyme chicken recipe is one of my favorite dishes to cook any night of the week, both for its ease and deliciousness. It’s even elegant enough to serve to guests. In winter, I love to use Meyer lemons (a cross between a lemon and an orange) in as many dishes as I can, and they pair perfectly with chicken. Their low-acid, slight sweetness adds a bright pop of flavor that’s almost floral. In this recipe, I brown the sliced lemons which deepens their character and adds structure to the sauce that's created in the skillet. When combined with beautifully browned chicken thighs, caramelized sweet onions, garlic, white wine and thyme, you’ve got yourself a dish that angels would serenade. And all under 30 minutes.

One Skillet Meyer Lemon and Thyme Chicken  
Serves 4-6

I like to use chicken thighs over breasts for their juicy tenderness. It’s hard to overcook a chicken thigh, yet too easy to do so with a chicken breast. And no one likes a dried out dinner! This dish is great served with roasted red or baby potatoes or fluffy herb-studded rice (try finely chopped parsley, green onions, and Meyer lemon zest).

1 small sweet onion, sliced into rings
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Meyer lemon or regular lemon, sliced
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 cups dry white wine, divided
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Slice onion into rings about 1/4-inch thick. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy-bottomed skillet. Add onions and sauté until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook until softened but not browned. Remove onions and garlic to a bowl or plate and set aside.

Place lemon slices (including the ends) in the skillet and cook until slightly browned, about 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and place with onions and garlic.

Add remaining butter and olive oil. When butter has melted, add chicken thighs and cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes each side.  

Add half of the wine and cook until the alcohol has burned off, about 2-3 minutes.

Return onions and garlic to skillet and nestle them among the thighs. Add the remaining wine then season with salt and pepper. With a spatula, gently scrape the browned bits from the skillet. This will help deepen the flavor of the sauce.

Place a lemon slice on each thigh and the remaining slices among the onions. Add the thyme, cover and let cook over medium-high heat until meat is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.

Serve immediately.