Pan-Seared Meyer Lemon Chicken Thighs

There are about 8 billion reasons to love this dish.

For starters, it’s a one-pan wonder that’s ready in just 30 minutes. It brings ALL the flavor with only 7 seasonal ingredients (ease = critical). But most importantly?

Look at how BRIGHT it is!!

Welcome to cheery, summery, low-carb goodness.

Around mid-July grilling starts to become a sweaty AF expedition. The temperature is 10,000 degrees (I’m into exaggerating today) and the idea of hovering over a grill is a trillion shades of hell. So rather than sweat onto my dinner, for a few meals a week I take my cooking indoors. And that’s where this recipe gets kicking.

Before I dive into specifics, I need to stress the importance of a cast-iron skillet. Not only are they wildly efficient, versatile, and stylish (v important), but they’re a tremendous cooking investment. For just $40 you can purchase a piece of equipment that lasts a LIFETIME, and no this is not a sponsored post. I just really, really believe in the cast-iron game, so open up your wallet and get to it.

Anyway (did you buy it yet?!), you start by purchasing boneless/skinless chicken thighs, which are the leanest chicken thighs around. Obviously skin is delicious — see here! — but it’s still beach season, so let’s keep it tight. Smother the thighs in seasoning, then let them rest while you sauté garlic + shallot until fragrant. Remove these ingredients from the pan, then sauté a slew of sliced meyer lemon until golden. Meyer lemons are sweeter than regular lemons, so they’re the best bet for this dish. Not only do they caramelize exceptionally well (SO much yes) but they have an extraordinary balance of sweet and tang. It’s an added summery spin that’s simply delightful, so try to find them if you can.

Once the lemon slices are sautéed, remove them from the pan, then deglaze the skillet with cold white wine. At last it’s time to sear those chicken thighs, and the cast iron does it perfectly. Just three minutes on either side is all you need for a mouth-wateringly amber finish, the aromas alone will have you dancing. After a good sear is achieved return the garlic, shallot, and lemon slices to the pan, along with more lemon juice and a touch of chicken broth. Cover and let everything simmer for 15 minutes, and that’s it!

Your skillet of sunshine is served.

This dish is an explosion of bright, savory, citrus flavor, it’s insanely fresh, comforting, and delicious. The chicken thighs cook up wondrously tender (you barely need a knife) and the garlic + shallots lend cooling balance to the lemons inherent punch. Plus! This is the perfect meal for re-heating.

Dinner for two, twice? Sounds très nice. xo

Pan-Seared Meyer Lemon Chicken Thighs

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • a few pinches of oregano
  • a few pinches of salt & pepper (use lemon pepper if you can!)
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • 2 meyer lemons, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup cold, dry white wine (I used pinot grigio)
  • 2 – 3 meyer lemons, juiced
  • 3 tbsps chicken broth

Directions:

  1. On a cutting board amply season the chicken thighs on all sides with oregano and salt & pepper. Lemon pepper is preferred, but black pepper is also fine.
  2. In a large cast-iron skillet warm the olive oil over medium heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Add the garlic and shallots, then lightly saute until tender and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate on the side.
  3. Add the lemon slices to the skillet and cook, turning once, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to another plate on the side.
  4. Increase the flame to medium-high, then pour in the white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom as you do to incorporate any brown bits of flavor. Next, arrange the chicken thighs inside the pan and sear on either side until nicely browned, about 3 minutes per side. Reduce the flame back to medium, then return the garlic, shallots, and lemon slices to the pan. Pour over with the lemon juice and chicken broth, then cover and allow everything to simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until the internal temperature of each thigh reaches 165F. Serve immediately, spooning the pan juices over each plate.
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