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This fantastic baked lemon pepper chicken is crispy, citrusy, garlicky, peppery and an absolute cinch to make! There’s no doubt it’s a tried and true winner, winner chicken dinner.
This ain’t your ordinary baked lemon pepper chicken.
Not a drop of store bought lemon pepper seasoning has touched these beauties. Just look at those golden thighs! Aren’t they just scrumptious?
Dusted with a mix of fresh meyer lemon zest, freshly cracked pepper, sweet paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and a few other blended seasonings, it’s easy to eat 1, 2, or maybe even three of these thighs in one sitting.
The caramelized garlic and meyer lemon slices are so frickin’ tasty and add a pop of pizazz and brightness that you just can’t get from store bought lemon pepper seasoning.
Chicken thighs are my absolute fav and lemon pepper is my husband’s favorite seasoning so it made sense for me to marry the two eventually.
You could easily choose to go for bone-in or boneless chicken breast here or even roast up some chicken leg quarters. In fact, any sort of meat will be awesome in the seasoning so just use whatever you may have on hand. Another great thing about this recipe is that it is essentially an easy sheet pan supper too! You could always throw on some broccoli florets, asparagus, or baby red potatoes and bake those suckers right along side this delicious lemon pepper chicken.
How to make Baked Lemon Pepper Chicken
The lemon pepper seasoning for this meal makes enough to thoroughly coat 8 small chicken thighs or 5-6 giant ones. I found my chicken thighs on sale for less than $2 a pack so they’re small, but they fed my family a couple of meals for less than $4! Woot!
I also used meyer lemon zest for the dry rub seasoning because they are are in season and are so much better than regular lemons. Meyer lemons are said to be a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange so they’re richer, sweeter, and have a deeper flavor than standard lemons. But, fret not! Any kind of lemon, or citrus fruit you can zest for that matter, will work in this recipe so just use whatever you can find or whatever is cheaper.
The only thing I ask is that you please don’t put any pre-made lemon pepper seasoning in the vicinity of this recipe.
That would just be wrong.
Baked Lemon Pepper Chicken
- 2 lbs chicken thighs
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon zest zest from 3 small lemons
- 1 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning or poultry seasoning
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 fresh cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 3 small lemons thinly sliced
- freshly chopped parsley to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (F) and spritz or brush a medium baking sheet with 1/2 tbsp of olive oil. Dry chicken w/ a paper towel. 2. In a small bowl, combine lemon zest, pepper, salt, paprika, Italian seasoning, garlic, and onion powder and stir until combined. 3. Place the chicken on the baking sheet and heavily sprinkle w/ lemon pepper seasoning and drizzle w/ 1 tbsp olive oil. Flip and move chicken around to coat both sides w/ lemon pepper. Bake, skin side up, for 30-35 minutes. 4. Remove pan from oven, add sliced garlic and lemons around the chicken, drizzle garlic and lemons with remaining olive oil, and continue to roast for 5 more minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Make sure the garlic doesn't burn! 5. Remove chicken from oven, sprinkle with fresh parsley, and serve!