Rosemary Lemon Chicken Thighs
Updated: Feb 18
I love chicken thighs. They are so cheap they almost feel free, ultra versatile, and so yummy! This recipe has been a household staple for years, but it feels special enough you could absolutely serve it to guests or at a party.
What You Will Need:
1 (or two) packs of chicken thighs
For The Sauce:
3 Tbs butter
3 cloves garlic minced
4-6 fresh rosemary sprigs
3/4 cup white wine
3 lemons juiced (save Lemon rinds)
2 jars of Heinz Fat Free Chicken Gravy or 3 cups chicken stock thickened with cornstarch
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. The first step to this recipe is to quickly pan fry your chicken thighs. This quick sear will ensure juicy meat and crispy skin. To do this, prepare two large pans on your stove top with enough vegetable oil to cover the entire bottom of the pan and heat to medium high heat. Throughly pat thighs down with paper towels until completely dry. Season both sides liberally with salt and pepper. Place thighs in the hot oil, skin side down, and let cook for 4 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook for 1 minute on flesh side. Be careful not to over crowd your pans—maybe only 2 to 3 thighs per pan at a time. Place finished thighs in a 9” x 13” pan or other large baking dish and continue until all thighs have been fried.
Pour out 95% of the oil from one of your pans and reduce heat to medium low. To the pan add butter and minced garlic. Be sure to scrape up any of the delicious browned bits that happen to still be hiding on the bottom of the pan. Add sprigs of rosemary and allow to fry for a moment until fragrant. Pour in white wine and fresh lemon juice and turn heat up to high. Boil for 2 minutes to allow the wine to reduce. Turn off heat and stir in the jars of Heinz gravy.
You may be wondering, “Cathleen, why store bought gravy?” Well there is a back story. When I lived in Boston I worked for a high end authentic Italian restaurant right outside the city. I would stand behind the line and watch the chefs as they assembled many of the dishes. One of the ingredients they used all the time was called “brown sauce” and it was a house made sauce that consisted of meat drippings and vegetables that had been thickened. This brown sauce was a backbone to many dishes—giving them depth of flavor and velvety texture. Well now that I am back in Pennsylvania and function as your average house cook, I clearly don’t have brown sauce at my fingertips anymore. Here is where the Heinz Gravy comes into play. Essentially it functions the exact same way, thickening a sauce I am making from scratch and adding that wonderful meaty flavor.
Phew, that was a rabbit trail! Back to cooking. As stated above, you could absolutely also pour in regular chicken stock at this point. If that is your preference, add 3 cups chicken stock and in a separate bowl make a slurry using a 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/4 to a 1/2 cup cold water. Stir vigorously until cornstarch mixture is smooth and runny, then slowly incorporate slurry into your sauce stirring constantly over medium heat until desired thickness has been achieved. I use the gravy because it’s easy and tastes awesome when dressed up with all the other ingredients.
Pour sauce over chicken thighs. Try to keep as much of the skin exposed as possible. Arrange lemon rinds around the chicken and evenly distribute rosemary springs around the pan. Cook for 30 minutes at 375. Crank heat up to broil and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until the skin is a deep and crunchy brown. Serve over rice so none of your delicious sauce goes to waste. Enjoy!