These caramelized onion thyme lemon chicken legs are insanely juicy and delicious! All it requires is 5 ingredients, 30 minutes and one pan to get this mouthwatering dish ready. Oh, and did I mention it's also gluten free?
Caramelized Onions Thyme Lemon Chicken Legs. It's a mouthful, I know but believe me, its name is the only time consuming thing about this dish. Because otherwise, this is one of those dump and go recipes where the whole dish is cooked in a single pan and requires very little supervision!
The resulting dish though is one that will have you reaching for seconds! Imagine juicy pieces of chicken cooked on a bed of slowly caramelizing onions. Lemon and honey add the perfect medley of sweet and citrusy flavours, while the earthiness of thyme grounds all the different elements together.
Quick Walk Through: Caramelized Onion Thyme Lemon Chicken Legs
Reasons why you'll love this recipe
- This caramelized onion thyme lemon chicken legs is so simple that you'll be making it over and over again.
- It's healthy in a clean eating sort of way as this recipe is made entirely from whole ingredients.
- It's sort of inspired by the caramelized onion and rosemary chicken that I posted a while ago which you guys seem to love so much. And I can imagine why! Both these recipes follow the exact same process, but are miles apart in flavor.
How to caramelize onions for this recipe?
Now everyone thinks that caramelized onions take time and you need to be at it for hours. And while that might be true for other recipes, for this one all you need to do is dump the onions in a pan with some oil and prop some chicken on top. And bam! You have caramelized onions as your chicken cooks and you don't even need to stir them once! I've only ever tried this with chicken. And IMO this happens because the onions cook in the juices of the chicken, and because the chicken is sitting on top of them, they become stickier and sort of melt.
Top tips to make the best caramelized onion chicken
- I would highly recommend using bone-in thigh pieces for this recipe. Since they are thicker, they can withstand the high cooking temperatures and still remain tender and juicy until the very end.
- Make sure to flip the chicken pieces halfway through to ensure that they cook evenly on both sides.
Cast iron pans are the best choice to cook chicken, and it works especially well for one pan recipes. Cast iron pans retain heat a lot better, plus it also distributes this heat more evenly. This means more evenly cooked food. Plus, cast iron pans lend a subtle smokiness, which further enhances the overall flavor of the whole dish.
Even though I recommend bone-in pieces for this recipe as they remain tender and juicy throughout the cooking process. But boneless or breast pieces will work too. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
I love serving this with a side of stir fried veggies and mashed potato. But you can even serve it with roti or naan and some salad for a more desi meal. If you love chicken dinners, don't forget to follow my Chicken Recipes board on Pinterest for a daily dose of inspiration!
Caramelized Onion Thyme Lemon Chicken Legs
- 1 teaspoon Oil
- 1 teaspoon Butter
- 2 Chicken Legs whole
- 1 teaspoon Chili Powder or Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- 3 Onions sliced
- 3 - 4 Thyme sprigs
- 1 Lemon sliced
- Salt to taste
- In a bowl mix together chili powder or paprika, minced garlic, honey and salt. Rub this all over the chicken legs and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Heat oil and butter in a pan and place the chicken legs. Brown on high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side. Add onions to the pan and stir once. Instead of onions placed on top of the chicken, pick up each leg and place it on top of the onions. Top with thyme sprigs and lemon slices.
- Cover and cook for 25-30 minutes turning once midway through the cooking process. Switch off the flame and let the chicken rest in the pan for 5-10 minutes before serving.