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Sticky Lemon Oregano Chicken

Easy Sticky Lemon Oregano Chicken on ShockinglyDelicious.com

Sticky Lemon Oregano Chicken is a delicious sweet-sour, tangy, herby chicken dinner. It will be on repeat at your house.

Roasted chicken or turkey skin is my guilty pleasure. I have always loved sneaking into the kitchen to pick off the crispiest, brownest pieces of skin before anyone else gets at them, or – horrors! – before some well-meaning cook discards the fatty skin.

I know the food police think we should eat skinless chicken in these vigilant nutritional times, but I don’t care. Chicken cooked with the bone in and the skin on tastes so much better as to be an entirely different experience than the underdressed variety.

This slightly sweet, lemony, herbaceous recipe tastes fabulous — meat, skin and all. And it’s a slight change of pace for chicken without being so weird you only want to eat it once. I’ve been known to make it twice in one week.

How to make Sticky Lemon Oregano Chicken

First, assemble your ingredients. That way you know if you have everything on hand.

Dwarf Meyer Lemon tree in a half whiskey barrel with lemons hanging from the branchesI start by going to the back yard and picking a lemon. This is a dwarf Meyer lemon tree I planted in a half-whiskey barrel some years ago. It’s scrawny, but each year it gives me 20 or so lemons, and I am thrilled! (If you don’t have a lemon tree in your yard, get your lemons at the store. No stress.)

Ingredients for Sticky Lemon Oregano Chicken on a white plate on a white marble counterThen grab everything you need from the cabinet and refrigerator. For this recipe, we need only a few ingredients:

8 chicken thighs in a baking dish with marinade pouring over, set on a white marble counterPut chicken in a 13×9-inch baking dish. Mix everything else in a measuring cup, and then pour it over the chicken.

8 chicken thighs in a glass baking dish set on a white marble counterAll the marinade/sauce is over the chicken and it’s ready for the oven.

8 chicken thighs deeply brown from roasting, in a yellow sauce, with the pan set on a white marble counterWhen roasted, the chicken gets deeply burnished. I might have left the pan in a few minutes too long (or maybe not if you don’t mind a little char). I went to check my email (never do that, fellow home cooks…just don’t!). Anyway, I like it this way!

6 chicken thighs in a glass baking dish

Fear no food! Eat the skin!

Note: I submitted this recipe to the national food magazine “Taste of Home” and they renamed it Oregano-Lemon Chicken and published it in Country Extra in Nov. 2004.

Sticky Lemon Oregano Chicken Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: Serves 6.

Sticky Lemon Oregano Chicken Recipe

Sticky Lemon-Oregano Chicken is a delicious sweet-sour, tangy, herby chicken dinner. It will be on repeat at your house.


  • 6-8 meaty chicken thighs (bone-in, skin left on), about 2-3 pounds
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed, grated or finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Pinch of kosher salt


  1. Heat oven to 375F degrees. Mist a roasting pan or 13- by 9-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Using a poultry/food shears or knife, snip off and discard any big fat globs, leaving skin intact. Place chicken in pan. In a small bowl or cup, stir all remaining ingredients together and pour over chicken. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Roast chicken, uncovered, for 45 minutes, basting with the accumulated juices once, at the halfway point.
  3. Remove chicken from oven, let rest for a couple of minutes and serve, spooning the pan juices over top. See directions below if you'd like to turn the pan juices into a thicker "lemony gravy."
  4. Serves 6.


Recipe source: Dorothy Reinhold | Shockingly Delicious

Make quick gravy: If you like thicker juices or you want to create a sort of quickie gravy, pour the pan juices into a small saucepan (you’ll have about 1 cup-ish, depending on how much chicken you used). In a small bowl, put 2 tablespoons of the chicken pan juices, and stir in 1 tablespoon cornstarch, until well blended. Stir this slurry back into the juices in the saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils; it will thicken as it reaches the boiling point. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and spoon thickened sauce over chicken and serve.

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Recipe title superimposed over 8 pieces of browned chicken in a yellow sauce, in a glass baking dish

Reader photo of Sticky Lemon Oregano Chicken

Sticky Lemon Oregano Chicken in a glass baking dish
My former newspaper colleague Lori Valesko makes this recipe all the time, and snapped this photo of it ⇑. I want to dig right in! She says, “I doubled the lemon juice and used some arrowroot to make the gravy and it was a HIT with the fam! Paired it with mashed potatoes, (more surface area for the gravy), and green beans for the win. Thanks for saving my butt again.” You’re welcome, Lori. I just wrote “chicken thighs” on my shopping list.

Want another great lemony chicken thigh recipe?

4 Roast Chicken thighs in a dark baking pan with lemon and onion slicesRoast Chicken Thighs with Meyer Lemon and Smoked Paprika [3]

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This recipe for Sticky Lemon Oregano Chicken was originally published June 9, 2010 and has been refreshed and republished today.Closeup of Sticky Lemon Oregano Chicken

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