chicken with lemon & soy

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 2 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes

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chicken lemon soy

How often does a recipe title actually tell you the whole recipe? Not often, but this one does. It’s literally three ingredients and nothing more. I love an honest recipe and like so many honest things, I found it when I wasn’t looking. I was hanging out in my friend Pen’s kitchen while she made it for her family then on my way home I decided I would copy her. It literally took 2 minutes to prepare and I couldn’t believe the result: juicy, salty, tart, and tender, with a built-in sauce that goes with anything, especially veggies you can roast in the oven at the same time like the butternut squash, cashews, and kale I did here. Pen learned this recipe from her husband who learned it from his mom. It’s classic and timeless (and so are they), it can be scaled up or down to feed any number of people, and it’s just as good the next day. It’s the dish I make when I can’t think of anything else and that is the honest truth.


4 chicken thighs (with bone and skin)
1 juicy lemon (I like Meyer)
soy sauce (regular or lite or tamari)


Preheat oven to 375°F. Put the chicken skin side up in a baking dish that fits the thighs snugly, like an 8-inch square one. Squeeze half the lemon over the chicken, then splash with just enough soy sauce to moisten, about 1 tablespoon. (If you are a salt fiend, you can sprinkle with a touch of salt at this point). Turn the chicken over with tongs and repeat the lemon and soy procedure. Bake the chicken, skin side down, for 20 minutes then turn the thighs over and continue to bake skin side up until the skin is lacquered golden brown and the meat is tender and opaque at the bone, about 25 minutes more. Serve with pan sauce spooned over.