Unbelievably Tasty Lemon Garlic Chicken

Lemon Garlic Chicken

Lemon garlic chicken is a very common marinade, and flavoring, in the Middle East. 

It seems marinades were first developed by the Ancient Egyptians as a way to preserve food.

These techniques of food preservation were adopted across the globe, and adapted to the local foods.

These pickling and preserving methods were also a way of softening the marinated meats.

People then realized that by marinating chicken, and meats, they were able to add lots more flavor.

Modern day marinades were born and are enjoyed around the world in many different ways.

What is Lemon Garlic Chicken?

Lemon Garlic Chicken

These ingredients are probably the most popular way of flavoring and cooking chicken.

Lemon garlic chicken is a tasty, and very easy preparation of roasted chicken for a chicken dinner.

Pairing chicken and lemon is an old favorite that will enhance the chicken flavor while tenderizing the meat.

Garlic will of course add a ton of flavor to your chicken dish especially when allowed to soak with the chicken.

How to Make Lemon Garlic Chicken

Lemon Garlic Chicken

Using any part of the chicken that is your favorite is totally fine to do for this dish.

I like to use chicken thighs for the best flavor, in my opinion, for this family loved meal.

Many people opt for using chicken breasts, with bone in, skin on, to add to the juiciness.

If you do decide to leave the skin on the thighs, then it’s a good idea to brown by pan frying first.

Place the chicken in a skillet over medium high heat with a little oil and fry quickly to brown.

Begin by making the marinade by adding the chicken broth to a large bowl along with the lemon juice. 

Then add the olive oil, crushed garlic, pepper, salt, cardamom and thyme, stir well to mix ingredients.

Add the chicken to the marinade, rub well, infusing ingredients into the chicken.

Allow the chicken to sit covered for an hour in the chicken stock marinade.

Uncover the chicken and cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes until done and crispy on top.

Some lemon garlic chicken recipes call for white wine, with additional lemon flavor in the form of lemon zest.

It is your choice to add these ingredients; all alcohol cooks off if that is a concern.

This style of chicken can also be cooked in a slow cooker for an additionally moist chicken experience.

Sprinkle with extra salt and pepper if you choose, and serve with pasta, rice, quinoa or buckwheat.

Lemon Garlic Chicken Arab Style

Lemon Garlic Chicken

Grilling chicken and other meats over the BBQ is a very typical way of cooking meat in the Middle East.

Using marinades is also a typical feature in food from that part of the world.

Typical marinade ingredients are lemon juice, garlic, yogurt, red pepper paste, and flakes.

Often these ingredients will almost always include olive oil of some kind, given the popularity of this oil.

After marinating the chicken in the garlic and lemon juice marinade the chicken will be tossed onto the grill.

Keeping the heat at a medium temperature the chicken will be seared and then brushed with additional marinade.

The chicken is then moved to a cooler part of the grill to cook through.

More marinade will be brushed over the meat as it cooks.

Potatoes will also be grilled and brushed with the same marinade producing a lovely tangy flavor.

Chicken and potatoes are sprinkled with salt and pepper, served with fresh pita, and yogurt.

Can I Use a Whole Chicken?

Yes, you can make this using a whole chicken by placing the chicken into a Dutch oven, then adding the broth.

Mix the rest of the ingredients into a paste and rub the whole chicken, spreading as evenly as possible.

Cover the Dutch oven and bake in a 400ºF (200ºC) oven for an hour and a half, until the chicken is done.

Or you can use a whole cut up chicken, by rubbing it with the ingredients and again baking in a Dutch oven.

Chicken is such a versatile ingredient for seasoning, and putting it in the oven, with so many choices.

Can I Include Vegetables?

The simple answer is yes of course you can, but take into consideration the vegetables you use.

If your vegetable of choice produces a lot of liquid when cooking then that liquid will end up in your dish.

Just be aware of this extra liquid, which can always be made into a gravy.

In the Middle East a very popular vegetable to include with garlic lemon chicken is the potato.

Other popular vegetables to include in this dish are carrots, turnips, and sweet potatoes.

What to Serve with Lemon Garlic Chicken

I love to serve this dish with a garlic, yogurt, and cucumber salad.

Rice is another favorite side dish of mine to go with this succulent chicken meal.

Other salads, like tabbouleh, and fattoush are also yummy.

Pasta, like spaghetti, fettuccine or even ziti, make a great base for this chicken meal. 

Tips for Making

Lemon Garlic Chicken

In this recipe I use boneless skinless chicken thighs for ease of serving and cooking.

However, using bone in chicken pieces is perfectly acceptable and will often add some extra juiciness to the dish.

Leaving the skin on your chicken will add a lot of flavor to your dish given the skin is fatty and flavorful.


Please note that when you use a marinade on your chicken, and any is leftover uncooked.

Make sure you discard the leftover marinade; uncooked chicken juices in a marinade can make you very ill.

Lemon Garlic Chicken Recipe

Lemon garlic chicken is a tasty, and very easy preparation of roasted chicken for a chicken dinner.
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Course: Chicken
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Keyword: Chicken, Garlic, Lemon
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 35kcal


  • 6 pcs chicken thighs boneless, skinless
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC)
  • Pour the chicken broth and lemon juice into a large bowl.
  • Add the olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cardamom, and thyme; stir well.
  • Add the chicken and rub with the marinade.
  • Cover the chicken and allow to sit for an hour.
  • Remove the chicken from the bowl and place in a baking dish.
  • Bake the chicken in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until done.



Calories: 35kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 27mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

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  1. Hello Chef Tariq,

    My wife makes a Lebanese fried chicken much like the above recipe which she learned from her Sitti, Martha Saad. Like her Sitti, she does not have any recipes written down but cooks by memory and taste. Sitti’s ancestral home is a small village in Lebanon, the name of which I cannot recall; I’ll ask.

    My question is: How does one spell the name of the sauce which is pronounced “tah-ah-tule”?

    1. So sorry for the late reply! This time of year gets crazy. It is so nice to know that your wife had recipes handed down to her from her Sitti. One of my best friend growing up was from the Saad family. Can you give me another clue regarding the sauce you are looking for? I couldn’t get it from what you sent. I look forward to hearing from you again.

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