Garlicky Chicken Thighs with Lemon

Garlicky chicken thighs with lemon, capers, and secret ingredient, anchovies

A fresh and bright tasting dish, thanks to fresh lemon juice and zest. It’s full of good antioxidant, anti-inflammatory garlic. Anchovies add a depth of flavor you won’t believe. High in Omega-3s, and one of the few fish you can eat in abundance. Adding capers just makes the garlicky chicken that much better. Any recipe that includes these little briny gems is a good one!

Garlicky Chicken Thighs with Lemon

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Tania Van Pelt


  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs 4 to 5 thighs
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for the wilted lettuce salad
  • 7 anchovy fillets anchovies packed in olive oil, drained
  • 3 tablespoons drained capers patted dry
  • 1 large pinch red pepper chile flakes 1-2 tablespoons, depending on how spicy you want it
  • 2 lemons 1 for juice, another for garnish and for zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh chopped parsley, divided
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, halved halved
  • 1 cup scallions, green and white parts, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Season the chicken thighs with a pinch salt and pepper, set aside until ready to pan-sear. Mince two of the garlic cloves and set them aside for later.

  3. In a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the 5 smashed whole garlic cloves, the anchovies, capers, lemon zest and chile. Let cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the anchovies, until the garlic browns around the edges and the anchovies dissolve, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken thighs and cook until nicely browned on one side, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip the thighs, place the pan in the oven and cook another 5 to 7 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. When chicken is done, transfer thighs to a plate (the pan has been in the oven and the handle is hot).
  6. Place the skillet back on the medium-high heat and add minced garlic, sauté for about 15 seconds, then add the juice of one lemon, and half the fresh chopped parsley. Cook for about 30 seconds, deglazing and scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Put the chicken back in the pan and cook for about 30 seconds with the sauce. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, top with half the sauce.

  7. In the pan put the scallions and romaine lettuce, cook for about 30 seconds or until the lettuce is wilted, coating with sauce.
  8. Transfer the lettuce and scallions to a serving platter. Pour half of the remaining lemony, garlicky, anchovy sauce over the greens and drizzle a little olive oil over the lettuce and scallions, and season with pepper. Pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken and squeeze half a lemon over the chicken and garnish with the rest of the chopped parsley.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Melissa Clark of The New York Times