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One Pan Lemon Chicken Thighs and Wild Rice

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One pan chicken thighs to the rescue for a simple and tasty weeknight dinner. Tender chicken over Meyer lemon and fresh thyme infused wild rice.

Crispy chicken thighs with lemon and wild rice in cast iron skillet

Welcome everybody. Welcome to the world of easy one pan chicken dinners that are ridiculously delicious.

Is that bold of me to say? Mmm, I’m siding with the reason that I don’t care because I want you to get the satisfaction this dish gives me.

Meyer lemon chicken thighs and wild rice on a plate.

These one pan chicken thighs has all sorts of things going on that you should know about:

  • ONE PAN. Ok, and a plate. But guys, one pan to wash – it’s food blogger, busy mom/person, dish washing hater nirvana.
  • Cheap Eats. Chicken thighs are one of my favorite go to’s because they are always tender and one of the cheaper cuts available. Which general means I can splurge for the organic stuff.
  • Super flavorful. Trust me, the bold and italics are necessary. The rice is cooked with herbs and stock and a touch of wine and butter. The chicken skin is crispy but also has sweet and citrus-y lemon flavor.
  • Simple, yet fancy. Simple enough for weeknight ‘what the heck are we going to have’ dinner, or – speaking from personal experience – an ‘I just had a baby but need to cook something’ dinner. But it’s also fancy enough you could serve this for a crowd.
  • Did I mention it’s a one pan dinner?

One Pan Lemon Chicken Thighs over Wild Rice in Cast Iron Pan

One Pan (and a Plate) Start to Finish

We are currently having ourselves a little heat wave in Boston, just at the end of August. So while I’d like to be on to leggings, sweaters, PSLs and fall flavored dinners like Cranberry Walnut Chicken Thighs and Easy Baked Pumpkin Risotto, making the switch just doesn’t feel right. So let’s bask in all the Meyer lemon and fresh herb flavors we can, right?

Truth. You don’t have to use Meyer lemons. Only if you’re totally obsessed with them like I am. Like here and here. Meyer lemons are sweeter and less acidic so you could go ahead and gobble them right up with the skin. But if standard lemons are what you are reaching for, go for it.

Lemon chicken thighs over wild rice in lodge cast iron pan

Other truth. Your one pan chicken does not have to be cooked in a cast iron. Chicken thighs can be made just as tasty in a regular stainless steel pan. Our kitchen just happens to be stocked with a giant, 13-inch Lodge cast iron so we use it every chance we can.

Okay, real quick. Last thing, then we can move onto one pan chicken meal perfection. You need to know about this rice. It’s WILD. Wild, like your standard blend of ‘wild rice’ but also wild as in ‘this rice is creamy and rich and tastes like flavorful things and not just boiled starch.’

Your flavorful rice things being a smidge of butter for that creaminess, a touch of white wine to scrape all those seared chicken bits off the pan, garlic, fresh thyme, rich chicken stock, and more Meyer lemon. Because I told you, #obsessed.

Did you make this dish? Are you #obsessed now too?! I want to hear about it. Leave a comment or be sure to tag @hungerthirstplay on instagram.

Crispy chicken thighs with lemon and wild rice in cast iron skillet

One Pan Lemon Chicken Thighs and Wild Rice

Easy, weeknight dinner with only one pan to wash.  One pan lemon chicken thighs are crisp and juicy with rich, flavorful wild rice.
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Course: one pan meals
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken thigh recipes, easy dinner recipes, Meyer lemons, one pan dinners
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Author: Lauren

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 pounds bone-in skin on chicken thighs (about 8 thighs)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 to 10 springs of thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Meyer lemons thinly sliced
  • 1 Meyer lemon zested and juiced
  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Season + Sear:  Preheat oven to 400°F.  Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towel and season skin side with salt and pepper.  On the stove top, heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat.  Sear the chicken thighs skin side down for 5 minutes.  Turn chicken thighs and cook an additional 3 minutes.
  • Start the Rice:  Reduce heat to medium and transfer the chicken to a plate.  Melt the butter.  Add the garlic and thyme - watch out for splatter if your thyme is wet.  Stir and cook for 30 seconds to perfume the thyme. Add the rice, stirring until liquid is absorbed.
  • Finish + Combine:  Deglaze the pan with white wine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Cook until almost all the wine is soaked up - about 2 minutes.  Add chicken stock, zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon.  Stir to combine.  Slide the chicken thighs and any juices from the plate over the rice.  Top chicken with lemon slices and bring the liquid to a simmer.
  • Bake + Broil:  Bake for 35-40 minutes in a 400°F oven (see notes.)  Broil on high for 5-10 minutes before serving to crisp skin and slightly char lemons.

Notes

If you don't have a cast iron, a large, deep sided skillet or dutch oven will work.  Just make sure the pan is both stove top and oven safe.
Meyer lemons are recommended for their sweeter taste but standard lemons can definitely be substituted.
Cooking times will vary depending on the type of rice.  If using wild rice, you will need about 40 minutes of cooking time, plus the broiling.   Regular brown rice will require less cooking time - about 20-25 minutes.  Whether cooking less for brown rice or more for wild rice, the chicken thighs will be equally tender from resting on top of the liquid in the pan.

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Recipe Rating




Jennifer Gilkerson

Sunday 21st of February 2021

This turned out absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and this was a hit! Saving this one.

Lauren

Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

So glad you loved it! Thank you!

Monica

Tuesday 18th of September 2018

It is looking too yummy. I just had food and I am again starving after seeing your lemon chicken. I will try to make this lovely recipe for my weekend dinner.

Sam | Ahead of Thyme

Sunday 2nd of September 2018

Wow this chicken and rice dish looks amazing!! I love how easy it is to make!

Michele

Sunday 2nd of September 2018

WOW! That is a gorgeous-looking chicken dish! My mouth is watering right now. Love that it's made in one cast iron pan. Makes it so easy!

Sharon

Sunday 2nd of September 2018

This looks like a great dish! One pan, easy but looks fancy enough for special occasions. Can't wait to make this.