Thai Baked Lemon Chicken

  • Total: 72 mins
  • Prep: 12 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: Serves 2-4
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
536 Calories
22g Fat
44g Carbs
41g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In this easy baked chicken recipe, both lemon and lemongrass are used to create a delicious garlic infused lemon chicken that literally melts in your mouth. Quarter chicken pieces (leg and thigh) are perfect to use and make nice individual portions for serving guests. In fact, this has become one of my standard 'company is coming' dishes because it's so easy to make, yet beautiful to serve. And because it's mild in flavor, everyone loves it, even picky eaters like my step-kids (they always want seconds!). Give it a try!


  • 2 to 4 pieces of chicken (leg and thigh quarter pieces, or 6 to 8 drumsticks with skin)
  • pinch of salt
  • Garnish: lemon slices and fresh coriander (optional)
  • For Lemon Marinade:
  • 3 tablespoons ​lemongrass (can be purchased frozen at Asian stores) OR 1 1/2 stalks fresh lemongrass, prepared)
  • 1 lemon (squeezed for juice)
  • 6 tablespoons fish sauce (available by the bottle in Asian/Chinese food stores)
  • 5 to 6 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 to 2 red chili (fresh, minced, or 1/3 to 1/2 tablespoon dried crushed chili, add more or less to taste)
  • 1/3 cup liquid honey
  • 1 cup coconut milk OR evaporated milk

Steps to Make It

For instructions on how to prepare fresh lemongrass, see: All About Cooking with Lemongrass.

Stir all the 'Lemon Marinade' ingredients together in a bowl. Stir well to dissolve the honey into the coconut milk. Set aside.

Be sure not to remove the fat from the chicken pieces (most of this will seep out and won't be eaten anyway, but what remains will help flavor the chicken and keep it moist). Spread the chicken pieces out in a flat-bottomed baking dish.

Pour 3/4 of the lemon marinade over the chicken pieces. Turn the chicken pieces in the sauce several times, ensuring they are well saturated. Reserve remaining sauce for later.

Leave the pieces turned skin-side down in the sauce and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours ahead of time.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Turn the chicken pieces skin-side-up and sprinkle each one with a little salt. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons water to the bottom of the dish around the chicken, ensuring it won't dry out.

Bake uncovered on the middle rack of your oven for 1 hour. Half-way through baking, drizzle chicken pieces with the remaining marinade. Chicken is done with it turns a beautiful golden-brown.

Serve with either rice or potatoes. My husband and I like to spoon some of the lemony juices from the pan over the chicken as we eat. Also excellent served with Coconut Saffron Rice. Garnish with lemon slices and a sprinkling of fresh coriander, and ENJOY!