RECIPE: Braised Chicken Thighs, Oregano, Garlic & Lemon

 In Local Food, Nutrition & Health, Recipes

Braised Chicken Thighs, Oregano, Garlic & Lemon by Barbie Aknin of Community Cuisine

Serves 4-6

This is a quick go-to chicken dinner for me. I serve it with couscous, millet or quinoa. Whole or slices carrots can be added to the pan for the last 10 minutes of cooking making a delicious one-pan meal.

Think about cooking two birds at once. I’ve listed some of my go-to meals using the leftovers below.



  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces, about 3 1/2 pounds
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 or 2 lemons, thinly sliced, seeds discarded
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 Tbls. fresh oregano leaves, plus more for garnish or 1 Tbls. dried
  • 1 cup green olives such as castelvetrano olives with or without pits



  1. Remove the chicken from the fridge 20 minutes before cooking to remove the chill.



  1. Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towel and season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. In a pan large enough to hold all of the chicken in a single layer, heat 2 Tbls. of the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, skin-side down, and sear until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. To get a crispy brown “crust”, do not move the chicken while it sears. Once the skin is crispy and golden brown, turn to brown remaining skin. Note: it’s only necessary to brown the skin side so a breast, for example, does not need to be browned on the side without skin. Remove the pieces from the pan to a plate and set aside.
  4. Add the lemon slices to the pan and brown, without moving, on one side. Set slices aside.
  5. Add more oil if needed (1 Tbls.) and add the onion. Sauté, stirring often, until golden.
  6. Add the garlic slices and continue to sauté over med-low heat until garlic is fragrant and tender.
  7. Add the lemon juice, chicken broth and oregano.
  8. Cook, stirring, until the onions have wilted and the brown bits on the bottom of the pan have loosened, about 4 minutes.
  9. Nestle the chicken pieces skin-side up in the onion mixture and add the olives. Set one lemon slice on each chicken thigh. Cover loosely and simmer chicken until cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165˚F,
  10. Rest for 2-3 minutes before serving.



Bring the chicken to room temperature for 30 minutes then bone and spread the meat.

Pit the olives and chop them coarsely with the cooked lemon slices.

  • Toss with pasta, cooked zucchini and more chicken broth
  • Warm the chicken, olive-lemon mixture and serve as tacos with feta, shredded cabbage and cilantro
  • Make a warm salad by using one head of torn winter lettuce such as escarole, radicchio or curly endive. Heat a large pan to medium high with 2 Tbls. of olive oil. Add the lettuce and a sprinkle salt to the pan and toss for 2 minutes or just until barely wilted. Remove the lettuce to a large salad bowl and toss with 1 Tbls. good red or white wine vinegar. Add the leftover chicken, olives, feta, croutons, etc. and toss.

About the Chef

Barbie Aknin of Community Cuisine has provided cooking instruction in corporate settings, cooking schools, private events, and in her own home for more than twenty years.

Community Cuisine brings people together in the kitchen to cook, to learn, and to celebrate. We teach the art, technique, and value of cooking by sharing wisdom from culinary traditions past and present. All classes incorporate professional cooking methodology that offers our students the tools they need to tackle any type of cuisine or diet.

To learn more about Community Cuisine, visit


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