Roasted Chicken Thighs with Apple, Lemon & Onion

roasted chicken thighs with apple

When your fridge has got your back…

You know, there’s something to be said for the kitchen staples. The unsexy foods, the pantry items that just sit, waiting patiently behind closed cupboard doors in the dark, knowing you’ll use them… someday…

This meal is a total ode to those staples. And it’s sink friendly, as there are about three dishes you’ll dirty to make it: the cutting board, the knife, and the roasting dish. Not bad, my friends, not bad. As someone who doesn’t have a dishwasher, it’s almost a point of victory for me when a main meal can be made with under 5 dishes to be washed as a result.

So, these roasted chicken thighs. They’re bone-in, they were frozen, and I luckily had the foresight to thaw them during the day so they’d be ready to go to cook for dinner. I know, crockpots, I know, InstantPots, but listen… I’m having a bit of a love affair with crispy chicken skin and the oven… it does that for you in one fell swoop.

That thawing of the thighs was the only part of this dish that had foresight, since by 5 PM I noticed that while the chicken was there on the counter, waiting patiently and oh so raw… there weren’t other ingredients jumping out at me because wait, there was actually nothing in the fridge–so, this was a time for the barest of essentials to step forward and shine boldly. The two pieces of bacon in the ziplock baggie? CHECK. The leftover apple I never used for that spiced apple compote? Slice off the weird bad spot and CHECK. The onion and head of garlic that luckily do always seem to be hanging tight in the vegetable drawer? CHECK AND CHECK. And the lemon that I feel may in fact be a subtle superfood in its own right? ALWAYS A CHECK.

roasted chicken thighs with apple

I wasn’t going to post this.

Truth be told, this recipe wasn’t even for the blog! This meal was 100% me trying to feed myself during the middle of the week, and as I went along, I realized… well, hey. This meal is the whole point of Essential Omnivore! That you can make real food happen even when it’s not your main focus.

Don’t believe me? Try it out and see what happens.


Roasted Chicken Thighs with Apple, Lemon & Onion

A dish that requires one cutting board, one roasting vessel, one knife, and some pantry staples. Easy, quick, paleo, SCD and AIP with the seasonings variations.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 5 people
Author Lucia Hawley


  • 1 pound bone-in chicken thighs with skin
  • 1 apple core removed and sliced
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 1 onion peeled, halved and sliced into 8-10 wedges
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 strips of bacon optional, but delicious, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes remove for AIP
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika remove for AIP and substitute 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Drizzle the olive oil in the baking pan. Place the chicken thighs skin side down briefly to coat them with the olive oil, then flip the thighs so the skin faces up.

  3. Add in the apple, lemon, onion, garlic and bacon and briefly move them around the pan to coat them with the olive oil. Don't be precious about it.
  4. Sprinkle sea salt over both the vegetables and the thighs, then sprinkle the red pepper flakes and smoke paprika over the chicken thighs.
  5. Transfer to the oven and roast for 60 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool, then serve when you're ready.


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