Lemon Garlic Chicken with Goat Cheese

Slightly modified from Barefoot Contessa’s Lemon Chicken Breast

Lemon Garlic Chicken with Goat Cheese and Zucchini Noodles

Our oven has been out of commission all week, so cooking has been a bit of a challenge.  We tried to grill as much as possible, but twice got soaked again in the thunderstorms that always pop up promptly at 6:30 pm (or whenever the grill has reached the right temperature).  Also, it’s hot as blazes out there and the mosquitoes are thick and hungry!  No fun!

Another alternative to the oven is cooking in a tagine on the stovetop.  The tagine is similar to a mini-oven, with its curved lid that keeps the heat over the chicken and the moisture in.  Ina Garten, aka as the Barefoot Contessa, has a fabulous recipe for Lemon Chicken Breast that is a classic medley of lemon, garlic, and herbs.  I thought this recipe would adapt well to the tagine since the chicken only needs to simmer in the lemon, garlic, and herbs until it’s tender.  My broiler was still working, so after the chicken was done, it was broiled for a few minutes until the skin was crispy and brown.

What could make this recipe even better?  I combined it with one of my other favorite chicken recipes – Goat Cheese Chicken!  The creamy goat cheese combined with intense lemon and garlic was out of this world!  The sautéed zucchini noodles were also perfect with this mix of flavors.  We’ll be having this again!


  • 6 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 9 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • Lemon zest from 2 lemons
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, chopped fine (I used thyme, oregano, and a little rosemary)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small log fresh goat cheese
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 slices lengthwise

Divide the goat cheese into 6 equal portions.  Using your fingers, loosen the skin from one side of the chicken thigh to form a pocket for the goat cheese.  Try to keep the skin connected to the thigh on the other sides as much as possible, but don’t fret about it if it comes loose.  Place a portion of goat cheese under the skin of each thigh, then press down gently on top of the skin to distribute the goat cheese over the thigh.  Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper.

Over medium heat on stovetop, heat olive oil in the tagine (or a Dutch oven).  Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.  Do not allow garlic to brown.  Add wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, herbs, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Place the chicken thighs skin-side-up over the sauce in the tagine.  Brush the thighs with the sauce.  Tuck the lemon wedges in the tagine among the chicken pieces.  Simmer for 30-40 minutes until the chicken thighs are tender and cooked through; occasionally brush the thighs with more sauce.

Spoon off the excess fat and oil from the tagine and reserve for cooking vegetables.  (If making zucchini noodles, just toss a couple tablespoons of the fat with the zucchini and saute until tender, but not falling apart.)

Start the broiler and place the bottom part of the tagine with the chicken a few inches below the flames or broiler element.  Broil until the tops of the thighs are crispy and well-browned.

Allow the chicken to rest a few minutes so you don’t burn yourself.  Serve hot with pan juices…Enjoy!

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18 thoughts on “Lemon Garlic Chicken with Goat Cheese

  1. Goat cheese chicken in a tagine. I’m licking my chops. Those noodles look like noodles in pesto. And, speaking of R.Johnson, from Clarkesdale, Mississippi, it brings this to mind:

    And of course the best Moroccan-tinged song is:

    Tagines come from Morocco, just to remind your readers.

  2. Wow that looks tasty! You know how I love chicken thighs, so I’ll have to give this a try. Used the tagine the other night to roast beets of all things – phenomenal.

    1. Thanks, Dave! Are you going to post those beets? Beets are one of those things that I would “like to like”, but never quite became fond of. Sounds like a good idea to roast them in the tagine.

  3. Hi! This recipe looks great and I really want to try it! I was wondering if there’s a way to make this without a Dutch oven? Could I cook it on the stove top in a pot and then not bake it since the chicken will be fully cooked? Or could I transfer it to a baking pan and broil it in there? I’d love if you got back to me! Thanks!

  4. I think this recipe is pretty versatile for cooking methods. I cooked it on the stovetop, then broiled it briefly to crisp the skin. I think you could do this all in a baking dish. Bake it in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes until done, at around 375F. That will cook the chicken and probably crisp the skin too, without broiling. Let me know how it works!

  5. Great food AND blues/music lovers?? Kindred spirits…This MS girl loves some blues! Thanks for sharing!!

  6. Great feed and the photos are fabulous – hope to have this again this weekend – many thanks

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