This Sesame Lemon Chicken takes just 30 minutes to make and is so tasty! Crispy skinned chicken thighs are coated in a delicious sticky lemon sauce that resembles the classic Chinese takeout dish of Lemon Chicken. It’s Paleo, Gluten and Grain Free and perfect for weeknight dinner. 

I’ve been wanting to make a healthier version of Chinese Lemon Chicken for awhile, but struggled with replicating the crispiness of the chicken.

It turns out that crispy skin is easier, and so much tastier than any breaded coating I could create. I’ve become a huge fan of deboning chicken thighs, so you get that delicious crunchy skin, without the long cook time. All you need is a pair of sharp scissors and it really couldn’t be any easier to cut out the bone.

Once the chicken thighs have been deboned, they just need to be cooked skin side down for a few minutes to get that delicious crispiness. While the chicken is cooking, you make a quick lemon sauce with coconut aminos, lemon juice, chicken stock and honey and leave it to simmer until it has reduced to a thick sticky sauce.

This entire Sesame Lemon Chicken dish can be made in under 30 minutes (including deboning the chicken!) which makes it perfect for weeknight dinner. It would be fantastic served with a side of cauliflower rice to absorb any excess sauce or over salad for a more refreshing option. I recommend reheating any leftovers in the oven so that the chicken skin stays crispy.

Here are a few other ways to use chicken thighs…


If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!

Crispy Sesame Lemon Chicken

5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Diets Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo, Refined Sugar Free, Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal
Servings 4


  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari/soy sauce)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 6 bone in skin on chicken thighs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp chopped scallions


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F (175C)
  • In a small pot on medium heat add the sesame oil, garlic and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Pour in the coconut aminos, chicken stock, lemon juice and honey and leave to simmer on medium low heat. Make sure that it is not fulling boiling otherwise the liquid will burn and whisk every 5 minutes or so while it reduces by half. 
  • To prep the chicken, lay the thighs on a cutting board, skin side down. Run a knife down both sides of the bone in the middle and then using kitchen scissors pull the bone up with your fingers and cut the meat away from the bone until it is completely detached. Repeat with the remaining thighs. 
  • Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil on medium high heat in a large oven proof skillet. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and then place them skin side down in the pan. Leave the chicken to cook for approx 5 minutes until the skin is golden in colour and crisp. Flip the chicken over and leave it to cook for another 2-3 minutes. 
  • Once the chicken is golden on both sides, drain the oil from the pan. Pour the reduced sauce over the chicken in the pan and scatter a few of the lemon slices around the chicken. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes until the sauce has become thick and sticky. 
  • Before serving pour some of the excess sauce from the bottom of the pan over the chicken and garnish with sesame seeds and chopped scallions. 


*You could make this dish with the bones left in the chicken, the cooking time will just have to be increased. I would recommend cooking the chicken as directed on the stove top but baking it in the oven for a total of 30 minutes. 
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below and let us know how it was!