5 from 2 votes
Southern Fried Lemony Pepper Chicken
Southern Oven-Fried Lemony Pepper Chicken
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
Southern Oven-Fried Lemony Pepper Chicken is the best of both worlds, juicy boneless chicken thighs marinated in freshly squeezed lemon juice, buttermilk, seasoned to perfection with a delicious homemade lemon pepper seasoning, coated with one of the best Southern chicken batters, then smothered in a Lemon and Cream based Gravy made from the perfect roux.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Fried Chicken, Lemon
Servings: 4 people
Author: The McCallum's Shamrock Patch - Heidy L. McCallum
Southern Oven-Fried Lemony Pepper Chicken
  • 10-12 boneless and skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 cups of buttermilk
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour for dredging
  • 3 large fresh eggs lightly beaten
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour for the batter
  • 1 teaspoon of Lemon Pepper seasoning + 1 tablespoon of the batter
  • Kosher salt to own taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to own taste
  • cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter to brush chicken optional
  • 2 lemons sliced optional
  • fresh herbs for garnish
White Lemony Gravy
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 of a cup half and half cream
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • kosher salt to own taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to own taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Wash the packaged chicken thighs in cold water to remove any nasty impurities and then pat dry the chicken thighs with a paper towel.
  3. In a large plastic container with tight-fitting lid or glass baking dish big enough to fit 10-12 boneless and skinless chicken thighs, add 3 cups of buttermilk and the juice of 3 lemons; stir around a bit to mix the buttermilk and lemon juice.
  4. Place all the boneless skinless chicken thighs in the mixture turn a few times before placing in the refrigerator and marinating for 8 hours or overnight if desired. I usually turn mine about 3-4 times in the marinade.
  5. Once the chicken thighs have marinated 8 hours drain off the marinade and promptly dispose of the marinade down the drain.
  6. Place marinated chicken thighs on a platter and season well with the lemon pepper seasoning on both sides about 1 teaspoon total.
  7. In a shallow bowl place 1 cup of all-purpose flour in it to dredge the chicken thighs
  8. Crack 3 large fresh eggs in a medium glass bowl and lightly beat them
  9. In another bowl add 3 cups of all-purpose flour,1 tablespoon of lemon pepper seasoning, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper to own taste; stir to mix seasoning and flour.
  10. Dredge the chicken thighs in flour to coat both sides.
  11. Using a utensil, dip chicken in egg thoroughly coating, let excess drip off.
  12. Place the chicken thighs one at a time in flour and seasoning mixture, turning to coat each side.
  13. Insert a wire baker’s rack into a metal baking sheet, place the breaded chicken thighs on the metal baking rack, lightly brush with melted butter; careful not to remove the chicken batter.
  14. Place in a 350 F preheated the oven and bake for about 50-55 minutes, turning chicken at 30 minutes baking time.
  15. Remove from oven let cool till the gravy is done.
  16. In a large metal skillet, on medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, then add 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and stir constantly for about 2 minutes to cook off raw flour taste, very slowly add 1 and 3/4 cup of whole milk, 1/4 of a cup half and half cream, juice of 1 lemon, and kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to stir till the gravy completely tightens up and becomes a thick creamy consistency. If needed add a bit more milk to thin.
  17. Plate the Lemony Oven-fried chicken thighs in a large clean serving dish. spoon a small amount of the lemony gravy over the chicken and garnish with a lemon slice and fresh herbs if desired. Place extra gravy in a gravy boat to serve with the chicken.