Sausage Meat-Stuffed Chicken Thighs with Lemon Sauce

This recipe is a lovely alternative way to serving chicken thighs and makes for a fantastic family supper dish. The sausage meat wrapped inside the chicken is really flavoursome and the streaky bacon adds an extra dimension as well as bringing the whole dish together (literally!). You could stop at this point, but adding the lemon sauce takes the dish to a proper, grown up level – lovely, light and a perfect foil to the meat!

Makes 8

What you need…

1 baking dish, lightly buttered and bottom-lined with Bake O Glide/parchment paper. (My baking dish is 30 x 20 x 7cms deep).

350g pork sausage meat

5 tablespoons parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons thyme leaves

Grated zest ½ lemon

50g Parmesan

8 chicken thighs, skinned and boned

8 rashers streaky bacon

Sea salt and black pepper

for the sauce

450ml hot water (from kettle)

1 chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)

50g butter

1 onion, finely chopped

40g plain flour

4 tablespoons double cream

Juice ½ lemon

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

What to do…

Preheat the oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

Into a bowl, use your hands to thoroughly mix together the sausage meat, parsley, thyme, lemon zest and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and mix again. Make 8 short, fat ‘sausages’, each being the length of the chicken thighs.

Place the chicken thighs, skinned side down on a board, open them out and season with salt and pepper. In each one, place a ‘sausage’ and fold the chicken thighs around it.

Using the flat edge of a large knife, stretch the bacon rashers out on a board and then wrap one rasher around each chicken thigh.

Place the chicken thighs into your baking dish, drizzle with a little honey and then pop them in the oven for 35 minutes or until they are cooked through, golden and crispy. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, let’s make the sauce.

Using water just boiled in the kettle, pour the water over the stockpot and mix together using a balloon whisk to create chicken stock.

Melt the butter in wide-based saucepan, add the onion and fry over a moderate heat, stirring regularly for 10 minutes, until soft.

Add the flour to the onions and quickly stir it in. Add the stock and use the balloon whisk again to mix it all together whilst bringing the sauce to the boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer until the sauce is smooth and thickened.

Add the cream and lemon juice together with the cooking juices from the chicken. Stir in the parsley and season. Taste and add more seasoning if required.

Serve the stuffed chicken thighs with lemon sauce as a delightful supper dish – easy, tasty and quite different – really lovely!

Inspired by…

Mary Berry

How easy…

Very easy and relaxing to do – no juggling of multiple tasks at the same time.


  1. Fran says:

    Hi Cindy
    I’ve just made your recipe which is about to go in the oven; however I do have one question – is the amount of sausage meat and Parmesan really 30g and 50g? I only had 5 thighs but when I measured 30g of sausagemeat it looked nowhere near enough for 8 thighs. I finally decided on 150g of sausagemeat and then added the rest of the ingredients as advised.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Cindy Duffield says:

      Hi Fran,
      I have just checked the original recipe and realised that there is a typo – it should read 350g pork sausage meat not 30g! I’m so sorry – I’m usually really careful with the recipes, getting them proof read before I publish them – huge apologies again – how was it, dare I ask?

  2. Fran says:

    Hi Cindy,
    Thanks so much for getting back to me, and no worries at all, dinner was lovely!
    I started with 400g but 150g ended up being just right for the 5 thighs, but in my haste forgot to decrease the herbs . I also made a half quantity of the sauce.
    The result: I really liked it but wished I’d remembered to decrease the herbs, the family loved it and have requested it again – including the amazing sauce, which will go great with other meats/chicken.
    The left over chicken was enjoyed on a sandwich next day, and I made 3 Scotch eggs with the remaining sausagemeat.

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