Lemon and garlic roast chicken

For me, roast chicken has always been the ultimate comfort food, but something I rarely made given my reluctance to clean out and stuff “the bird”. I found this recipe from the Queen of comfort food, Nigella, a while back and it gives me the opportunity to make gorgeous roast chicken using chicken pieces rather than a whole bird. This means much quicker preparation and a really cheap meal to make for the family, using ingredients you often already have on hand. While the preparation of the chicken is super quick, about 10 minutes, to get the gorgeous caramelisation of the garlic and lemons it needs to be cooked over low heat for a good couple of hours. As such, this recipe is best kept for a lazy Sunday roast, rather than a quick mid-week meal.


  • 12 chicken drumsticks
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 lemons, cut into chunks
  • 1 handful fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 150 millilitres white wine*
  • black pepper

* While the wine does give the dish an amazing flavour, if you prefer not to cook with wine you can replace with chicken stock or even plain water.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours
Servings: 4


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C.
  2. Lay the chicken drumsticks into a roasting tin and place the garlic cloves and lemon wedges in between. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the top.
  3. Add the oil and turn the chicken pieces to make sure they are well coated, then re-assemble leaving the chicken pieces skin side up.
  4. Pour over the wine, sprinkle with fresh thyme and crack black pepper over the top.img_2255
  5. Cover the pan tightly with foil, then pop in the 160C oven for 2 hours. If you are wanting to speed things up a bit, I have slow roasted at 170C for 1.5 hours and still got gorgeous tender chicken.
  6. After 2 hours (at 160C, or 1.5 hours at 170C), pull the chicken out of the oven and remove the foil. Your chicken legs will be pasty white and swimming in a heap of pan juices. Now to tan them up!
  7. Turn the oven up to 200C and pop the roasting tin back in, uncovered, for a further 20-30 minutes. Keep an eye of the chicken from about 15-20 minutes as ovens vary so much. You will know the chicken is ready when it is gorgeous and brown, the lemons and garlic have started to char and caramelise and the pan juices have reduced.
  8. I like to serve this roast chicken with roasted potatoes, green beans and pan juices. ENJOY!img_2279




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