Chicken Roasted with Lemon and Garlic

This particular roast, Chicken Roasted with Lemon and Garlic, (one of the easiest to do) I’ve been meaning to cook again for a while. But the chicken roasted with yoghurt and lime took precedence for several weekends now. And I have to admit a preference for it. Regardless of how good this is. This time around the decision to go with the lemon and garlic was partly due to the cauliflower stuffing with za’atar. Still, that would go really well with the other, too. Oh, the decisions. I’m actually torn between the two recipes. I’m guessing right now that the only way of deciding which is best is to go with the yoghurt and lime next weekend to taste the differences. Either way I’m not going with the recipe for the stuffing within this post. That’s going to be separate. It’s the end of the week and I’m behind schedule. To the extent I shouldn’t really be spending time on this!

Chicken Roasted with Lemon and Garlic, with new potatoes and cauliflower stuffing with za'atar


  • olive oil
  • 500g (17.64 oz) x chicken leg quarters, skin and excess fat removed and discarded, rinsed
  • 2 x medium lemons, freshly squeezed through a fine sieve if necessary
  • about 4 x garlic cloves, kept in their shells
  • about 500g (17.64 oz) x new potatoes (Charlotte used), scrubbed, small kept whole, larger cut in half or thirds, coated in olive oil
  • 1 x dried bay leaf, split
  • cold water, to add to the juices in the roaster throughout roasting

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.


  • Preheat oven to 200°C or 392°F.
  • After preparing the chicken place in an oven suitable roaster, pour over the lemon juice, add the bay leaf pieces and the garlic cloves. Either add the potatoes to the same roaster, if large enough, or keep them separate if there isn’t enough space.
  • Roast both the chicken and potatoes on the same shelf of the centre of the oven for up to 1½ hours, depending on the size of the leg quarters and how hot the oven is. Do baste every 20 – 30 minutes, turning the chicken pieces over and making sure they’re coated in the lemon mixture. Add a splash or two of water to keep the juices wet at all times. Turn the potatoes as well, making sure they’re nicely coated in oil. If the potatoes are cooking faster than the chicken simply cover them with tinfoil, which should be removed at least 10 minutes prior to serving to crisp the potatoes again.
  • The chicken can be tested, to make sure it’s fully cooked, by inserting a metal skewer into the fattest part of the thigh or drumstick and, if there are no pink juices oozing out, the chicken will be cooked. If in doubt cook until the juices run clear. Never serve undercooked chicken.



  • If, like me, it’s not always possible to buy ripe lemons (by that I mean soft when squeezed) then do buy them several days ahead and store them in a cupboard. Like bananas they will ripen further, unlike oranges. Here’s a great link with that and other info on lemons:

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Kitschnflavours:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny Hepburn

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  1. I love the idea of this lemon and garlic chicken… I often use the same ingredients for my own roast chicken, but with lots of home-grown thyme, pepper and a knob of butter. So good. You’ve got me intrigued over the lime and yoghurt chicken. That is a combination that I’ve never even thought of! I’m curious to see your next chicken post, particularly with the gorgeous za’atar stuffing (I adore za’atar). Btw, I’m curious, which recipe sites do you view as being ‘rubbish’?

    • The yoghurt and lime is already published. In fact, I’ve been updating my A – Z Recipes page on and off all day:
      Chances are I wouldn’t have bothered to look for that otherwise :)
      – The stuffing was a bit of an eye-opener, in that I’ve tried using za’atar recently (for the first time) and wasn’t impressed. Maybe it’s the product I’ve bought, or is it za’atar itself as I’ve found that it really needs to be roasted to bring out those incredible flavours – subtle and sublime with every mouthful. Love it!
      – Don’t want to mention names on here but there’s a couple of big recipe sites full of, mostly, home-grown posts (not from bloggers, though). It’s got to the stage I only check online for British recipes, especially if it’s to do with baking. It’s funny that very few food blogs come up over here when I use Google to try and do some research. They’re quite often big names. Shame!

      • Oooh, I will check out the other post. And yes, I do think that za-atar needs to be very fresh or toasted to be worthwhile. I’ve been toasting the spice mix I bought recently and it really brings out the flavour. I agree re the big name recipe sites.

  2. This looks delicious! It’s only morning in Australia, but I want this for breakfast!! The dark set and the whole chicken drumstick make me think you held a Shakespearean style feast! Also, za’atar is amazing, can’t wait to see the stuffing recipe!

    • Here’s hoping you won’t be disappointed with the stuffing recipe, as it’s really quite ordinary. The za’atar helped to bring it right out of the doldrums. Having said that I ate more of the stuffing than the little roasted potatoes, which are usually my favourites. Really impressed with the za’atar this time around. It’s a new spice mix for me as it’s not that easy to find, especially where I now live.
      – Hah, Shakespeare! Wasn’t thinking along those lines :) Actually, I was cursing that I only have one prop that suited the colours of the sweet potatoes! And that I ended up shoving in the background.

      • I discovered za’atar a few years ago, but I’m yet to cook with it myself. I’d never thought of making a stuffing out of it!!
        Haha photo shoots don’t often go the way one intends them to! Your photos look fabulous all the same.

  3. This is a simple and classic chicken recipe. I have wanted to try preparing za’atar for some time now so I think after seeing the continuation of this post I may have a good place to start. I adore your photographs in this post. Striking.

    • Isn’t it? Yet, it’s so long since I’ve bothered to cook it.
      – I’m really hoping the stuffing isn’t going to end up disappointing as a post! Especially as I didn’t do any research for it. It’s one of those dishes thrown together as I couldn’t get other ingredients last minute. Still, tasted great :)
      – And thank you, re photos.

  4. ciao! your photos are worth your effort as is your chicken recipe. chicken is not often on my plate, but yours will be soon. yum :) and yes, do feature a monthly ingredient…great idea.

    • Thank you for that. Was hoping to feature saffron this month but it might be more suitable for next.
      – Chicken is very seldom on mine, either. And it’s usually for weekends where I don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking savouries. Why wreaking havoc in my kitchen was playing out whilst writing the previous sentence is anyone’s guess!

  5. Very nice recipe and photos ! I haven’t been in the mood for roasted chicken in ages, but this looks both simple and delicious ! :)

    • To be honest I don’t remember the last time I cooked this. This was something that I used to eat quite often when visiting someone I used to know from the Basque country, living in Central London. Although the chicken served was always whole and free range. Too much for one!

  6. I like the idea of a feature recipe, but I guess it will depend on whether you’ll like that, or whether it will feel a tad forced. Either way, the chicken looks wonderful. I’m also intrigued by the use of yoghurt as it splits on me…

    • Yes, still toying with the idea of a featured ingredient, although it already feels too late to do so this month. perhaps next month with saffron.
      – The yoghurt splits on me when roasting chicken with it and lime. I just strain the juices through a sieve which helps to collect the curds. Those are chucked and the juices turned into a thin gravy.

    • Aren’t they. Funny thing is I made chicken with thyme several weekends ago and loved it. Far more so than this. And I seem to be eating less and less meat. Hardly surprising when there are so many wondrous veg around. Now, to buy an aubergine! If I can get my hands on them. Three evenings in a row last week and the store where I usually buy them had ran out!

  7. I think the ingredient a month is a pretty neat idea. I think Jamie Oliver has that on his website by the way,…. hhmm???
    Anyway, this is one of the my style of chicken I would do, looks gorgeous!

    • Well that wouldn’t put me off! Oh, never quite know what to make of JO. And that accent of his.
      – It’s so easy it didn’t feel like cooking. Until washing up earlier today! How come there are always so many dishes to do for one person?? It’s like I’m feeding a small family :)

      • I usually dont know quite what to make of him either! (also, I bet he is does not personally do his website ;) )
        Anyway, yeah I know, I just did the washing up now for 4 people and it felt never-ending! But its done!

    • Might just do the stuffing over the weekend. Even if it means without chicken this time. Perhaps a couple of white fish fillets as they would go well.
      – Ah, I always devoured this recipe when someone I used to know from the Basque country in Spain used to cook it for us. Hers was always a whole free-range chicken with tiny roasted spuds (potatoes). And regardless of how simple it was it certainly was always delicious.

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