Lemon & Basil Chicken

A delicious recipe from the first Nigel Slater book I ever bought. This Lemon & Basil Chicken is very low maintenance and pretty low cholesterol - but packs a punch taste wise at the same time. Some bread or roasted potatoes to soak up the juice are definitely a must with this dish; also maybe a crisp green salad or some french beans, hardly cooked...


  • Free Range Chicken, jointed
  • 4 Lemons
  • 12 Cloves Garlic (or so)
  • Olive Oil
  • Basil
  • Salt & Pepper

[This definitely serves 4 rather than 2 as usual]

Get your butcher to joint the Chicken – maybe 6 or 8 pieces – whatever suits (skin off is healthiest, but I usually remove the skin after cooking to protect the meat)

Preheat the oven to 200˚c

Put the Chicken pieces in a large roasting tray on top of the 12 (or more) Garlic Cloves

Using a sieve to catch the pips – squeeze Lemon Juice all over the Chicken – use 2 or 3 Lemons and throw the squashy leftover Lemon into the dish after squeezing too

Drizzle a good glug of Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the Chicken

Season well with Salt & Pepper and cook for around 35 minutes at 200˚c

Give it a bit of a mix at this point – to ensure that the Chicken is browning evenly, and to make sure that the Garlic is going squashy, but not getting burnt

When you are 10 minutes away from the Chicken being cooked, turn the oven down to 180˚c, add a final squeeze of Lemon Juice and a couple of big handfuls of Basil, torn up – and put the dish back in the oven until cooked

Once out of the oven – leave the Lemon Chicken to stand for 10 minutes or so before serving.  Pour a drizzle of the sauce that is left over the Chicken – this is delicious stuff, too good to waste!

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