This Lemon and Garlic Chicken Traybake yields lovely tender meat, deliciously crispy chicken skin and wonderful flavours from the garlic, lemon and oregano – complimented beautifully by a simple Saffron Rice Pilaf. Serve on a large platter for a real wow factor.
Let the oven do the hard work…
I love recipes like this Lemon and Garlic Chicken Traybake, where everything is chucked into a tray and the oven does all the hard work. All you need to do is place chicken thighs and/or legs in a large oven tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over some salt, pepper and oregano. Squeeze a little lemon juice over each piece of chicken, then nestle the lemon quarters and garlic cloves in amongst the chicken. Put the chicken in the oven for 40 minutes to roast, meanwhile make the super simple Saffron Rice Pilaf. Finally, serve everything on a large platter.
Saffron rice pilaf
Saffron Rice Pilaf is the perfect accompaniment to this Lemon and Garlic Chicken Traybake. The rice is cooked in stock, with a pinch of saffron and a little more oregano. Using stock, herbs and spices takes very little time, but elevates the rice way above humble boiled rice.
However, you can absolutely serve this traybake with plain white rice, if you prefer. Alternatively, it also works very well with crusty white bread to mop up those delicious lemony juices.
Add a simple side salad to complete the meal!
Ideal for dinner parties
This is a really lovely dinner party dish – served on a big platter, it really has the wow factor and yet this recipe is also quick and simple enough to be a midweek meal.
What to drink with lemony chicken?
Lemony chicken pairs well with crisp dry whites such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.
Can you reheat this?
Yes, you can. Put any leftovers into an airtight container and place in the fridge, where they will keep for 24 hours. To reheat, tip the rice out into an oven dish and top with the chicken. Cover with foil, then place in an oven preheated to 180C (160C fan / gas mark 4 / 350F) and cook for 15 minutes, or until piping hot all the way through.
Please take care when reheating food, especially rice, and always follow food safety guidelines.
Can you freeze this?
Yes, you can. But again, take care and follow food safety guidelines. Put the cooked and cooled chicken and rice into an airtight container and place in the freezer, where it will keep for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat as above.
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Lemon and Garlic Chicken Traybake with Saffron Rice Pilaf
Lemon and Garlic Chicken Traybake:
- 8 chicken thighs and/or legs skin on, bone in
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 lemon cut into quarters lengthways
- 8 garlic cloves unpeeled but gently bashed
Saffron Rice Pilaf:
- 400 ml chicken stock (from a cube is fine – I use Kallo Organic Chicken Stock Cubes)
- Pinch saffron
- 1 onion sliced
- 25 g butter
- 200 g basmati rice
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons parsley finely chopped
- Simple side salad (optional)
Lemon and Garlic Chicken Traybake
- Preheat your oven to 220C / 200C fan / gas mark7 / 425F.
- Place the chicken on a large oven tray. Drizzle the chicken with the olive oil and sprinkle over some salt, pepper and 2 teaspoons of oregano.
- Squeeze a little lemon juice over each piece of chicken (try to half squeeze each quarter so there is still some juice left in each piece of lemon). Turn the chicken in the oil and lemon juice to make sure it is well coated, then make sure all the chicken pieces are sitting skin upwards.
- Nestle the partly squeezed lemon quarters and slightly bashed garlic cloves amongst the chicken and then put the tray in the oven for 40 minutes.
- Put your feet up for 15 minutes (with or without a glass of wine - your call). Then make the rice.
Saffron Rice Pilaf:
- Dissolve your chicken stock cube in 400ml boiling water and add a pinch of saffron to the stock.
- Melt the butter over a low heat, then add the sliced onion. Gently cook the onion, with a lid on, until it is soft but not coloured. This should take about 5 minutes.
- Add the basmati rice and gently turn the rice in the buttery onions. Pour in the saffron infused stock and add 1 teaspoon of oregano and black pepper to taste. Bring to the boil. Pop on the lid and turn the heat down low. Cook for about 8 minutes, until all the stock has been absorbed by the rice and the rice is just cooked. (See Note 1.)
- Turn the heat off. Fluff up the rice and pop the lid back on for a further 5 minutes.
- Tip the rice out onto a large serving platter, then arrange the chicken pieces and lemon quarters on top, and scatter with the finely chopped parsley. Serve with a simple salad and a glass of crisp, dry white wine.
- Please note: some rice brands take longer to cook than others. Check the packet and adapt cooking times if necessary. I used Tilda Basmati Rice.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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