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Fast chicken dishes: Minimum effort, maximum taste

Your family are all at home for dinner at the same time. Miraculous, so make the most of it by impressing them with your culinary skills. A quick inspection of the fridge reveals chicken — not past it’s sell by date, hurrah! — and those lemons you were saving for G and Ts. Check the cupboards. Peppercorns? Check. Sea salt? Got it. Olive oil? Just enough.

Lemon Roasted Chicken

Serves 4

It’s one of those meals they’ll think you slaved over, but actually it’s dead simple. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • Olive oil
  • 1 large roasting chicken, cut into 8 pieces, or any combination of chicken parts for roasting, which you can purchase ready cut at the butcher’s or supermarket.
  • 2 lemons, washed, dried and quartered. Un-waxed lemons are better as they require less scrubbing.
  • Coarsely ground sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A roasting thermometer


  1. Preheat oven to 230 degrees C, or 210 degrees for a fan assisted oven, or gas mark nine.
  2. Put a thin lay of olive oil on the bottom of a large roasting tin. Place chicken pieces in the oiled pan, turn to coat with oil, and leave skin-side up.
  3. Place lemon quarters among chicken parts in pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper to your taste. Err on the side of caution as your guests can help themselves later to more. Place pan in oven and roast chicken for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from oven and turn chicken so that skin side is facing down. Wear an apron; it might splatter.
  5. Return to oven and roast 15 minutes more. Remove and turn a final time so that skin side is once more facing upward. Roast 10 additional minutes or until skin is nicely glazed and internal temperature is 50 degrees C. [Be careful not to rest the thermometer probe against bone.]
  6. Let rest for 10 minutes. Squeeze roasted lemon wedges over chicken and serve.

More roasted chicken

Roast a chicken the way Julia Child did it — you’ll be glad you did!

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