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Lemon, Garlic & Herb Chicken Quarters



After eating meat free for several weeks now I found myself really craving chicken this weekend.  I went to the shops to buy a roasting chicken. (Who doesn't adore roast chicken.  Not me!) They didn't have any that looked particularly tasty to me. (I like free-range organic and in a roaster, corn-fed.)  They did have some free-range organic corn-fed chicken leg quarters however, so I picked them up and brought them home.


I once knew a person who couldn't eat chicken on the bone.  Chicken on the bone has never bothered me per se, but I cannot stand cold chicken on the bone. Once it is cooked, I have to take it off the bone.  I really don't like the flavour of re-heated chicken on the bone.  If we are in a restaurant and I order chicken.  I can always tell if it has been pre-cooked and then re-heated on the bone. That is a HUGE turn-off to me.  Just one of my quirks I guess.



There is a trinity of flavour that goes very well with chicken, on or off the bone.  That is  . . .  lemon, garlic and herbs.   Fresh lemon, both the zest and the juice  . . .  minced garlic . . .  and herbs like garlic and oregano. Mix them with any piece of chicken and you have a marriage of flavours that is heaven-sent!


This is what I used when I cooked my chicken leg quarters . . . that and a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, which I both pushed beneath the skin of the thigh portion of the quarters and then all over the outsides of the chicken.


After that it is as simple as roasting it in a hot oven to begin with and then a moderate oven to finish.  Oh boy but these are some tasty!  We like them with baked potatoes and vegetables.  But I don't think it really matters what you put them with.  The chicken is the star here!


*Lemon, Garlic & Herb Chicken Quarters*
Serves 4 

Lemon, garlic and herbs.  The trinity of flavour goodness for chicken. You can't beat it! 


 4 large chicken leg/thigh quarters
2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp coarsely grated black pepper
the juice and finely grated zest of one large lemon
 



 Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Have ready a baking dish large enough to hold all of the chicken leg quarters in one layer.


Mix together the oil, thyme, oregano, minced garlic, sea salt, black pepper and lemon zest. Loosen the skin from the thigh portion of the leg quarters and rub a bit of it in under the skin, pushing the ckin back into place after.  (Make sure you don't use it all up) Place the leg quarters into the baking dish and rub the remaining herb mixture all over the legs, top and bottom.  Squeeze the juice of the lemon over all.


Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, turn the oven temperature down to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4 for a further 20 to 25 minutes until the chicken is golden brown and the juices run clear.  Serve hot.


We like these with baked potatoes and steamed vegetables.


Note - for additonal flavour you can slice some peeled onion and place in the bottom of the baking dish and lay the chicken leg quarters on top of that prior to baking.



I was really naughty on this day and had a whole baked potato all to myself, topped with some sour cream, spring onions and bacon bits (soya ones) . . .  just like I used to be able to get in one of my favourite restaurants back home.  Full disclosure here . . .  I would have been over the moon with just the potato.  That was a real treat for me!  Bon Appetit! 



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Marie Rayner
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