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Wednesday 29 August 2012

Sluttishly Savoury: Lemon and Garlic Chicken

When you've forgotten you've got friends are coming over for dinner and you've stayed at work late instead of going to the shops, this is what you make. It's truly the simplest recipe in the world. Not only that, it has the added bonus of filling your house with amazing cooking smells that make people assume you've been slaving away for hours and hours when in fact you got home ten minutes before they were due to arrive.

There are lots of variations of this recipe around so despite the fact that I often make it up as I go along depending on what herbs I have in the fridge, I'm certain it's not my own creation. The Independent's version is great if you really really really like garlic.

That image is mid-way through cooking, what you get at the end is perfectly moist chicken with a crispy skin, soaked in a savoury, tangy sauce. You need carbs with this, there's no other option. This time I served it up with Sara's black garlic potato wedges. We're coming into autumn now and I promise that this will soon become your go-to dinner of choice when you've had a long day at work.

Lemon and Garlic Chicken (serves 2-3)
You'll need:
  • Two chicken thighs or three drumsticks per person
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • Five cloves of garlic
  • Four bay leaves
  • Two lemons
Make it!
  1. Season the chicken and fry in a deep pan, just until the skins are crispy.
  2. Pour in the white wine and the chicken stock and turn the heat down so it's simmering.
  3. Add the garlic and bay leaves.
  4. Check there are no rogue pips in the lemons and add them.
  5. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure the chicken doesn't stick to the pan
  6. Depending on how strong your lemons are, you might want to take the little buggers out (lemons from Tesco work very well, Asda's are rather too sharp) and then simmer for another 10 minutes or so until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce reduced and sticky.
  7. Serve with a giant mountain of carbs that will make your guests very happy they came to see you.


  1. This sounds insanely delish!

    1. Basically a staple in my house all winter. I'm getting ready to hibernate, I can feel it.

  2. My kind of cooking, super simple and looks gorgeous. Definitely trying it out at the weekend. Thanks!

  3. Can I just check how much is in a glass of wine? I've a few of those ones that you fill up and then realise half the bottle is in there, would that be too much? Thank you :).

    1. You'll know when you've got enough - you probably won't have much space in the pan. Don't worry about using too much - the alcohol will burn off. If it's not enough and going dry (because your dinner guests turn up half an hour later than expected), just add some more, if it's too sweet, add a little more stock instead. Play about and test as you're going along and it'll be fab.

    2. I'm about to make this for the second time! I think with grape foccacia and a green salad. SO good.

  4. Made this for dinner last night and I'm afraid it came out so insanely sour that it was inedible without the addition of 2 tbsp of honey... I also had to boil the sauce for about 20 minutes more to get it to reduce to sticky consistency. Any suggestions on what went wrong?

    1. Hi Anon,

      As the recipe mentions, sometimes lemons from certain supermarkets are just too strong so it's best to take them out. The only way to tell is to try as you're going along!

      As for the sauce not going sticky, it may just be that you had too much stock.

      This is one of those recipes that you can tweak and play about with until you're happy - some might prefer more garlic, you might like a little less of a tang and I think it comes down to taste. If you think it's better with honey, keep adding honey!

      Hope you try again,

  5. I finally made this for the first time tonight. It is everything you say, and more. If you come over for dinner, you're getting this, right?

    1. Hooray! This would make me walk up the huge hill to your house. Probably.


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