Lemon chicken

Lemon chicken

30 min
Deliciously fragrant lemon chicken seasoned with garlic and rosemary. A fabulous stew taken from Mediterranean cuisine, topped with lemon wedges.


  • Start by peeling and boiling the potatoes in lightly salted water.
  • Cut each chicken fillet into three pieces lengthwise. Peel and chop the garlic.
  • Brown the chicken in butter in a frying pan and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Mix cooking cream, stock cube, rosemary, and lemon juice in a pot. Add the chicken and garlic. Allow to boil under the lid for approx. five minutes.
  • Stir in lemon zest, olives and chopped parsley. Garnish with lemon and serve with potatoes.

Lemon chicken

How do you take the bitterness out of lemon chicken?
Bitterness usually comes from the pith (the white, soft part of the skin underneath the yellow outer zest). Ensure you use a proper tool such as a fine rasp or grater when you zest a lemon, and try to gather only the yellow rind, avoiding the white pith. When cooking a dish (such as roast chicken) with lemon in it, try to cut the slices thinly and always choose ripe, juicy fruit to maximise the sweetness and avoid too much pith. Alternatively, you can remove the rind and use just the fruit or juice, and add the zest separately, as in this recipe.
Does lemon juice dry out chicken?
Lemon juice contains acid, which can break down the proteins in the meat if you use too much of it or leave it too long. However, the water in the juice, or slices of fruit holding in the moisture can help avoid the meat becoming too dry. It all depends on how you use it. The most common reason chicken dries out is because it is overcooked – particularly lean cuts like chicken breast fillets. Always follow the recipe when it comes to using lemons or lemon juice and be careful not to overcook your chicken. While it should be cooked through, that doesn’t mean overdone! If you’re having trouble with dry, tough chicken consider investing in a meat thermometer and using the temperature to check when it’s ready.
How long should chicken be marinated?
While this recipe does not require marinating, many chicken dishes use this process to help the flavours of herbs and spices absorb into the meat. If a dry rub is used, the chicken could be covered and left for a few hours, but for a marinade containing lemon juice, marinating for ten or fifteen minutes is often sufficient – no more than a couple of hours, to avoid the citrus overpowering the flavour of the meat.
Which cut of chicken should you use for lemon chicken?
For this recipe, we use chicken breast fillets, which is the whiter meat option. Some people prefer to use boneless thigh fillets – they are a darker meat, which will provide a richer flavour and more fat. Both would be suitable for this recipe, although if the thighs have skin on, we recommend the skin either be removed prior to pan-frying, or for it to be browned sufficiently.


Chicken breast fillets
500 g
Garlic cloves
1 tsp
Black pepper to taste
Cooking cream
250 ml
Chicken stock
½ dice
Dried rosemary
1 tsp
Lemon (unwaxed), grated zest and squeezed juice
Black olives
76 g
Fresh parsley
½ bunch
750 g

A zingy Sunday lunch classic

Whether you’re inviting friends around for a dinner party, or just wanting something warm and tasty to please the family on a weeknight, this delicious yet simple chicken dish is sure to turn into a fast favourite.

Make it traditional – or switch things up

Part of what makes this lemon chicken dish so special is its versatility. If you want to try something new (or if you just don’t like rosemary), a few sprigs of fresh thyme make a superb substitute. Standing true to its Mediterranean origins, with a focus on quality and simplicity, the quality of ingredients used in this dish can also make a real difference. Try sourcing some premium Mediterranean olives and see the flavours come to life. Green olives can also be used instead of black – but remember to watch out for pits if they haven’t been removed!

A top tip for when a roast is too much

If you love to serve a mouth-watering roast chicken but don’t have the time or effort for all the preparation, this popular lemon chicken dish is a great choice – sure to please both you and your guests! For a larger group, the recipe is easy to scale up, and other accompanying dishes can easily be added, such as salads and roasted root vegetables or a potato bake to replace the boiled potatoes.

Fresh ideas for lemon chicken leftovers

This dish isn’t just a fabulous dinner – it also makes a great lunch the next day. Instead of potatoes, try substituting a grain such as bulgur for an alternative that is not only tasty, but great for soaking up all the leftover sauce!