Lemon and Garlic Chicken Bake
Although many people believe British food to be plain and simple, there is plenty of variation these days. A heavy amount of spice is typically not used, unless British fusion food (perhaps with Indian influences) is being made, or if English mustard features in the dish (this condiment can be very hot and spicy!) However, aromatic seasonings like citrus, garlic and herbs are often added to poultry dishes to complement the flavour. Boiled or mashed potatoes would be a typical side dish for this recipe, while asparagus or green beans would also go well with this easy yet delicious baked chicken dish.
You will need boneless, skinless chicken breasts to make this recipe, along with lemon, garlic, rosemary and parsley to add light, aromatic flavours. Some cherry tomatoes will add a splash of colour to the dish but can be omitted if you prefer. You might like to add some vegetables to the dish so they cook with the chicken, or even some potatoes on top (thinly sliced so they cook through).
If you want to make the dish more browned on top, you can put it under the grill (broiler) for a couple of minutes to brown both the chicken and the lemon slices for visual appeal. Feel free to double or triple the recipe if you are feeding a crowd or want to make extra to have later in the week. A pound of chicken will take about half an hour to bake in the oven, but if you are increasing the quantities, it might take up to an hour to bake through. Once there is no pink left in the centre of the chicken it is done. It should be 165 degrees F (75 degrees C) in the middle to be safe to eat.
- 1 lb (450g) raw chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 sliced lemon
- 2 quartered garlic cloves
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 2 cherry tomatoes
- 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Handful chopped broccoli, carrot, courgette (zucchini) etc (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- Arrange half the lemon slices on the bottom of a baking dish.
- Scatter half the garlic around the dish.
- Season the chicken on both sides with salt and black pepper.
- Now lay the chicken on top of the lemon slices.
- Arrange the rest of the lemon slices on top.
- Put the rosemary sprigs on top and scatter over the parsley.
- Slice the cherry tomatoes and discard the seeds.
- Arrange those on top of the chicken.
- Scatter the rest of the garlic on top.
- You might like to add some chopped or shredded vegetables on top too.
- Drizzle olive oil over everything.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Take it out of the oven.
- Cover the baking dish loosely with aluminium foil and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.
This easy chicken bake can be served with mashed potatoes and mixed sautéed root vegetables in the winter, or steamed asparagus spears and fluffy boiled rice during the summer. You could even pair it with mixed baby leaves. Although ‘fried chicken and chips’ is a popular British pub meal, this aromatic chicken with garlic and lemon is a lighter, healthier alternative if you are looking for something nutritious and light which you can assemble easily and then pop into the oven for half an hour. Swap the rosemary for basil or the lemon for orange if you want to change things up a little.
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