Chicken with Lemon and Basil Recipe
I think new chicken recipes are one of my most sought after when looking for fresh and innovative ideas. Everyone loves chicken, well not everyone, Clyde gets a bit bored with it and says we have it too much, but chicken is certainly a good all rounder. When it comes to entertaining, chicken also has crowd pleasing qualities. Not wanting to sound tight, but it is great value and you can tart it up, or down, dependent on the occasion.
That said, here is my recipe for Chicken with Lemon and Basil. Or should I say, the wonderful Nigel Slater’s recipe, thank you very much, Nigel. I have been cooking this recipe for as long as I can remember. I first came to it via a tiny book of Nigel Slater recipes which came free with a newspaper back in the olden days. The recipe seemed terribly simple, which it is, but also had a sophisticated air to it, which it still has now, several years on. I have cooked this as a family dinner but it also stands up well when served for a supper party. Especially with some tiny roasted new potatoes and a crisp, green veg. It’s a brilliant sling it all together and shove it in the oven style affair too, which makes it perfect for when you have guests. You don’t have to miss out on the pre-dinner cocktails whilst slaving over a hot stove.
This basil scented dish is simply delicious, there’s not really much more I can say than that. Whether you are making it for you, or doubling it for a crowd, this recipe is certainly a keeper.
What a brilliantly tiny array of ingredients for such a big flavoured dish. You will need to open a bottle of wine for this, but I am sure the rest of the bottle won’t go to waste *not in our house*.
Make a start by pre heating your oven to 170 degrees fan assisted. Then take a medium sized baking tray and add your chicken pieces. I used six good sized thighs which was enough for 3 people, but you could easily double the recipe for more diners. Pour over a couple of good slugs of olive oil then season the chicken with plenty of salt and pepper.
To add plenty of balls to this dish, flatten 2 to 3 big cloves of garlic with the back of your knife. If they are pretty big, cut them in half but leave the skins on. Add these to the pan with the juice of a lemon.
Cut the lemon shells into quarters and tuck these in around the chicken pieces. The whole tray then goes into the hot oven for 30 minutes.
When those 30 minutes are up, tear the fresh basil into pieces and add to the pan, giving it all a bit of stir so the herby flavours are mixed in with the chicken.
Put this tray of tastiness back in the oven for a further 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is crisp and cooked through.
Put the whole pan on the hob over a low heat then pour on a small glass of white wine, whilst pouring yourself a larger one to drink if you are that way inclined. Let the sauce bubble away for a couple of minutes, ensuring everything is piping hot.
Serve this timeless dish, piping hot, including some of the lemon for garnish, with sides of your choice. I just chose simple pea shoots, but for more bulk try oven roasted new potatoes or just crusty bread.
The chicken is soft and tender and the sauce is tart and fragrant with basil. I told you it was simple, I have barely had a chance to ramble on at length about this lovely dish. Some recipes just sell themselves, and this is one of them.
Chicken with Lemon and Basil Recipe
Serves 2 to 3 people
You will need a medium sized baking tin
6 good sized chicken pieces, I used bone in, skin on thighs
salt and pepper
2 good slugs of olive oil
2 garlic cloves, flattened slightly but leave the skins on
1 lemon, juice and shells
A large handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
a glass of white wine
Extra fresh basil and some salad leaves to garnish
Pre heat your oven to 170 degrees.
Take your baking tin and add your chicken pieces. Season them with plenty of salt and pepper then pour in a couple of good slugs of olive oil so the chicken is coated. Next squash the garlic cloves, leaving the skins on, and cut in half if large. Add these to the tin then squeeze the lemon and pour the juice over the chicken. Cut each lemon half into four and put these into the pan too, then pop the tray in the oven for 30 minutes.
Once the 30 minutes are up, stir through the torn basil leaves then put the chicken back in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes until the chicken skin is golden and starting to crisp. Finally put the baking tin of chicken on the hob over a low heat and pour on the glass of wine. Let this bubble for a couple of minutes then serve with some leaves, greens, roasted new potatoes or just some crusty bread.