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Lemon Roasted Chicken Legs

No doubt about it, we eat a lot of chicken in our home.  Generally speaking it is the meat of choice, although in all honesty, today we do not eat as much of it as we used to.  Not because we don't like it, but because we made the decision to only eat free range organic chicken, and it is more expensive than regular chicken. Oftimes I will also choose cornfed.  Why?  Because it tastes better.  Its as simple as that. There is a marked difference.

Because there are only two of us it is a bit easier.  I can well respect the challenges and economy of feeding a larger family.  It is a bit of a blessing that there are only two of us.  Most recipes are very easily cut in half, especially when you are talking about savoury dishes such as these delicious chicken legs I am showing you today.

I have given the recipe quantities for four servings, but again, it is very easily cut back to feed two.  Delicious, tender chicken legs . . .  it is a common fact that the darker meat of the chicken is much tastier than the light.  That is because it comes from the parts of the chicken that get exercised most . . .  in this case the legs.

And a free range, organic, corn fed chicken has been allowed to roam and develop more tastiness in these joints.  I apply a simple method of seasoning and cooking them . . .

You don't need elaborate when you are talking about meat which is quite delicious to begin with.  The legs are rubbed with softened butter and then  I scatter lemon zest, salt, pepper and parsley over top.  The juice of the lemon is squeezed over finally, and they are cooked in the oven  . . .

Tightly covered, long and slow . . . at a low temperature, and then a quick flash baking at a higher temperature, uncovered to finish them off and brown them to a beautiful golden brown.  Served warm with some of the pan juices spooned over top, you cannot get much better than this.

*Lemon Roasted Chicken legs*
Serves 4

Moist, tender and delicious. 

4 chicken leg quarters, containing the leg and the thigh joint
2 TBS softened butter
the grated zest of one lemon
the juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
dried parsley flakes
fine sea salt

Preheat the oven to 160*/300*F/ gas mark 3.  Lay the chicken legs in a single layer in a baking large enough to fit them.  Rub them all over with the softened butter.  Sprinkle the lemon zest over all, aong with the black pepper, parsley flakes and sea salt to taste.  Squeeze the lemon juice over top. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake them in the preheated oven for 1 hour.  Increase the oven temperature to 225*C/425*F/ gas mark 7.  Remove the foil and baste the chicken legs with the pan juices.  Continue to cook for a further 15 to 20 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and the juices run perfectly clear.  Serve hot. 

You are really going to enjoy these, even if you don't use free range chicken.  They are . . . to be simple . . . quite quite delicious.  I like to serve them with rice, with more of the pan juices spooned over the rice, and of course a tasty vegetable on the side.  Bon Appetit!

Marie Rayner
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  1. Since I adore lemon, I'm on board with this one (do you hear my printer going?!) I'm guessing you could do the same with chicken thighs, right? They're about the same size for baking time. What do you think? More or less time/temp, etc.

    1. You will enjoy this alot Jeanie. It would work perfectly with thighs! Same time and temp. Enjoy! xo


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