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Roast lemon Chicken with Garlic and Chilli

Roast Lemon Chicken with Garlic and Chilli

Richard Bewley
4.89 from 9 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Resting Time 10 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 45 mins
Course Main
Cuisine Central European
Servings 4 people


  • 1 large free range chicken washed, dried, and excess fat trimmed
  • 3 lemons zested. One kept whole, the other two juiced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard heaped
  • 2 large echalion shallots peeled, and quartered lengthways
  • 1 bulb garlic divided intro individual cloves, skin left on.
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 large red chilli finely sliced
  • 1 small red onion peeled and halved
  • 10 grams butter cut into thin slithers
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Wash and thoroughly dry the chicken, removing any excess fat and overhanging loose skin
  • Having zested three lemons, take one and pierce with a fork several times. Insert into the chicken's cavity, along with the small red onion.
  • Scatter half of the garlic cloves, wedges of echalion shallots, red chilli and fresh herbs on the base of the clay pot (retaining a few cloves to place on top of the chicken)
  • Place chicken into the clay pot.
  • Combine the juice of two lemons and the Dijon mustard, and whisk well (I use a mini-whisk for this). then, pour over the chicken.
  • Generously season the chicken skin with freshly fround sea salt and black pepper. Then, sprinkle the teaspoon of Aleppo pepper over the skin.
  • Sprinkle the lemon zesk over the chicken, and and finish by placing the thin slithers of butter over the breast and the legs. Place the remaining garlic cloves in the gaps between the leg and the breast. Cover with lid.
  • Place clay-pot on middle shelf of cold oven, and set the temperature to 180C then roast for 90 minutes. the remove, and baste with chicken with the juices from the bottom of the pot.
  • Cook for a further 30 minutes, then increase temperature to 200-200C, remove lid, and roast for a remove 15-20 minutes, or until the skin is crispy.
  • Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes, then carve and serve.


Please note, the manufacturer recommends placing the Romertopf in a cold oven to prevent the risk of cracking the lid. If using another casserole dish (I have made a similar recipe with pyrex, metal, and enamel dishes, I would suggested pre-heating the oven in advance.
If you cannot get any fresh thyme, parsley, rosemary or a combination work well. I have also made with with dried herbes de Provence.
Red onions are are good substitute for echalion shallots, and vice versa.
Any remaining juices can be saved and frozen for use in a future soup or stock.
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