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Butterflied lemon chicken

Serves   4
Prep time: 4 hours
Cooking time: 45 mins

Meyer lemons are good in this recipe as they have a sweet flavour and low acidity. Preserving lemons softens the bitter outer skins, making them suitable for eating. Only use the outer skin (remove flesh), and rinse before chopping or slicing. A butterflied chicken will take less time to cook that a whole chicken.

  • Chicken
  • Dinner
  • Lemon



  • Marinade:
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1½ tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tsp preserved lemons, rinsed and chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 chicken, butterflied
  • Lemon vinaigrette:
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • ½ lemon, freshly zested
  • 1½ Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chives, snipped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  1. To make the marinade. in a bowl mix together the lemon juice, garlic, herbs and preserved lemon. Whisk in the olive oil and season with freshly ground black pepper. Place the chicken in a ceramic dish and pour over the marinade. Cover and place in the fridge for up to 4 hours, turning once.
  2. Heat the oven to 190C.
  3. Remove the chicken from the fridge and bring to room temperature. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Place in the chicken skin side down and brown, turn over and brown other side. Transfer to a roasting dish and spoon over all the marinade. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced.
  4. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a small food processor place the shallot, lemon zest and juice, vinegar and mustard. Blend until well incorporated then drizzle in the olive oil. Add the herbs and process to combine. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in a small saucepan and when ready to serve, heat gently but do not allow to boil.
  5. Serve chicken cut into quarters with cooked pappardelle and the warm lemon vinaigrette. Serve with a green vegetable or salad.