Thursday, 20 December 2012

Christmas Menu: Main - Herb and Lemon Roast Chicken Legs

Pin It

My family is not a big fan of turkey meat as we find it rather tough and dry.  We much prefer chicken, lamb, beef or pork. 

Serving roast chicken as a main course for Christmas is becoming more popular these days as families seek out easier recipes to cook for the big day.  Besides, who doesn't love a juicy, crispy skinned, beautifully roasted chook? It's delicious, easy to cook and gentle on the wallet.  I am just too scared to ask about the prices of a Christmas turkey these days.

This roast chicken recipe is one of my favourite.  It is yummy, easy to prepare, and you can modify it in a thousand different variations, depending on what ingredients you have.  Feel free to use either a whole chicken or chicken legs (maryland).  Marinate the meat for a few hours to allow the flavours to penetrate, then pop it into the oven together with some vegetables that are suitable for roasting, such as pumpkin, potatoes, carrots, onion, zucchini and even eggplant. 

Herb and Lemon Roast Chicken Legs
Serves 3

  • 3 chicken legs or maryland
  • 1/2 bulb of garlic, minced
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, snipped into 2 inch length
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, snipped into 2 inch length
  • 1/2 large lemon, cut into 3 pieces
  • Olive oil
  • Generous sprinkle of rock salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pumpkin chunks for roasting

1.  Rinse the chicken legs and pat thoroughly dry.

2.  Stuff some minced garlic, thyme and rosemary under the skin of the chicken legs.  Be careful not to tear the skin.  Scatter the remaining garlic and herbs all over. 

3.  Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken legs and toss in the rind.  It will impart additional zesty flavour to the meat when roasting.  Add in a generous sprinkle of rock salt and ground black pepper and coat evenly.  Let it marinade for at least 3 hours in the fridge.

4.  Preheat the oven to 180Celcius.  Arrange the pumpkin chunks at the botton of a baking dish, then arrange the chicken legs on top, skin side down.  Drizzle some olive oil on the chicken and bake for about 20min until the sides start to burnt a little.  

5.  Turn the chicken legs over and drizzle some additional olive oil on the skin.  Bake for another 10min until the skin is sizzling and has turned a golden brown.  Test for doneness with a fork, pierce it into the thickest part of the meat, and check for clear juices.  Remove from the oven and let it rest for 15min before serving.


If you feel like something TOTALLY different besides turkey or chicken, here are some other interesting options to consider. 

How about a juicy, pan seared NZ steaks with a totally awesome
balsamic mushroom and sauce? Recipe is HERE

No steak?  Then how about seafood? 
Try this Herb Crusted Fish Fillet with Tomato Salsa.
Click HERE for the recipe.

Be bold, break tradition and serve this delicious and
hearty pot of Tomato Lamb Stew.  Recipe is HERE 


  1. good morning esther, i dont have any menu plans yet for christmas, most likely will be eating out but i know this roasted chicken is definately great on usual days too, not just on christmas. Perfectly done! I've only eaten turkey once in my be honest, cant really remember how it taste like:D

    1. Hi Lena, you are right - anytime is a good time for roast chicken!

  2. Hi Esther, your roast chicken look so tempting and appetizing. I'm sure it's finger licking good, the other 3 dishes look very delicious too. YUM! Nice click.

    Have a lovely day ahead.

    1. Thanks Amelia! You are always so kind with your compliments.

  3. Hello Esther, I loves roast chicken too....very very much! Looking and scrolling all the photos makes me drooling as these really looks sooooo delicious!

    1. Thanks Mel. hey your food pics are delicious looking too!

  4. Hi Esther, how I wish there is an invitation to your home. All so lovely and delicious food for X'mas. Enjoy...

    1. Thanks Kimmy! I'm sure your home is filled with delicious food cooked by you too :)

  5. Since we had turkey for Thanksgiving, we will be having roast chicken for Christmas too. It is easier and not much leftovers. Wishing you and your family Merry Christmas!!

    1. Thanks Gert! Hope you had a great Christmas with your family and Happy New year.

  6. I also prefer chicken and beef over turkey anytime. Plus turkeys are much too big for a smaller family like mine.

    1. Absolutely,Yen. Don't think there is ever a SMALLL turkey :P


Feel free to leave your comments here. If you are not a blogger, just select profile and choose "Name/URL", fill in your name and leave the URL blank. Thanks and hope you enjoy the postings here, or better still, get to try some new recipes from here. Cheers!