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Bright lemony flavour, super easy to prepare, and fall off the bone delicious – Roasted Lemon Garlic Chicken is perfect for a weeknight family dinner or a picnic or potluck!  

I’m not a huge fan of marinating meats.  The reason is simple.  I have no patience.  I’m more of a spur-of-the-moment type of guy.   (Even though John.e will completely disagree!)  When I say spur-of-the-moment, I mean in terms of I want it and I want it now.

Marinating takes time and time is something I have very little of – or is that patience?  One in the same, if you ask me!  I love the flavours generated from marinating, but I either am always in a hurry to get dinner on the table, or I forget to place the meat in the marinade.

If only we had a bigger kitchen, I could practice yoga while I cook, clearing my mind and increasing my patience – maybe then I could more often enjoy flavourful dishes like this Roasted Lemon Garlic Chicken. Ohm.

As I’m writing up this post, John.e and I are having a debate about marinade versus marinate.  I hope I’m right; I’m very rarely not right and I hate being wrong.  I’m going to save this post right now, do a little research and come right back.  Pray for me, Dear Reader.  I can’t be wrong today!


Oh, thank baby Jesus!  I was right!  Was there ever really any doubt?  Marinate is a verb, used to describe the action of placing meat to rest with other ingredients, while marinade is the other ingredients combined to create the sauce and/or rub.

I really should marinate more often.  Marinades contain various combinations of herbs, spices, citrus, and oils.  It’s important to use a good amount of lemon juice, orange juice, or lime juice, because the acidity in these fruits help to penetrate the meat, carrying the flavours of the herbs and spices with it.

The oil is also an important part of a good marinade.  I always use olive oil; I always use olive oil; it’s the most common oil found in many kitchens, so it’s almost always readily available.  The purpose of the oil is to help keep the moisture in the meat and also to prevent sticking during the cooking process, especially if you plan to grill, which is the most common cooking method for marinated meats.

Marinades are not complicated to prepare.  Really, Dear Reader, I have no idea why I don’t utilize marinades more often in my cooking.  All you need is a few staple pantry ingredients.  Put those jars and packets of herbs and spices in the back of your pantry to good use and experiment with them.
To make a marinade, remember this ratio – one part oil to one part acid.  Then, add a pinch or two of your favourite spices and herbs.  The acid doesn’t have to be fresh lemon, lime, or orange juice.  You can use a nicely flavoured vinegar or even a good drinking wine.  And remember, when it comes to marinades, a little goes a long way!  For twelve pieces of chicken, such as in this recipe, the total volume of marinade was about half a cup.
Dear Reader, thus endeth the sermon. I shall collect my citrus, oils and herbs and heed my own advice; making more marinades and marinating more often. Hallelujah!

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Roasted Lemon Garlic Chicken

Bright lemony flavour, super easy to prepare, and fall off the bone delicious – Roasted Lemon Garlic Chicken is perfect for a weeknight family dinner or a picnic or potluck!  
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 408kcal
Author Lord Byron's Kitchen


  • 12 whole chicken drumsticks
  • 1 whole lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes


  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and place it in a large zipper-seal bag, or a large glass bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken. Coat the chicken well and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Lay the marinated chicken on the baking sheet - do not allow the pieces to touch.
  • Bake for 35 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.
  • Serve immediately with grilled lemon slices.*


For the grilled lemon slices, wash lemons well and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Preheat a grill pan, over medium-high heat. Place the lemon slices on the grill for 3 minutes per side.


Calories: 408kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 392mg | Potassium: 19mg | Vitamin A: 190IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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