Rosemary lemon chicken is not only delicious, it is also easy to make. What makes this recipe even better is that most of the prep work can be done ahead of time. The chicken can be prepared as much as 24 hours in advance, then baked just in time for dinner. The recipe works for dark or white meat. Measurements for the ingredients can be adjusted to suit individual tastes. Amateur cooks can follow this basic recipe. More experienced cooks can experiment with additional spices.
10 to 12 pieces of chicken (white or dark meat)
5 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of salt (or to taste)
2 teaspoons of pepper (or to taste)
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of onion powder
4 teaspoons of paprika [reserve 2 teaspoons for garnishing]
3 medium or large lemons (cleaned and dried)
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary [reserve 1 sprig for garnishing]
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Mix the dry spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and 2 teaspoons of paprika) in a small bowl [making sure to reserve 2 teaspoons of paprika separately for garnishing the chicken].
Rinse the chicken well to remove any excess debris. Pat it dry with clean paper towels. Then place the chicken in a bowl or dish. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the chicken. Make sure all of the chicken pieces are lightly coated with olive oil.
Sprinkle half of the dry spice mix on both sides of the chicken [not including the 2 teaspoons of paprika reserved for garnishing]. Rub the spices into the chicken.
Place the seasoned chicken in a food storage bag. Squeeze the juice of 2 lemons into the bag, then add the squeezed lemons to the storage bag with the chicken.
Add the leaves and stems of 2 sprigs of rosemary to the storage bag. Make sure that the leaves of the rosemary have been removed from the stem and are dispersed throughout the storage bag.
Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Seal the seasoned chicken, lemon juice, squeezed lemon pieces, rosemary, and olive oil in the storage bag. Massage the chicken in the storage bag to distribute the ingredients evenly and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours.
After the chicken has marinated, spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray then place the chicken pieces in the dish in a single layer, discarding the marinade that remains in the storage bag.
Sprinkle the remaining dry spice mix, and then the 2 reserved teaspoons of paprika, over the top of the chicken pieces.
Distribute the leaves of the reserved rosemary sprig evenly over the chicken pieces.
Slice the remaining lemon thinly and use it to garnish chicken (optional).
Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the garnished chicken.
Bake the garnished chicken uncovered for approximately 35 to 40 minutes at 400 degrees – or until it is completely done.
Tips: The longer the chicken marinates, the stronger the rosemary and lemon flavor. Larger pieces of chicken (breast or thighs) may require a longer cooking time. Smaller pieces of chicken (wings) may require a shorter cooking time. Check the chicken visually for doneness after about 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees if the chicken is browning too quickly. The chicken can also be covered with aluminum foil if necessary to prevent the skin from browning too quickly.