Preserved lemon chicken tray bake with garlic, shallots, potatoes & broccoli, flavoured with a combination of honey, sumac & zaatar.
Cooking this dish is supremely simple, chuck all the veggies in a pan and put them in the oven, a little later add a couple of chicken legs, and even later add some broccoli… then tuck in!
Traybaked Chicken Legs with Preserved Lemons
There is something wonderfully satisfying and magical about chucking a load of stuff onto a tray, putting it in the oven and a delicious well-structured meal coming out the other side.
My latest offering is my best yet, yes I would say that, but this recipe is a real keeper!
At its heart, it is a lemon chicken tray bake, but rather than using regular old lemons I use preserved lemon.
Preserved lemons are popular in North African cuisine and they appear in my Moroccan chicken tagine recipe.
They have a bright and zingy flaovur with umami tones that you can’t replicate with fresh lemons. You can eat them too, the pith, the zest, everything, which adds so much more flavour to this recipe.
I round it out with new potatoes, loads of garlic shallots that cook down and become sweet and sticky, and finally some tenderstem broccoli.
A bit of zaatar and sumac provide the spicing for this simple and delicious recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a different cut of chicken?
Yes, you could use either chicken thighs or drumsticks and the timing will remain the same.
You could use chicken breast, but it will take less time to bake. It would also not be my first choice!
I would make sure that chicken breast is in the oven for around 22-25 minutes rather than 35-37 minutes for chicken legs.
Can I use regular lemons?
You could adapt this dish to use regular lemons but they are certainly not a like-for-like replacement.
If I were to use fresh lemon, I would use two and cut them in half, place one cut side up in the roasting tin and squeeze half of the second lemon over the ingredients when they first go into the oven.
I would squeeze the remaining half of the lemon over the tray when the broccoli gets added. Serve the roasted halves of lemon so that the diner can squeeze on more if required.
Do I have to use baby new potatoes?
No, you can use any old potatoes that you like, but I like these little skin-on roasted potatoes in this recipe.
Can I use onions rather than shallots?
Yes, but again they are not a like-for-like replacement and they will not cook down and become as sweet and sticky and sweet.
I consider this lemon chicken tray bake a pretty complete meal and I often serve it without any sides.
When I do serve it with anything it is some bread to mop up the juices from the plate… and the pan, but as the cook you don’t have to tell anyone about them 😉
Some salad leaves like rocket or lambs lettuce on the side also work well, as does a nice green salad.
I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- 35cm x 22cm (14″ x 9″) baking tray.
- Mixing bowl.
- Stirring spoons.
- Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
- Quick read meat thermometer (optional).
The glorious simplicity of a tray bake is taken to a whole new level with this chicken leg number that features, garlic potatoes, preserved lemon and broccoli all flavoured with zaatar and sumac.
- 350g (2 Cups) Baby New Potatoes
- 250g (1½ Cups) Shallots
- 10 Garlic Cloves
- 75g (⅓-½ Cup) Preserved Lemons
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 10g (½ Tbsp) Honey
- 1 Tbsp Zaatar
- ½ Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
- 2 Chicken Legs
- 1 Tsp Sumac
- 200g (7oz) Tenderstem Broccoli
- Pinch of Salt to Season the Chicken and Broccoli
- Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
- Cut the shallots in half, peel them and cut off any "furry" bits from the root, then add them to the bowl with the potatoes.
- Peel the garlic cloves and add them to the bowl.
- Roughly chop the preserved lemons, discard the pips, and add them to the bowl with the potatoes.
- Add 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil to the bowl along with the zaatar and coarse sea salt and give everything a good mix.
- Transfer the potato mix to a 35cm x 22cm (14" x 9") baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 180°C or 350°F.
- Whilst the potatoes are getting a head start coat season the chicken legs with a generous pinch of salt and the sumac, then when the potatoes have had 20 minutes add the chicken legs and cook for a further 25 minutes. Ensure the chicken legs are dried well before seasoning.
- When the chicken has nearly had its 25 minutes, pour the remaining olive oil over the tenderstem broccoli and season it with a little salt. Then when the chicken has had 25 minutes add the broccoli to the tray and drizzle over the honey.
- Turn the heat up to 200°C or 400°F and cook for a final 10-12 minutes or until the chicken reaches 73°C or 165°F.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 845Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 238mgSodium: 1506mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 15gSugar: 19gProtein: 57g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.