November 21, 2015


lemon and oregano chicken legs

We were recently the lucky recipients of a bag of goodies donated by a friend who was closing up her home in France for the winter.  The contents included a pack of frozen chicken legs.

We are in the throws of working against the clock chez nous at the moment, having had a lot of building work done, hopefully the last tranche, and now trying to get the decorating done and the furniture out of the barn and back in the house before the weather gets too cold and damp.

In this game of “beat the clock”, time for shopping is seen as a waste of time, unless it’s an essential trip to the nearest DIY store, so we are doing our best to use up the contents of our own fridge and freezer.  This pack of chicken legs therefore came in very handy and provided us with an excellent late lunch one day.  We are finding that working in the morning while the light is good, having a late lunch and very little food in the evening after a second session of painting, seems to work well for us.

I spotted this recipe on the BBC Good Food website and adapted it using what I had in the house, i.e. chicken legs not thighs, maincrop potatoes not new ones and dried oregano instead of fresh.

lemon and oregano chicken legs2

The whole thing worked extremely well, providing a delicious and hearty meal and creating very little washing up.  We had ours with some greens which required only one extra saucepan.

lemon and oregano chicken legs3

The steps in the cooking allowed perfectly for preparing the ingredients, setting the table, slapping another coat of paint on a bit of wall and enjoying a glass of wine.  (There was wine in the recipe so why not?)

A great recipe to have under the belt for midweek dinners and equally for guests.  Definitely one I will be doing again and again.

lemon and oregano chicken legs4

As for the washing up, and those who may not approve of allowing the dog to finish the dish (there were no onions in it by then), there is a very good reason for it.  Now that we have our new fosse septique I am keen not to overload it with too much gunge so have got into the habit of wiping fatty dishes with kitchen paper which I then dispose of in the bin, along with all bits on the plate, thereby flushing less grease into the fosse.  With something like this I am happy for Lulu to help out and make the task easier!


500g maincrop potatoes, washed and halved then sliced into roughly 1cm slices

2 tblsp garlic oil

4-5 chicken legs, skin on

5-6 shallots, peeled

100g bacon lardons

1 lemon, cut into eight wedges

1 tblsp dried oregano

100ml white wine

200ml chicken stock (made from half an Oxo cube*)

*use Marigold powder for a gluten free version


Preheat the oven to 220°C / 200° fan / gas mk 7.

Put the potato slices in a bowl with 1 tblsp of the oil, season with salt and pepper and stir to coat all the slices.  Tip into a large roasting tin or baking dish and spread out evenly.  Bake for 20 mins.

While the potatoes are baking, remove any excess or flappy bits of skin from the chicken and season with salt and pepper and prepare the shallots.  Check your paintbrush isn’t drying out.

After the first 20 minutes, remove the tin from the oven and add the chicken on top of the potatoes.  Scatter the lemon wedges, lardons, shallots and oregano over the top and drizzle with the other 1tblsp of oil.  Return to the oven for another 20 minutes.

During the second phase of cooking, set the table, prepare any additional veg, open the wine, pour yourself a glass and slap another coat of paint on the wall over the fireplace!

When the timer pings, pour the wine and stock over the chicken and return to the oven for a third 20 minutes, after which the chicken should be cooked and the potatoes tender.

Serves 4


  1. love it! Nice and rustic and supremely tasty!

  2. Lulu is doing great work - do you hire her out at all? :-)

  3. You're making me nostalgic for the days when I was doing up various houses in various places usually battling the clock. Although it made me tired to think about it if I'm honest. That's exactly the kind of simple bake that I'd want to eat as the paint dried and I wondered if I'd chosen the right colour. Almost worth getting the brushes out for.