RECIPE: Chicken Traybake with Lemon & Rosemary 

Tried and tested seasonal recipes from our country cookery school kitchen.  As well as hacks and get ahead tips for EVERY cook. 

It’s more economical to by a whole chicken and then portion it at home.  When we have 3-4 chicken to prepare, we often use this recipe to make the most of the drumsticks.   Put the fresh joints into a plastic container and pour over the marinade.  Freeze until needed. Defrost in the fridge overnight and transfer to a baking tray lined with a handful of fresh rosemary stems and roast.

Serves 4

Lunch or Supper 

Prepare 15 mins

Cook 35-45 mins

Total 1 hour

+ marinade



8-12 drumsticks or chicken thighs

Handful fresh rosemary stalks plus tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves

1 whole garlic bulb – broken into cloves but not peeled

150 ml olive oil

2 large lemons – zest and juice

Finely ground sea salt and black pepper

200 g Nocellara green olives – remove the stones using a cherry stoner


Preheat conventional oven 180 C or gas mark 4

Line the base of a large roasting tin with freshly cut rosemary stalks.

Place the chicken pieces on top.  Allow two or three pieces per person.

Arrange the garlic cloves evenly around the tin.

Make the marinade by combining the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, one tablespoon of freshly chopped rosemary.

Pour over the chicken pieces.

Marinade in the fridge for at least an hour. Return to room temperature before roasting.

Season generously with sea salt and black pepper.

Cook for 30 – 45 minutes or until the juices run clear and the skin is golden and crisp.  Timings will depend on the number of chicken pieces in the tray.

Add the green olives to the tray ten minutes before the end of the cooking time.

How to cook 

Roast in the AGA baking oven or create a moderate roasting oven in a 2-oven AGA by sliding the grid shelf on to the floor and the plain cold shelf on to the second or third set of runners.

Notes for cooks

For the best results use chicken thighs and drumsticks.  If you prefer chicken breast, take care that it doesn’t dry out.

Substitute green olives for capers and use French tarragon instead of rosemary.

Whilst the ransomes are in season, try making wild garlic infused sea salt.  This will partner well with chicken dishes.


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