Lemon chicken (Pollo ai limoni)

Matthew Fort serves spatchcock chicken drenched in lemon juice, garlic and chilli with a bitter leaf salad
By Matthew Fort
Lemon chicken (Pollo ai limoni)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 1 hr marinating
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 chicken
  • 4 unwaxed lemons
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 1 large bunch, flat-leaf parsley

For the salad

  • large handful bitter salad leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice only


1. Cut the chicken through the breastbone with a sharp knife or poultry shears and flatten out with the palm of your hand.

2. Squeeze the juice from the lemons, retaining the lemon halves.

3. Combine the chicken, garlic, chilli flakes and half of the parsley in a shallow non-reactive dish and pour over the lemon juice. Marinade for 1 hour at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

5. Transfer the chicken to a roasting tray or terracotta baking dish and pour the marinade over. Scatter the lemon halves over the top and cook in the oven for 45 minutes.

6. Remove the chicken from the oven and cover with the remaining chopped parsley.

7. For the salad: dress the salad leaves with the olive oil and lemon in a salad bowl.

8. Serve the chicken with the salad.

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