Spring chicken


You can do your own jokes. But this is seriously yummy. The sharp lemon, sweet shallot and tangy, creamy feta are a great match for the chicken and spring veg, even in the middle of winter (but it doesn’t feel like it, right?). And it’s a great one if you’re reducing your carb intake as part of a new year’s resolution. (Perhaps not if you serve it, as I did, with roasted new potatoes, mind you, but let’s skate over that…)

It’s also super easy. The chicken doesn’t take long to prepare and is then just bunged in the oven. Then the veg only takes about 10 minutes at the end, even with a hungry 16-month-old hanging off your leg.

It’s pretty lemony – slightly too lemony for Papa Swabey, although he did concede the lemon and feta worked well together. It seemed to go down pretty well with the little ones though, despite the asparagus going predictably untouched. Luckily, asparagus is one of my favourites, so I was happy to help them out. And I thought it was pretty tasty, even if I do say so myself.

I only used five chicken thighs (the recipe calls for eight, but the pack I had defrosted only had five) and there’s plenty left for Papa Swabey to take in to work tomorrow. I know we’re both holding back a little more than usual (new year, new us and all that…), and I supplemented with roasties, but eight chicken thighs to serve four seems like overkill, particularly if any of them are little people.

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 50 minutes

Serves: 4


  • 5 chicken thighs, on the bone, skin on
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and cut into wedges
  • 4 shallots, thickly sliced
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • small handful tarragon
  • bunch asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1 courgette, thickly sliced on the diagonal
  • 250g peas
  • 100g feta, crumbled


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the chicken thighs in a large roasting tin, season and toss with the olive oil, lemon zest and wedges, shallots, rosemary and tarragon. Arrange the chicken thighs, skin-side up, and roast for about 40 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and golden. (If you want to serve this with roasted new potatoes, cut them in half, or quarters for the larger ones; toss in a little oil, season, and cook for the same amount of time as the chicken. They should be golden and a little crispy on the outside.)
  2. After you have taken the chicken out, leave it to rest on the side and bring a large pan of water to the boil. Cook the asparagus for two minutes, then add the courgette and cook for another minute or two. Finally add the peas and cook for about two minutes, or until it comes to the boil.
  3. Drain the vegetables, rinse with cold water and toss in with the chicken, coating well with the cooking juices. Crumble over the feta and serve.

One thought on “Spring chicken

  1. Sounds lovely! I actually bought some corgettes and feta today, we must be on the same wavelength! (Even though you probably did the recipe a while back…)I guess I was feeling springy too…😜


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