Roasted Lemon & Herb Chicken with Homemade Garlic Chile Oil

Print this recipe

A wonderful chicken leg quarter meal that will excite the whole family. It blends a classic favorite of Lemon Chicken, with a smokey and deep flavored olive oil.


  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon dry ancho chilies, ends taken off and pulsed in food processor (lightly)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dry mulato/pasilla chilies, ends taken off and pulsed in food processor (lightly)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 pounds chicken leg quarters or any bone in chicken
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, dry
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • Whole cilantro or parsley leaves, for garnish


  1. Meanwhile, grate zest from lemon, then cut lemon lengthwise into quarters and scrape out the seeds. Save 2 lemon quarters for squeezing juice over chicken after cooking. Marinate chicken with lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper. Let sit for at least 1 hour to marinate.
  2. In a small skillet or nonreactive saucepan, heat 1/2 cup oil, garlic, ancho and mulato/pasilla chilies and 1/2 teaspoon salt over low heat. Stir frequently until garlic is lightly golden (but not brown) and fragrant, 10 to 15 minutes. If garlic starts to brown, turn down the heat — you don’t want this to taste burned. Once garlic is golden, immediately transfer oil to a heatproof bowl and let sit to marinate flavors.
  3. Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to hot skillet, then lay chicken skin side down (if skinless lay chicken top side down). Cook until chicken is golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to baking sheet or pyrex dish. Put in oven at 350 degrees F until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees F. Squeeze a little lemon juice onto the bottom of the pan you used to brown chicken initally and scrape up all the browned bits with a wooden spoon, then pour all over chicken.
  5. Drizzle chicken with chile oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve topped with cilantro or parsley.