When asked to cook Christmas dinner for 21 people at my partner’s work Christmas party, knowing that I only had a couple of hours available in the kitchen, I instantly thought of this dish as a way of making life easier for myself.

It’s a quick and easy mid-week supper dish but also a great alternative to a Sunday or Christmas dinner if you can’t face cooking a whole bird.

Serves 4


4 chicken breasts or 8 chicken thighs or a combination of both

4 – 8 rashers streaky bacon (only needed if any of your chicken is skinless)

1 bulb garlic, separated into cloves but not peeled

1 lemon quartered

2-3 tbsp fresh thyme stripped from the sprigs

2 tbsp olive oil

1 wine glass white wine

1 wine glass water

1 tbsp concentrated chicken stock ( I use Knorr Touch of Taste)

salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. Put the chicken pieces in an oven tray. If you are using bacon, lay the rashers over the chicken to keep it moist during cooking.
  3. Scatter in the garlic cloves, lemon quarters and thyme.
  4. Season with a little salt and pepper. Pour in the wine, water, oil and stock.
  5. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked.
  6. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.
  7. Transfer the chicken, bacon if you used it, garlic and lemon to a serving dish. Pour the cooking juices into a gravy boat to serve poured over the chicken.

This dish works well with a green salad and some bread to mop up the juices but for something more wintry and substantial is great with roast potatoes and vegetables.

When in season, make the dish more summery by substituting fresh basil leaves for the thyme.