Lemon Garlic Chicken is the Sunday dinner of my dreams. I love a traybake because when I am tired, and I don’t want to spend all of Sunday in the kitchen I can just produce a quick lemon garlic chicken traybake and that is Sunday dinner done!
A traybake (or a sheet pan if you’re in the USA) was one of the first meals that I ever cooked Dominic. Back when I was 18 and could hardly cook it seemed like the best idea, to blag my way through meal times, without the food seeming too bad.
The first time I ever attempted a traybake I think I added some chicken drumsticks with some Chinese sauce out of a jar. It was okay. Nothing to write home about and as an 18-year-old, I don’t think it was that bad!
A couple of years after this and my drumsticks had been replaced with chopped up sausages, a tin of tomatoes and some oregano. It was delicious and my love for traybakes has never gone away since then.
But it is Sunday and you want something better than just sausages with tinned tomatoes and that is why I thought lemon garlic chicken was perfect. Everything goes into the tray, is mixed up with your hands and then cooks for just over an hour in the oven.
Plus, on a Sunday, Sundays is always about (well for me anyway) a roast dinner. Meat with potatoes and veg and we all need some of this in our lives. In the Mrs Beeton book there are many different takes on roast chicken and in my mind this has to be the easiest of them all.
But of course, cheap family meals are hard to do when you want a roast dinner with all the trimmings so instead we have opted for a lemon garlic chicken traybake as they are like the poor mans version of a roast dinner, but with an added taste sensation.
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- Chop up your chicken legs so that you have 2 large thighs and 2 drumsticks.
- Peel and dice your carrots. Clean and dice your new potatoes.
- Place your carrots and potatoes into the tray that you plan to cook them in.
- Using your citrus press, squeeze in your lemon into the tray too.
- Pour over them all your ingredients that you have left, reserving half of your olive oil.
- Using your hands mix together all the ingredients into the potatoes and carrots until well mixed.
- Place your chicken pieces on top.
- Massage the skin of the chicken with the remaining olive oil and then generously sprinkle salt and pepper over them.
- Cook for 45 minutes at 200c/400f. After 45 minutes check on it, give the tray a good shake, turn over the chicken pieces and cook for a further 15 minutes at 180c/360f.
Another alternative is to swap the lemon for honey. It is a lovely sweet taste and makes a change if you have no lemons in. This lemon garlic chicken easily feeds 5. The thighs are huge, and the thighs can be split to feed 3 people and then a drumstick for the other 2 people. The bag of new potatoes that we purchased was a kilo bag. We used about 2/3 of them on dinner and then the last 1/3 went towards our soup starter, which we have outlined below.
Where To Source Your Chicken Legs To Make Lemon Garlic Chicken Traybake:
Lemon Garlic Chicken – Step By Step Photos
#1 Prepare the vegetables and place them into your tray
#2 Mix in the seasonings into your carrots and potatoes with your hands
#3 Get your freezer chicken out of its silver foil ready for prepping
#4 Chop up your chicken and separate the thighs from the drumsticks
Then your lemon garlic chicken traybake is ready for the oven!
Lemon Garlic Chicken – The Starter
Before we had our lemon garlic chicken traybake, we started off with some soup. We love starting a meal with some soup as it fills you up nicely and then you are less likely to overeat. Plus, with some being loaded with vegetables you then know you’re getting your five a day.
I don’t think I know a single Portuguese person that doesn’t have soup every day. It’s like a cultural thing!
To make the soup we had about 1/3 of our 1 kilo bag of baby potatoes left over. We placed this in our soup maker, along with a pack of 3 small leeks (which had been cleaned and diced), 400ml of vegetable stock made with a veggie oxo cube. We also seasoned this with salt, pepper and a little thyme. This then cooked for 28 minutes in our soup maker.
In Mrs Beeton days it was all about a big stock on the soup so that food could stretch further and make more meals. With this soup the stock is bigger than what I usually do, so that there is enough for a dish each for 5 people.
Lemon Garlic Chicken – Dessert
To finish off our delicious Sunday dinner we had lemon biscuits. Not exactly a dessert as such. But we could sit in front of the TV with our biscuits thinking what a great dinner we had, with a full belly each and enjoy some Netflix. The perfect end to the perfect Sunday.
They used the lemon rind and no lemon juice (making use out of my lemons) and the rest of the ingredients are super cheap family ingredients that every house has. Such as eggs, flour, butter etc.
Lemon Garlic Chicken – The Leftovers
You’re probably wondering what I have planned for the leftovers. Well those juices from the bottom of your traybake can not be wasted. Its like a foodgasm law. They just taste so, so good.
When you have finished dinner, and have gone into the kitchen to do some washing up you want to make yourself some pasta for tomorrow. In a small pan boil 250g of pasta. Any pasta you like but something that soaks up the juices like macaroni is often best.
Then place your tray on the heat over the hob using a spatula to help unstick any sticky bits. Add to it some soft cheese to make it creamier, a bit at a time until it turns into a creamy sauce.
When the pasta is cooked throw in the pasta, mix it around and then take it out and place it in a food container. You can either fridge it or freeze it for another day. Or in summer it is amazing mixed with a little mayo as a cold lemon garlic pasta salad.
This portion of lemon garlic pasta is enough to feed 2 people. For the best value for money have it with a salad or over a jacket potato.
Cheap Meals For 5
I had promised you cheap meals for 5. A meal that you can put together on a Sunday to feed the 5 of you for $5 or less. Its always nerve racking when you do this type of content on a food blog, as you’re always wondering if you are going to come in on budget or look like an idiot.
Well todays Sunday Cheap Meal for 5 worked out as follows:
Potato & Leek Soup = 1,07€/$1.25
- New Potatoes = Part of dinner cost
- Leeks = 1,00€
- OXO Cube = 0,05€
- Seasoning = 0,02€
Lemon Garlic Chicken Traybake = 1,12€/$1.31
- Chicken Legs = FREE
- Lemons = Homegrown
- 1 Bag New Potatoes = 0,89€
- Carrots = 0,05€
- Garlic Puree = 0,05€
- Olive Oil = 0.08€
- Seasoning = 0,05€
Lemon Biscuits = 0,48€/$0.56
- Lemon Leftovers = Part of dinner cost
- Butter = 0,12€
- Flour = 0,13€
- Sugar = 0,07€
- Egg = 0,14€
- Vanilla Essence = 0,02€
Lemon Garlic Pasta Leftovers = 0,44€/$0.51
- Leftovers from above = FREE
- Pasta = 0,19€
- Soft Cheese = 0,25€
Total Cost = 3,11€/$3.66
Cost Per Serving = 0,62€/$0.73
Its safe to say that we managed to feed our family a delicious meal for $5. I actually can’t believe how cheap it actually worked out. Its amazing if you involve a cheap vegetable like carrots, along with cheap potatoes how easy it is to achieve cheap family meals.
Prices may adjust from country to country, but these are the prices we paid in Portugal and works out at $3.66 for five people. Though this Lemon Garlic Chicken is at the time of writing this post based on current exchange rates. We find that compared to the US our prices are identical. This is because we pay a lot more for our meat and dairy, yet a lot less for fruit and vegetables that it levels itself out.
Cheap Meals For $5 Meal Plan
If you’re looking for even more cheap meals that you can make for $5 then I recommend you sign up for the $5 meal plan. It comes with a 14 day free trial and then it is just $5 a month if you decided to stick with it and just think how much money you could save!