Meals for many: Lemongrass and curry-flavoured chicken on roasted fennel, onions, shallots and garlic

Spring is finally arriving!!! I took my friend's daughter for a walk after lunch and we stumbled upon lots of lots of daffodils.

Friend-friendly suppers

If there’s one thing I love more than spending my weekends cooking, it’s spending my weekends cooking for friends. I get an obscene, almost indecent, amount of pleasure from it, and nothing pleases me more than having my closest friends around the table laughing, talking, drinking and eating together. Naturally, I use them as guinea pigs to try my recipes out on but I’ve realised that it’s a bit of a silly thing to do because they would probably say they loved my food even if I was serving them cardboard.

I’ve learnt the hard way that when cooking for friends, it’s best to find recipes that one can 1) prepare in advance; and 2) bung into the oven – so that one can spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. While my friends love that we always try to serve tasty food, they love our company more.

I created this dish last Sunday when our friends came over. It’s so easy to make and perfect for when you’re cooking for lots of people. It’s even something I think my husband’s family would eat (not all of them can handle the amount of spice my husband and I can) because this roasted lemongrass and curry-flavoured baked chicken is full of spice and flavour but ‘heat’ free – another important factor since my friend’s children can’t handle spicy food yet either.

Kris over at Kris Cooks inspired me to use lemongrass as they’ve just used it in a grilled chicken recipe. I’ve made a completely different dish but I love being inspired by other blogs as they remind me of different ingredients I should try and use more of – thanks Kris!

Same dish - but I made a super-sized sharing platter today.

Sunday lunch menu

I thought I’d list our Sunday lunch menu for you plus I also thought you might find it easy knowing the schedule for cooking as this whole meal (not counting the pre-preparation involved) takes no more than an hour.

Starter (made 30 minutes before my friends arrived) – my lime and ponzu salmon carpaccio (I posted the recipe a few week’s ago so I didn’t take any new photos – just imagine a plate 5 times the size as i made a massive sharing platter this weekend :))

Main (marinated the chicken the night before) – Lemongrass and curry-flavoured chicken, roasted on a bed of onions, shallots, fennel and garlic. I served this with some cardamom-coconut rice, and roasted vegetables.

Dessert (made the day before) – Flour less chocolate cake with fresh raspberries and strawberries (with or without a drenching of double cream). I’ll be posting this recipe on Thursday)

I also made a flour-less chocolate cake to share, which I'll post next week.


1.00pm: Started pre-heating my oven to 200 degrees (celsius)

1.10pm: Popped chicken into the oven (foil on) to bake for 20 minutes

1.30pm: Turned oven down to 180 degrees (celsius) Removed silver foil from chicken, and also put vegetables into the oven to roast. Also set my rice cooker going to cook the cardamom-coconut rice.

1.45pm: Basted chicken and turned chicken over. Gave the roast vegetables a stir. Returned both to the oven

2.00pm: Basted the chicken again and gave the vegetables another stir, returned both to the oven again.

2.10pm: Removed both the chicken and roasted veg. While these were resting, I dished up my cardamom-coconut rice and then simply grabbed the chicken and roasted veg and started serving. Easy.

Pre-preparation makes everything easy peasy

90% of this three course meal was prepared in advance and, I kid you not, I spent no more than 10 minutes in the kitchen throughout the cooking and serving process on the day, leaving me with the maximum amount of time to spend with my friends.

Click here for the printer-friendlier recipe.

Lots of love


Roasted courgettes, shallots, thyme, onions and mixed peppers in chilli powder, smoked paprika and olive oil.

Lemongrass and curry-flavoured chicken, roasted on a bed of onions, shallots, fennel and garlic (serves 8)

8 whole chicken legs

7-8 tablespoons of curry powder (mine is quite a mild yellow curry powder)

5-6 tablespoons of ginger powder

1 generous tablespoon of minced lemongrass

2 red onions, peeled and cut into thick slices or quartered

5-6 large shallots, peeled and cut into thick slices

1 large fennel, cut into thick slices

1 whole clove of garlic, unpeeled but broken into their individual segments

Salt & pepper for seasoning

Place your chicken legs on a roasting tray. Season your chicken legs all over with salt and pepper. Pour 1 tablespoon of oil and then sprinkle the minced lemongrass, curry power and ginger powder over the legs and rub the oil and spices into your chicken legs thoroughly. Use silver foil to cover your chicken and allow it to marinade in your fridge or in a cold place overnight.

Allow your chicken to marinate overnight and then place them on your bed of vegetables before you bung everything into the oven.

The next day, preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Meantime, lift off the silver foil (don’t discard it as you’ll use it again) and place your chicken pieces on a plate. Take all of your cut onions, shallots, garlic and fennel and mix them together with your remaining 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper and then place your chicken legs skin-side down on top of the vegetables. Cover and seal your roasting tray with the silver foil again and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Then turn your oven down to 180 degrees, discard the silver foil, give the tray a bit of shake (no need to stir the vegetables) and return the chicken uncovered to the oven for 15 minutes.

Turn the chicken over skin-side up, give the tray another shake (you’ll find the fennel and onions start to release their juices and mix with the marinade to create a lovely smelling sauce. Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes.

Allow the chicken to rest and transfer your chicken legs to a large dish or bowl. Make sure you pour all the lovely juices, garlic, fennel, onions and shallots all over your chicken before you serve it – that lovely sauce tastes fantastic poured over the cardamom-coconut rice.

Lemongrass and curry-flavoured chicken, roasted in the oven with fennel, onions, shallots and garlic. Minimum effort, maximum taste!

13 Responses to “Meals for many: Lemongrass and curry-flavoured chicken on roasted fennel, onions, shallots and garlic”
  1. ChgoJohn says:

    What a great meal to serve and your prep work really did pay off! I need to borrow a page or 2 from your manual for I spend too much time in the kitchen and not enough with my friends. Your wonderful meal here proves that it doesn’t need to be that way a all.

  2. The chicken looks delicious, but I’m excited to see your flourless chocolate cake next week!

  3. Can’t wait for the cake! 🙂

  4. billpeeler says:

    Everything about this looks amazing – I’m looking for new ways to prepare some chicken, so this is right on time! I’m also definitely curious for the flourless chocolate cake!

  5. zestybeandog says:

    Ummmm can I come over for dinner??? This looks amazing!

  6. Lucky friends BFN, I would surely be happy if you were to serve me that meal. I never thought of using lemon grass in a rub as you did, but I do love the idea. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. I want a piece of that chicken – YUM:) Have a Great Weekend!

  8. Lemongrass chicken i s one of my favorite things. Roasted fennel is another one. And it is a good thing I can’t get at that flourless chocolate cake with the raspberries.

  9. I’m like you…I like to prepare as much in advance as possible when having friends over. This looks like an amazing meal and I love the combo of ingredients and flavors in this chicken. Great job and I bet your friends were thrilled with the meal.

  10. k.m. says:

    I can practically smell the chicken here! It looks so gorgeous and fragrant and forget popping by for a visit, I’m surprised your friends haven’t moved in 🙂

    Also, have you shared the recipe for the rice yet? It sounds good too.

  11. Fab pairing of lemongrass and chicken, loving the sound of that! So when are the rest of us invited 🙂

  12. That chicken looks like mouthwatering deliciousness

  13. My dear lady, this is one spectacular, splendid, gorgeous meal from beginning to end I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to try replicating the entire thing, and believe me, I’m not often moved to such sentiments about a whole dining experience, let alone one being described to me when I can’t just eat it myself like the hungry beastie that I am! 🙂

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