A few leaves of lemon verbana, sage and lemon leaves and lots of love for food can make a simple chicken taste amazing!

Serves: 6 Preparation time: 15m Cooks in: 1:15 h Ready in: 2:0 h

1 large chicken
5-6 lemon leaves, well washed
10 verbena leaves, chopped
3-4 sage leaves, roughly chopped
juice from 2 lemons
2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Step 1
Place the chicken in a small pan, salt and pepper to taste and rub the chicken with your hands. Let it rest for ½ hour.

Step 2
Add the lemon juice and lemon zest, olive oil and the chopped lemon verbena leaves in a bowl and mix very well using a fork. Place the lemon leaves on the belly of the chicken and add 2-3 tablespoons of lemon. Lift the skin of the chicken using a knife and put the sage leaves between the skin and the flesh. Baste the chicken with the fragrant mixture of lemon and oil using a basting brush.

Step 3
Cover the pan with foil and bake the chicken at 170 ºC for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake the chicken at 180 ºC for about 15 more minutes until it is browned. Do not change its position or turn it over.

– You should enjoy this dish hot, because after ½ hour will lose half of its tasty value. The flesh of the chicken dries quickly and becomes unsavory when it gets cool.
– The best side dish is a simple tomato salad with herbs.
– If you want, you can also put some potatoes in the pan. In this case, though, you should add salt and pepper, sweet paprika, olive oil and 1 cup of water.

Photo: George Drakopoulos, Food Styling: Tina Webb