Sorta Halfa Pot Roast Lemon Chicken

I wasn’t sure what to call this recipe.  The original recipe that inspired this dish is called One-Pot Chicken, but I don’t think this name gives it justice.  So, I decided to take inspiration from my Dad who had a saying that my brothers and I don’t really know what he meant by.  He’d refer to someone as a ‘sorta halfa good poor #$@!’.  Did he like, dislike or had he not made his mind up about the person?  We don’t know, and never will!  Anyway, I thought this name suited the recipe as it’s sorta halfa pot roast, but tastes like lemon chicken, only not full of sugar.

I promise that the dish tastes a lot better than my photo makes it look!  It really is delicious, simple and smells amazing.


one pot lemon chicken


Sorta Halfa Pot Roast Lemon Chicken

Serves 4


1 whole chicken

Enough spice mix to coat the chicken, 1-2 tablespoons – I like Moroccan or Baharat spice mix(see below for a Baharat recipe)

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 lemon, sliced into circles

1 onion, cut into wedges

3-4 Medjool dates, seeds removed

4 sprigs of thyme or oregano

1 cup of water


  1. Coat the chicken in the spice mix.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan or French style cast iron casserole dish with a lid.
  3. Place the chicken breast side up in the pan.  Brown for 5-10mins, then turn, breast side down, and brown for 5-10mins.
  4. Tip the chicken onto its side and add the lemon slices and onion.  Cook for a few minutes, stirring, until lightly caramelised.
  5. Add the dates and 1 cup of water.  Turn the chicken onto its back, put on the lid and cook.
  6. Cooking time depends on the size of your chicken.  However, after about 50mins check to see if it’s cooked.  If you don’t have a meat thermometer, the best way to check is to pierce the thickest part of the chicken to see if the juices run clear.  If they are pinkish, the chicken needs to cook for longer.
  7. For a thicker sauce, leave the lid off for the last 15mins.
  8. Once it’s cooked through, turn off the heat and allow the chicken to rest for 10mins before carving.
  9. Serve with steamed veg, make sure you include broccoli, and roast potato or mashed sweet potato.
  10. Leftovers are delicious in a salad the next day.

Baharat spice blend recipe

I love making my own spice blends.  It’s super easy and you know exactly what’s in them.  Plus you can mess around and put more or less of a particular spice.  I love cardamom, so this recipe has quite a bit, you may want to add less.  Also, this spice mix often has cloves in it, however, I’m not a fan of them, so, I left them out.  Feel free to add them back in.

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 small cinnamon quill

2 teaspoon cardamom pods

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg – ideally grated fresh from a whole nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a blender, Thermomix, mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind until you have a fine powder.  Store in an airtight container.  Best to use within a couple of months.

A teaspoon or two of this mix would work well in my spiced lentil soup recipe or my sweet potato and lentil soup recipe.

Herbies and The Spice People make good quality preblended spice mixes if you don’t feel like making your own.


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