Roast Chicken with Lemon, Olive Oil, and Herbs

Nechama Rivlin

1 hour and 20 minutes + 1 hour marinating

4-6 servings

Roast chicken legs with chili peppers and herbs on a baking tray

Photography: Dan Peretz, Styling: Nurit Kariv

Photography: Dan Peretz, Styling: Nurit Kariv

All the ingredients of this recipe — a classic of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine — are integral to the pantry and home kitchen of Israelis.

Nechama Rivlin, the late wife of Israel’s tenth president, would massage the chopped herbs, garlic, and hot pepper into the chicken to help infuse it with flavor. Follow her lead and be sure not to skip the marinating time in this recipe.


  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoons thyme leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup parsley or cilantro leaves
  • 1 green chili pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 6 chicken quarters (thigh and leg)
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste


  1. Place the olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, thyme, garlic, parsley or cilantro, chili pepper, salt and pepper into a food processor. Process until a coarse marinade mixture is formed. 
  2. Transfer the chicken quarters to a baking pan and pour the marinade over the chicken pieces. Rub the marinade all over the chicken pieces with your hands (use gloves if you are sensitive to the chili peppers). Crumble a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the pan. Flatten the parchment paper and cover the chicken in the tray. Refrigerate the chicken for 1 hour (you can let the chicken sit at room temperature in the winter instead).
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C, transfer the baking pan to the oven and roast the chicken (still covered with the parchment paper) for 30 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and increase the oven to 400°F / 200°C. Roast the chicken for 30 more minutes until browned. Flip the chicken pieces, roast for 10 more minutes or until both sides are browned. Serve the chicken immediately or store it in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Related recipes