Citrus at its best!

Little Miss Sunshine Lemon & Rice Chicken

Little Miss Sunshine Lemon & Rice Chicken

My version of the classic Greek dish has turmeric for the yellow rice (a bit of nostalgia), mustard seeds for warmth and curry leaves from my garden for flavour.  Everyone who knows me, knows that lemons are my favourite – my husband can rather treat me to a box of lemons than a bunch of flowers.

I have used LemonGold® lemons abundantly for the zesty contrast to the rich chicken flavoured rice. Golden brown fried lemon rings are used for garnish and because LemonGold® are seedless, you will not be biting into a bitter seed.

Recipe developed by Errida du Toit, @huiskok

Prep time: 20 min
Frying time: 10-15 min
Baking time: 30-40 min
Serves: 4


  • 8 chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 15ml each butter and olive oil for frying
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 10 ml mustard seeds (optional)
  • 500ml white rice
  • 5 ml turmeric
  • 8 curry leaves or 3 lemon or bay leaves (optional)
  • 750ml (or more) warm chicken stock
  • 1 LemonGold® lemon cut in slices
  • 1-2 LemonGold® lemons’ juice and zest

For garnish: Chopped fresh herbs

Optional: Crumbled feta cheese | Pitted green olives


  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C.
  2. Flavour chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat butter and olive oil in an ovenproof pan and fry chicken until golden brown (5-8 minutes).
  4. Remove and keep separate.
  5. Fry lemon slices and keep separate.
  6. Fry onions until soft and translucent, stir garlic and mustard seeds in and fry another minute. Move onion mix to the side, add raw rice and fry while stirring. Kernels might start to pop. Add turmeric to onions and rice. Now add curry leaves, warm chicken stock, lemon juice and zest.
  7. Place chicken on rice, close with a lid and bake in the oven until the rice is soft and the chicken cooked through (about 25 minutes). If necessary, add more stock during the cooking process. Remove lid and bake for another 5-8 minutes. Garnish with the browned lemon slices and add fresh herbs, feta and/or olives.

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