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  • Writer's pictureNava

Herbed chicken and lemon rice with Salsa topping

Hi , everyone!

I hope you are getting into the Christmas spirit.

I have been so lucky and I'm filled with gratitude for the incredible opportunity to spend a blissful week in Mullumbimby, celebrating Hanukkah with my beloved son and daughter-in-law. With its tranquillity and, lush, verdant surroundings, Mullumbimby has captured my heart.  the community there radiates friendliness, patience and consideration, and my visit was truly a special experience.

One cherished ritual during my stay, was my morning strolls to the Paddock Café—a unique gem disguised as a coffee cart, nestled on a farm amidst breathtaking greenery. The serenity of our walk, through that picturesque setting, made the start to each day peaceful and rejuvenating. The warm embrace of my son and daughter-in-law and their friends, and their appreciation for my culinary endeavours, added another layer of joy to this memorable week. I was pleased to discover that my eldest boy has developed some impressive skills in the kitchen so I got to share kitchen duty and was treated to some wonderful dinners, home-baked bread and mouth-watering cakes. Being with my family and their friends I felt a deep sense of belonging and appreciation.


Now my Mullumbimby adventure is behind me and I have a week to look eagerly forward to our trip to Melbourne, where we'll be celebrating Christmas with my stepchildren and grandchildren. Melbourne, with its unique charm, holds a special place in my heart, especially during the festive season, and I feel incredibly blessed and spoiled to partake in the magic of so many celebrations, surrounded by beautiful souls.

With the Christmas spirit in full swing, the kitchen will become a hub of activity once again. Among the array of dishes, one particular recipe will claim the top spot on my list. But before we get to that, if I don’t get to post again beforehand, I want to wish you all a very merry, Christmas and a healthy happy New Year, may we all know love, good health and PEACE in the year ahead.

This baked lemon herbed rice and chicken, seamlessly combines festive aesthetics with incredible flavours. Its simplicity renders it perfect for a stress-free yet delicious Christmas feast. I've experimented with it, both with and without the optional salsa, and I must say, the salsa adds an exquisite burst of flavour.

I can't wait to share the joy of this delightful recipe and so many more with my loved ones, creating another chapter of cherished memories around the Christmas table. Here's to the magic of the season and the warmth of sharing it with those we hold dear!



Helpful tip

Make sure that the aluminium is sealed tightly

Keep an eye on the rice in case the liquid is fully absorbed but the rice is still not cooked through. If that’s the case add another ¼ cup at a time.

Ingredients: For the Chicken:

  • 8-10 drumsticks

  • 60g plain flour

  • 1/2 TBS onion salt blend

  • 1 TBS lemon herb and garlic spice blend

  • 1 TBS avocado smash spice blend

  • 1/3 cup oil

  • Oil spray

For the Rice:

  • 2 Tablespoons oil

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon dried chives

  • Handful of coriander, basil, parsley, or herbs of your choice (I used basil and coriander)

  • 2 teaspoons Maldon salt

  • Pepper to taste

  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 1/2 cup water (extra, in case the liquid is absorbed before the rice is fully cooked)


  • Olive and walnut salsa (see recipe on my website)

  • 1-2 lemons (depending on size)

Method for the Chicken:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

  2. In a bowl, mix the flour and spices.

  3. Pour oil into a separate bowl. Using a basting brush, coat the drumsticks with oil and then roll them in the flour mixture.

  4. Place the chicken on an oven tray and spray with oil.

  5. Cook for approximately 15 minutes.

Method for the Rice:

  1. While the chicken is roasting, prepare the rice.

  2. Place a frying pan over low-medium heat. Add oil, onions, and garlic. Cook until golden.

  3. Add fresh herbs, dried chives, salt, and pepper. Stir in white wine, then add the rice, ensuring all flavors are well integrated.

  4. Stir in lemon juice and transfer the rice mixture into a deep baking dish. Pour chicken stock on top and give it a good stir.

  5. Place the partially cooked chicken on top and seal tightly with aluminum foil.

6.     Ensure that the aluminum foil is tightly sealed to lock in the flavors.


  1. Remove the foil after 20 minutes and allow to cook until the rice and chicken are fully cooked. It took an additional 30 minutes in my oven.

Garnish Method:

  1. Slice lemons into 10 thin slices.

  2. Place a slice of lemon on top of each drumstick and add a tablespoon of walnut and olive salsa on top of the lemon.




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