Braised Lemon Chicken with Crispy Smashed Potatoes and Labneh Cream

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Braised Lemon Chicken with Smashed Crispy Potatoes and Labneh Cream

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time1 hour 50 minutes


  • 6 chicken thighs bone in, skin on trimmed of excess fat, washed, drained and blotted to dry of excess moisture
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sumac
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme leaves only
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced fennel bulb ¼“ thickness
  • 10 shallots peeled cut in half lengthways
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 strips lemon peel
  • ½ cup green olives smashed and pits removed
  • 4 whole garlic cloves unpeeled
  • 4 garlic cloves sliced

Smashed Crispy Potatoes

  • 1 ½ lbs baby creamer potatoes washed, drained
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • Pepper
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme picked for leaves only
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Labneh Cream

  • ½ cup Labneh full fat
  • ½ cup crème fraiche
  • ¼ cup fresh horseradish grated
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon


  • 3 lemon strips sliced thinly
  • ¼ cup capers
  • ½ cup fresh dill leaves


  • Preheat oven to 375F(190C)
  • Position oven rack in the middle.
  • Chicken should be removed from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking in order for it to come to room temperature.
  • Season chicken all over with salt, pepper, paprika and fresh thyme leaves, and sumac.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat.
  • Add in olive oil
  • Place the chicken skin side down to sear and crisp about 10 minutes.
  • Turnover and brown on the other side about 4 minutes.
  • Remove chicken from pan and place on a platter and set aside.
  • To the same cast iron skillet add the sliced shallots, fennel, whole garlic, and sliced garlic and sauté 10 minutes until soft.
  • Add the wine and allow coming to a boil.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of butter, olives, lemon peel strips.
  • Return the chicken thighs and nestle between the vegetables skin side up.
  • Place the skillet in the preheated oven uncovered to braise for 20 to 30 minutes until chicken is fully cooked or temperature on thermometer reads 175F (79C)
  • Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon and lemon zest to finish.
  • Serve with the smashed potatoes and Labneh cream.

Smashed Crispy Potatoes

  • Preheat oven to 450F (230C)
  • Wash and scrub potatoes and leave unpeeled
  • Place potatoes in a deep pot and cover with cold water and stir in the salt.
  • Bring the water to boil and reduce to simmer until potatoes are cooked and fork tender about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them sit to dry 5 minutes.
  • Line a shallow baking sheet with a rim with parchment paper and scatter the potatoes.
  • Using a heavy object like a glass cup or a tray smash the potatoes.
  • Drizzle all over with olive oil.
  • Season with salt and pepper and thyme leaves.
  • Roast in the oven 20 to 30 minutes until crispy on the bottom and edges.
  • Serve immediately with the Braised chicken and labneh cream.
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