Baked lemongrass and chilli chicken

Annabel Langbein / 24 January 2012

This is a fantastic quick recipe for when time is tight. Just prepare the chicken and let it cook while you cook rice and vegetables.

Preparation time

10 mins

Cooking time

30-35 mins



  • 6–8 boneless chicken breasts, skin on
  • 3 tsp finely grated lemongrass
  • 125ml sweet chilli sauce
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • Finely chopped or finely grated zest of 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

This is my go-to meal when time is tight, writes Annabel Langbein. It takes only a few minutes to throw together and cooks in the oven while you prepare some rice and vegetables and set the table. The sauce also works well with a butterflied whole chicken (cook for 50–60 minutes) or fillets of fresh fish (cook for 8–10 minutes)

Preheat oven to 200°C. Place chicken breasts skin side up in a shallow baking dish. Combine all other ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the chicken.

Bake until chicken is cooked through and golden – about 30–35 minutes. To check whether the chicken is done, insert a clean skewer into the thickest part of one chicken breast. If the juices run clear, it is cooked. If they are pink, return the dish to the oven and cook a little longer before testing again.

Serve with jasmine rice and vegetables.


If you have a jar of my super Chilli Jam (see in the fridge you can make an even quicker chilli sauce for chicken. Simply mix 125ml Chilli Jam with 4 tbsp water and 2 tbsp lime juice. Pour over the chicken and cook as described above.

The Free Range Cook

Annabel Langbein is a celebrity cook, food writer and publisher who believes in using good quality, seasonal, locally sourced produce. Her book The Free Range Cook is in 1 in 4 New Zealand households.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.