Clayton’s abiding Saturday morning childhood memory is waking up to the aroma of klitheraki, cooked with lamb shanks and tomatoes. His own family love the dish, but he’s given it a twist by using chicken and lemon. This is a great winter recipe and good value, too – make enough stock and you’ll have avgolemono soup as well.






Skill level

Average: 4.5 (11 votes)



  • 1 free-range chicken
  • 2 bulbs garlic, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 handful marjoram
  • 1 handful oregano
  • 1 handful parsley
  • salt


  • 500 g risoni or orzo (approximately)
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 handful parsley
  • 1 (or more) clove garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make the stock, place the chicken in a large stockpot. Cover with 5 litres of water. Bring to the boil. Add the garlic, bay leaves, marjoram, oregano and parsley.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 3 hours or until the chicken is tender. Season to taste.

When the stock is ready, remove the chicken. Shred the meat from the carcass and strain the herbs from the stock. Return the stock to a clean pan and return to the boil.

Add the pasta to the stock, stirring constantly to prevent sticking. Add most of the lemon zest, reserving a little to garnish, and all the lemon juice. Add the chicken meat and some of the parsley. Just before the pasta is cooked, add the garlic. When the pasta has absorbed all the stock (about 10 minutes), serve and garnish with reserved parsley and lemon zest. Top with freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt. Serve with a side salad.