SATURDAY COOKING: ITALIAN ROAST CHICKEN WITH PEPPERS AND OLIVES

Here is the recipe from Nigella Lawson’s cookbook “Nigellissima”:

ITALIAN ROAST CHICKEN WITH PEPPERS AND OLIVES

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It may seem a long recipe to read, but it’s very simple to make and delicious!

1 chicken (about 1.5kg, preferably organic)
1 unwaxed lemon, cut in half
4 sprigs rosemary
3 leeks, washed and trimmed
2 red peppers (capsicum)
1 orange pepper
1 yellow pepper
100g pitted black olives
60ml olive oil
sea salt flakes and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Untruss the chicken, sit it in a roasting tin and put the lemon halves and 2 of the rosemary sprigs into the chicken’s cavity.
  2. Cut each leek into 3 logs, then slice lengthways and add to the tin. Remove the core and seeds of the peppers and slice them into strips, following their natural curves and ridges, and add these to the tin.
  3. Tumble in the olives, and now pour the olive oil, mostly over the vegetables but a little over the chicken, too. Add the remaining rosemary sprigs to the vegetables, along with some salt and pepper, to taste, and, using a couple of spoons or spatulas, gently toss the vegetables about to help coat them with the oil and make sure everything is well mixed up.
  4. Sprinkle some sea salt flakes over the chicken and put it in the oven for about 1hour- 1hour15 minutes, by which time the chicken should be cooked through, and its juices running clear when you cut into the flesh with a small sharp knife at the thickest part of the thigh joint. The vegetables should be tender by now, too, and some of the leeks will be a scorched light-brown in parts.
  5. Remove the chicken to a carving board and, while it rests (for about 10 minutes), pop the pan of veg back in the oven, switching the oven off as you do so.
  6. Cut the chicken up chunkily, transferring the pieces to a large warmed platter. Now take the pan back out of the oven and, with a slotted spoon or spatula, remove the vegetables to the large platter and when all is arranged to your aesthetic delight, pour over all the juices that have collected in the pan.
  7. Eat!

This will serve 4-6 people. You can get a bigger chicken but you will need a big pan to fit everything in. I roasted 2 small chicken and it took longer to cook than the time indicated in the recipe, especially to get the vegetables soft. I also mixed the veges first in the pan with some olive oil before putting the chicken in,  less messy.  I also added garlic in the chickens’ cavity.
The roasted leeks are delicious, so much so that I bought some more at the market this morning and I will roast another load of capsicums and leeks with some garlic and red onions.
When I cut the leeks, I only used the white part. I have kept the green bits and I will make a potato and leek soup, even though it’s very hot in Perth at the moment!

 

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