Roast chicken is one of my favourite meals. I often do a roast on a Sunday, so that I have lots of yummy leftovers to use for packed lunches throughout the week. When I saw Rachel Khoo’s recipe for Provençal roasted chicken in her latest cookbook, I knew I had to make it. The dish encompasses so many of my favourite ingredients: olives, fennel, preserved lemons and alcohol! The rich, earthy flavours transport you to the endless sunny days and hot, dusty streets of the South of France. Honestly, if you’re planning a roast on Sunday – make it this one!
I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit: for instance, the original called for white wine, which I didn’t have in, so instead I used a dry sherry which worked very well. I’ve also used less fennel and a bit more onion. I like to serve this dish with a simple bean salad. Here’s my version of the recipe below:
- 1.5kg chicken (whole range is best)
- 2 bulbs of fennel, quartered and the tough stems removed
- 3 onions, peeled and quartered
- 50g sultanas
- 100ml dry sherry
- 100ml water
- a knob of soft butter
- sea salt
- For the stuffing:
- 100g pitted green olives
- 5 preserved lemons, drained, halved and pips removed
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 15g fresh flat-leaf parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200 C (180 C fan).
- In a food processor, blend the olives, preserved lemons, garlic, parsley and salt to a paste. Using your fingers, loosen the skin above the breast and legs of the chicken and push in the stuffing (making sure not to break the skin).
- Place the fennel and onions in a large roasting tin and scatter on the sultanas. Pour the sherry and water into the tin and then place the chicken on top of the vegetables.
- Rub the butter into the skin of the chicken and scatter on some sea salt. Roast breast side up for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- Once the chicken has cooked, remove the tin from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
- To serve, spoon the roasting tin juices over the chicken and vegetables.
What are your favourite chicken recipes? Have you tried any recipes from Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook?