Yotam Ottolenghi pares down his recipes in Ottolenghi Simple.
This is a dish I regularly cook for friends. All the work is done in advance—you can marinate it for up to 2 days in the fridge—and then it’s just into the baking pan and into the oven when you’re ready. The chicken loves the long marination but it can also be cooked straightaway, if you don’t have the time. If you’re going to do this, just season the chicken with the 1 tsp of salt and pepper (which would otherwise go into the marinade), rubbing it thoroughly into the skin before combining it with the rest of the marinade ingredients (no more salt required) and bake according to the recipe. I like to use chicken legs but others prefer chicken supremes (chicken breasts with the wing bone attached), which also work very well. Thanks to Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins’s The Silver Palate, whose recipe for Chicken Marbella inspired this recipe.
- Place the chicken in a large nonreactive bowl and add the garlic, oregano, vinegar, oil, olives, capers, dates, and bay leaves, along with 1 tsp salt and a good grind of black pepper. Gently mix everything together, cover the bowl, and leave in the fridge to marinate for 1–2 days, stirring the ingredients a few times during the process.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Spread out the chicken legs on a medium high-sided baking pan, along with all the marinade ingredients. Whisk together the wine and molasses and pour over the meat. Place in the oven and cook for 50 minutes, basting two or three times, until the meat is golden brown on top and cooked through.
- Remove from the oven, transfer everything to a large platter, sprinkle with some oregano, and serve.
Reprinted with permission from Ottolenghi SIMPLE: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi with Tara Wigley and Esme Howarth, copyright © 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography credit Jonathan Lovekin © 2018