| roast chicken with chorizo, olives and sherry

January 24, 2010

Last week we served this chicken for dinner, at the outside table, in the Wisteria covered courtyard of the terrace Sarah and I are house sitting for the next little while. We took the dish straight from the oven to the table. Even though it is sizzling hot, served just with a rocket and Kipfler potato salad it is beautiful and light, perfect for a balmy evening.

I copied this recipe from an old Gourmet Traveller I was reading while bored en-route to Europe last year and ferreted it away for a time when I’d have a kitchen again. After months travelling and staying in cheap accommodation with horrific (if at all) kitchens, (at a place in Venice the total cutlery consisted of plastic spoons) I finally had a kitchen again for two weeks in Portugal. Even though I was a million miles away, just having functioning hot plates and a baking dish made it feel like home.

I spent two weeks picking carob, eating figs and swimming in an ocean that was soupy hot Mediterranean or breathtakingly cold from the Atlantic, depending on which way the wind blew. I had bountiful oregano in the planter box at the front of my cottage, organic chicken, and a little village ten minutes walk down the hill with a grocer who laughed at my attempts at Portuguese but still managed to sell me olives and chorizo.

Something beautiful happens in the oven with this dish. Because the chicken is resting in the wine and stock it poaches, so you get moist, tender flesh but the paprika chicken skin, which is exposed to the heat of the oven goes crispy with an almost-burnt crunch. The red onions caramelise and all of this is infused with the hint of zesty lemon.

Sarah and I have lend of this terrace in Fitzroy for three months. It has a large open plan kitchen with excellent appliances, gas, and a temperamental oven that needs coaxing with kind words to ensure it cooks things evenly. That’s all I need for it to be home for now.

Roast Chicken with Chorizo, Olives and Sherry

From Gourmet Traveller (2008) Emma Knowles

75ml olive oil
3 small chorizo, thickly sliced
2 Spanish onions, wedged
1 head garlic, separated
125ml Fino sherry (or red wine)
125ml chicken stock
80g green olives
¼ cup fresh oregano, loose
1 lemon, zest and juice
2kg chicken on the bone
smoked paprika
20ml sherry vinegar

Preheat oven at 200C. Put half the olive oil in a large, heavy roasting pan. Lay the chorizo, onion and garlic at the bottom of the pan – season. Add the sherry, stock, olives, oregano, lemon zest and juice. (The layering here is important.) Rest the chicken on top of this mixture with the skin side facing up. Drizzle the chicken with the rest of the oil. Sprinkle with paprika.

Roast for 45-50 minutes. Add vinegar to hot pan.

Serve with rocket and Kipfler potato salad.

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roast chicken with chorizo, olives and sherry: 19 comments

  1. Anna Says:

    That sounds fantastic! It’s going on the menu as soon as I have a gap :-)

  2. A Says:

    Yum! This sounds amazing, I can’t wait to make it when I get back from India and have my own oven and markets nearby.

  3. joey Says:

    This looks and sounds like just the type of baked chicken dish I would love…I make something similar but with a layer of white beans underneath :) Lovely blog!

  4. Pei-Lin Says:

    Hey, I stumbled upon your site on Aran’s! Lovely site with amazing photography and recipes! Brilliant write-up, too!

    I’ll keep following yours with interests! Now, keep it up!

  5. Christy Says:

    Mmmm.. you made it sound so romantic…even the temperamental oven which would have driven me crazy. I have to say that when Aran of Cannelle et Vanille mentioned you guys on Twitter, I was prepared for a beautiful blog whose owners are situate in the Northern Hemisphere (again). What took me by surprise was that this time, the writer/photographer/cook is only as far away as Fitzroy (at the moment). That totally made my day.

  6. murray Says:

    … and in Berlin where the brokedown oven was really just a griller and we weren’t even sure if those things were actually chorizo?! SLOW. but still delicious! im hungry rom.

  7. Romy Says:

    Remember I ended up cooking it on the stove top Murray? In a big flat frying pan. No crackly paprika skin, but still delicious!

  8. Candi Says:

    amazing! my husband cooked this last night….mmmm mmmm mmmm. The crackly skin, the juices, what a beautiful dish and so simple.

  9. Ursula Says:

    this looks delicious!
    but how many people is it meant to feed? thinking of impressing my parents with this!

  10. romy Says:

    Ursula, I think this would feed about six people, served with some yummy salads.

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  12. Fiona Says:

    I cooked this tonight for my Mum’s birthday – and it was a hit with both the kids and the adults. Loved the flavours and the simplicity – this one is going to make regular appearances at our place. Thanks!

  13. Jess Says:

    This is such a good dish. I love it to death. My house mates want it every night :) Thanks

  14. Nicki Says:

    This was really delicious – and your website is beautiful. Any tips for getting the skin really crispy? More oil? Hotter oven? Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  15. romy Says:

    Nicki – if it’s not getting crispy enough, make sure the skin is out of the liquid. Shouldn’t need more oil. Maybe just a hotter oven for the last ten minutes to give it a crisping blast.

  16. anna Says:

    cooked this this week and can’t believe how much delicious you get for so few minutes-spent-in-kitchen. i’ll be cooking this one again!

  17. Cassie Says:

    How do you think this would go with white wine vinegar in place of sherry vinegar, and kalamata in place of green olives??

  18. romy Says:

    Hi Cassie, I think a slurp of white wine (red would be better) vinegar would be fine. Kalamata would be fine too, but I really like the green olives in this. But use what you have in the cupboard, by all means.

  19. Cassie Says:

    Thanks so much! Will definitely try the red wine vinegar, and will also grab some green olives to round it out. Cheers!

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