Mediterranean Chicken with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Olives
A wonderful do-ahead recipe. Delicious served cold. It is one of my favourites. I love the traditional taste of this moist poached chicken in an olive oil/herby stock. A very important technique that you must remember is to skin the chicken (not wings) and to cut away all the fat, under the skin and inside the cavity of the bird.
YOU WILL NEED
- 1 large free-range chicken
- 2 t (10 ml) Ina Paarman’s Chicken Spice
- olive oil
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal into rings
- 1 large onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- 2 x 25 g Ina Paarman’s Liquid Chicken Stock
- 3 cups (750 ml) boiling water
- ¾ cup (180 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup (180 ml) tightly packed fresh origanum or basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, sliced into fine strips
- 1 t (5 ml) Ina Paarman’s Seasoned Sea Salt
- 1 x 240 g Ina Paarman’s Sun-dried Tomatoes, drained and cut in half
- 200 g green olives, pipped
- 2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock, reserved from cooked chicken
Adjust the oven rack one slot below middle position. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Skin the chicken by simply pulling the skin off the body and thighs and remove all the fat in and on the carcass. Don’t bother with the wings.
Rub Chicken Spice into and inside the skinned chicken. Drizzle olive oil over the breast.
Place the chicken breast up in a heavy-based saucepan on a bed of carrots, onion and garlic. Add neck if supplied.
Dissolve the Liquid Chicken Stock in the boiling water, pour it into the pot, on the side so as not to wash the seasoning off the chicken. Cover with a tight-fitting lid.
Oven bake for 1½ – 2 hours depending on size until the chicken is very tender and starts to come away from the bone.
In the meantime mix the olive oil, origanum, garlic and Seasoned Sea Salt together and leave to stand at room temperature to allow the flavours to develop in the olive oil.
Remove the pot from the oven and turn the chicken over, breast down. Leave it, in the breast down position, to cool slowly in the poaching liquid for an hour.
Remove the bird and strip the meat from the bones into long strips. Strain the stock and reserve 2 cups (500 ml) of the stock for the sauce (freeze the rest of the stock for another recipe). Reserve the carrots.
Beat 2 cups (500 ml) of the stock into the olive oil marinade. Taste for seasoning.
Layer the chicken, sauce, Sun-dried Tomatoes, olives and carrots in a porcelain or glass dish and cover with cling film.
Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to let the flavours mature.
Serve at room temperature.
Be careful of food spoilage in warm weather. Cook, prepare and refrigerate the chicken immediately in the sauce. Any leftover stock must be frozen straight away.