- 1 x 1.3 kg whole free-range chicken
- 2 T olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 x 400 g can whole tomatoes in tomato juice
- 1 t dried oregano
- a strip orange peel (optional)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 100 g Woolworths Nocellara Di Castelvetrano green olives
- 2 T Italian parsley, chopped
- crusty bread, for serving
- salad leaves, for serving
1. Cut out the chicken’s backbone and wing tips (freeze for broth), then cut the chicken into 4 portions. Heat the olive oil in a casserole and brown the chicken. Remove from the pan, season and set aside.
2. Stir in the onion and add a little more oil if necessary. Soften gently, then stir in the garlic. Pour in the wine and allow to bubble for a few minutes to reduce slightly.
3. Crush the tomatoes, then blend using a stick blender. Add to the pan and simmer for a few minutes, then stir in the oregano and a little seasoning. Add the orange peel, if using. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
4. Return the chicken to the pan, skin-side up. Cover and simmer gently, basting occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until tender. If you think it’s necessary, remove the chicken from the pan and reduce the sauce slightly for a few minutes over a brisk heat. Remember, though, you want a lot of sauce. Add the olives and heat through. Check the seasoning and add a sprinkling of parsley. Serve in bowls with the bread and salad.
Cook's note: There are many variations of this Mediterranean-style braised chicken dish. It’s a winner as a midweek meal and has heaps of flavour.
Photographs: Toby Murphy
Production: Brita Du Plessis
Food assistant: Nicola Naude