I love organic free-range chicken, particularly when all the ingredients are cooked together in the same pan– and this roasted chicken and vegetable dish is no exception.
Colorful and bursting with the robust Mediterranean flavors of garlic, lemon, olives and rosemary, you don’t need anything to accompany this unless you crave a bit of greenery on the side.
The original recipe called for bone-in chicken breast with skin but I only cook with organic chicken and those exact parts are hard to come by where I live. However, I did have some organic skinless chicken thigh fillets and the results were really good.
If you want to use chicken on the bone (recommended for an even juicier result) you’ll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly – i.e. a bit longer.
Check the progress a couple of times and move the potatoes around in the pan so that they roast evenly. I used a combination of red, white and purple baby potatoes but any small potato will do.
6 garlic cloves, peeled
¼- half a teaspoon of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons of olive oil, separated
2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
1 large or 2 medium thin-skinned lemons, sliced very finely
1 lb (1/2 kilo) of chicken pieces of equal size
8 small red potatoes (or a combination of colors), halved or quartered
4 large Italian plum tomatoes, halved
10-12 Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1 good tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary
Preheat the oven to 450F (230C). Oil a shallow roasting pan at least 13 ins x 9 ins (33cm x 23cm) in size.
Mash/pound (in a pestle and mortar, if you have one) TWO of the garlic cloves with the sea salt, then whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon juice and a good grind of black pepper – set aside.
Chop the remaining garlic and toss it with the potato chunks, the halved tomatoes and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside.
Arrange the thinly sliced lemon on the base of the pan, overlapping slightly. Put the chicken pieces on top of the lemon and brush the chicken with HALF of the garlic/oil/lemon juice mixture.
Now scatter the garlicky potatoes and tomatoes around the chicken and top them with the olives and rosemary.
Stick the pan in the middle of the oven and roast for 15-18 minutes, then brush the remaining garlic/olive oil/lemon mixture over the chicken.
Toss the potatoes and tomatoes around gently and put it back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (the juices should run clear when pierced with a skewer); the tomatoes are soft and the potatoes are nicely roasted.
Your kitchen will smell amazing.
To serve, pile everything apart from the lemon slices (discard those) into a warmed serving dish and spoon the pan juices over.