My friend, Jilly Lester, calls this dish ‘wedding chicken’ because it is perfect for feeding a crowd. It is one of those recipes that never fails to please, yet each time you eat it, it tastes slightly different. The inspiration comes from Yottam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Simple.
Image from: Zola Nene
8–12 chicken pieces, bone-in and skin-on
200 g pitted green olives, drained
200 g whole pitted dates or pitted prunes
200 g jar caper berries in vinegar
1 cup (250 ml) white wine
Fresh parsley and/or origanum, for serving
Place the chicken in a roasting dish with the olives, dates or prunes and caper berries. Pour over the wine and the liquid from the caper berries and set aside to marinate for 2–3 hours.
Roast in a preheated oven at 180°C for 60–90 minutes, turning the chicken two or three times, until the skin is browned and the meat is tender. Garnish with chopped parsely or origanum before serving.
I like to use chicken thighs and drumsticks, but choose whatever portions
work best for you.
Use caper berries, not capers. Caper berries have a subtle, pickle-like sour flavour, which counteracts the sweetness of the dates or prunes.