Spring entertaining: Ottolenghi’s one pot roast chook with dates & capers

The sun is SHINING here today and promises to do so again tomorrow and it just feels like we’ve turned the corner on winter. That’s a big call around these parts, especially when we have the fire on sometimes into November and even around Christmas some times, but the warm days are here. And they are glorious.

There’s nothing I love more to do on a Spring sunny day then get outside and have friends around for a long lunch out in the garden. Everything tastes better out in the sunshine, the crisp bubbles of prosecco, meat cooked on the fire pit, a fresh tart out of the oven for dessert, if you are out in the sun drinking and eating with people that you love I reckon life doesn’t get much better.

I made this chicken dish for my birthday lunch and it was delightful. I am on an Ottolenghi run at the moment as I got his cookbook for my birthday and I can’t get enough of those middle eastern flavours and delicious textures from his salads. This is also a favourite of mine because it’s a get ready and marinate for a few days and then whack it all into a roasting pan – a true one pot wonder. Serve it with some salads and potatoes on the side and you have a pretty easy entertaining dish for a long lunch.

Ottolenghi’s Chicken with dates, olives & capers

8 chicken legs, drumstick and thigh attached, skin on (2kg net)
5 garlic cloves, crushed
15g fresh oregano, torn, plus extra for garnish
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
100g pitted green olives
60g capers, plus 2 tbsp of their juices
70g , pitted and quartered lengthways Medjoul dates
2 bay leaves
120ml dry white wine
1 tbsp date syrup or treacle (I used maple syrup)
Salt and black pepper

Original recipe can be found online here.

1. Place the chicken in a large, non-reactive bowl and add all of the ingredients, apart from the wine and date molasses, along with ¾ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Gently mix everything together, cover the bowl and leave in the fridge to marinate for 1 to 2 days, stirring the ingredients a few times during the process.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C.

3. Spread out the chicken legs on a large baking tray, along with all the marinade ingredients. Whisk together the wine and molasses and pour over the meat. Place in the oven and cook for 50 minutes, basting 2 or 3 times, until the meat is golden brown on top and cooked through.

4. Remove from the oven, transfer everything to a large platter, sprinkle over some freshly picked oregano leaves and serve.

We ate this with some rice and a cauliflower & hazelnut salad that were perfect but even a simple green salad and potatoes would do the trick. Delicious!

[gmc_recipe 27510]

What have you got planned this coming weekend?
Doing any entertaining?


  1. Thanks so much Beth. The dish looks easy and delicious – just my kind of recipe! I’m from a Mediterranean background and enjoy dishes that combine meat with dried fruit,

  2. YUM! thanks beth!
    his food is great!
    love mx

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