Roast Chicken with Pepperonata
There is something very special about this dish. Everybody has dishes that they come back to again and again and this is one such dish for me. It’s not difficult – it all cooks in one pot and, as long as the raw ingredients are good quality, it tastes great. It’s perfect after a busy day or on an evening where you just don’t want too much fuss. I have made this at least once every two weeks for the past 4 months so I think it’s probably time to share it!
Pepperonata is a simple Italian stew of peppers, tomatoes and onion. It’s perfect as a side dish warm or cold as part of a bbq salad. This way of cooking it, with the chicken roasting on top brings it to a whole new level – the juices from the chicken combine with the vegetables underneath to create a delicious, deep flavoured dish.
As the chicken is imparting all of the flavour into this dish, it is important to use a good quality bird. A free-range or, better yet organic chicken will ensure a good depth of flavour. It is also important to use a full chicken, a few breasts sitting ontop won’t cut it here!
4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 Mixed Peppers (seeds removed, finely sliced)
2 Onions (finely sliced)
2 cloves of Garlic (finely sliced)
2 Tomatoes (roughly chopped)
1 Free Range or Organic Chicken
½ tsp of Dried Oregano
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Sourdough Bread and/or Boiled Baby Potatoes to serve
Preheat oven to 200deg C. (conventional) or 180deg C. (fan)
Put a casserole dish over a medium heat and add 3tbsp of the oil. Once hot, add the peppers, onions and garlic. Season generously and cook for ten minutes, stirring regularly.
Add the tomatoes and stir well before placing the chicken on top. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil, sprinkle over the oregano and season well. Put the dish into the oven and cook until the chicken is cooked through. (74deg C. on a probe thermometer at the thickest point of breast and leg) I usually start checking after 70-75 minutes.
Remove the dish from the oven and tip the chicken up by the neck end so that all of the juices run out and into the peppers. Remove the chicken to a plate and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Give the peppers a good stir, check for seasoning and put back into the oven while the chicken is resting.
Once rested, portion the chicken as required. If using the sourdough, put a slice at the bottom of each of the bowls. Place a generous helping of the pepperonata ontop, followed by a portion of chicken. Drizzle over some of the cooking juice and serve with boiled baby potatoes.