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RECIPE: Chicken with citrus and olives

This is now one of my favourite ways to cook chicken – a recipe from Chef Haidee Hart of Woodshed Provisions.



This simple and impressive recipe, from Chef Haidee Hart of Woodshed Provisions on Salt Spring Island, is one of the best I've received from a chef in a long time, and a dish I love to prepare as a weekday meal with bone-in chicken thighs, or featuring a local free range roast chicken for a dinner party.


At Woodshed Provisions, Chef Hart has weekly menus featuring locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients, including the citrus fruits from local greenhouse grower Jane Squier that's featured in this dish. It's is a favourite dish in her shop — easy to prepare and delicious as part of an elegant dinner, or to serve cold at a picnic.


Start with local free-range chicken, says Hart, use good quality olive oil and wine, along with lemons, oranges or grapefruit, or swap out the citrus for local plums or grapes in season.


CHICKEN WITH LOCAL CITRUS AND OLIVES


one 4-5 lb organic or free range chicken, cut into pieces (many butchers are happy to do this)


1 orange, sliced, seeds removed


1 lemon, sliced, seeds removed


1 cup of your favourite olives (we use Castelvetrano as we love their buttery flavour and great texture)


1 orange, halved, seeds removed (to squeeze over the chicken


1 cup white or red wine


3/4 tsp salt


1 Tbsp brown sugar


1/4 cup good quality olive oil


Fresh herbs if available (Hart recommends tucking a few fresh bay leaves in between the pieces of chicken, or adding sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme)


Pre-heat oven to 400 F.


In a 9-10-inch cast iron pan or ceramic baking dish, arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer, skin side up. Tuck the sliced citrus and olives in between the chicken pieces. Squeeze the orange halves over the chicken, watching for any seeds, then pour the wine over as well.


Sprinkle salt and brown sugar evenly over the chicken, then drizzle the olive oil over the chicken and citrus.


Bake at 400 F for about an hour, until the chicken is golden brown and the juices of the chicken run clear when tested.


Allow to rest for a few moments before serving — and remember, this is a fantastic picnic dish served at room temperature the next day! Serves 4-6.

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