As the weather still continues around the 20’s mark here in Sydney, I’m still not game to venture into “winter warming” cuisine. Ok that’s a lie. I did make a curry recently and I suppose that is classified as a winter dish but blame Nigella. The Lifestyle Food Channel has me glued to the screen. I’m desperate for new cooking ideas and techniques!!! That’s when I came across this number you see. It’s a very simple chicken dish with great flavouring and can be adapted for both summer and winter. I can hardly remember which show it featured on as they all slowly blended into one. I called it “Tipsy Chicken” because of the amount of wine used. Let’s not confuse it with that other “classic” Drunken Chicken.
The recipe I watched asked for the chicken to be jointed. Basically you cut up the chicken and separate it form the drumstick and thigh, the wings and the breast. A good boning knife is definetly needed for this adventure. I didn’t do too bad at my first attempt I must say. It’s important to feel where the joints are separating and hack into it there. There are numerous versions and ways to do this. Since I’m not about technicalities I can recommend Stehanie Alexander from her bible of cooking “The Cook’s Companion”, as a great resource for jointing a chicken.
Once you have the cleaned chicken pieces, place them in a large bowl. Again I will point out the loose nature of my amounts for recipes such as this. (Feel your way to how much to add and adjust as you go along.) To this add some freshly chopped parsley and oregano. (Please note any other herb can be used here for a substitute to the oregano. i.e. basil, marjoram, rosemary…whatever takes your fancy). Being true to my heritage I opted for the fresh oregano. Add some chopped green olives (please..no pips!!!) capers and some grated lemon zest from one lemon. Season with a lot of back pepper and drizzle in a fair amount of good extra virgin olive oil. Toss thoroughly and let it rest in the refrigerator for a few hours. Preheat an oven to 200 deg C (it has to be a bit hot). Place the marinated chicken in a large rosting dish. Now. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY. Add enough GOOD white wine till it comes up about halfway. And don’t be cheap. Use a decent wine and you will get a fantastic flavour. Save the Moselle (who remembers moselle??) and cask wine for those relatives you don’t like. Place in the oven for about 60-70 minutes basting it frequently with the wine mixture. The end result? A beautiful moist cooked chicken with a crispy exterior, with a wonderful flavour. (Yes the chicken is tipsy..definetly not drunk!). The olives, capers, hebs, wine and oil all blend beautifully. Try eating just one piece. Delish!!!
I served my version with brown steamed rice and snake beans tossed in olive oil and lemon juice. I think I was feeling healthy that night. This can easily be cooked in the winter and seved with some mashed potatoes or even soft polenta.