Mediterranean Pot Roast Chicken

As I’ve mentioned before I’m a big fan of pot roasting chicken, not only to avoid using our worse than awful gas oven, but it’s a fabulously succulent way to cook a chicken (or indeed any meat), particularly for slightly older-than-supermarket birds as ours was.

I made this a few days ago for our Sunday lunch when I was trying to think up something a little bit different and special to do with the first of our chicken brood to hit the pot, so to speak. She was a lovely lady though sadly went a bit lame. Luckily for us our kind neighbour down the  road offered to do the deadly deed and we were spared it this first time. I’m sure next time we’ll have to get involved and eventually it’ll be Phil or I bearing the knife. Something I’m wholeheartedly not looking forward to.

Sad to say but she turned into a great dinner and was very much appreciated and enjoyed by all. Slow cooked in a pan on the hob in lots of white wine, tomatoes, aubergine, courgette and peppers and flavoured with one of my favourite spices, sweet smoked paprika, and then served on a bed of fluffy couscous. Even better that there were lots of saucy and chickeny leftovers for the next day which made for a fabulous pasta sauce.

Enough for a family of 4, with plenty of leftovers for the next day:

a medium to large chicken, about 1.5 to 2 kgs

salt & pepper

4 tablespoons of olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

a large onion, diced

2 sticks of celery, diced

2 teaspoons of sweet smoked paprika

500ml of white wine

200ml of water

2 x 400g cans of good quality chopped tomatoes

a heaped tablespoon of tomato puree

3 sprigs of thyme

3 bay leaves

a red pepper

a green pepper

a medium aubergine

a large courgette

100g of stones green olives

2 tablespoons of chopped parsley

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large deep casserole or saucepan, one big enough to easily hold the chicken and that has a lid, on a low heat. Season the chicken all over with a little salt and black pepper, massage into the skin. Place the chicken in the pan and turn every few minutes until it’s golden brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Place the garlic, onion and celery in the same pan and saute on a gentle heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.  Stir in the paprika and allow to cook for a minute, whilst continuing to stir. Pour in the wine, water and chopped tomatoes, and add the tomato puree, thyme, bay leaves and a generous grinding of black pepper. Place the chicken back in the pot and bring to a gentle simmer and cover. Allow to bubble away for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the other veggies. Slice the peppers into strips by slicing each pepper in half lengthways, then each half into quarters lengthways and each of those into 3 or 4 narrow strips. Dice the aubergine into about 1.5 cm pieces. Cut the courgette into 4 quarters lengthways and dice each of the quarters into 0.5 to 1cm pieces.

Heat another 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a low heat in a large frying pan or saucepan. Once hot add the peppers and aubergine. Allow to cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Now add the courgette and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Once the chicken has been simmering for 45 minutes stir in the cooked veggies and the olives. Cover and cook for a further 45 minutes. The chicken should easily fall off the bone, if it doesn’t cook for a little longer.

Have a taste check adding more salt and pepper to the sauce to suit. Stir in the chopped parsley. Carve the chicken and serve with a generous ladleful of the Mediterranean veggies over the top. It’s great served on a bed of couscous.

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5 responses to “Mediterranean Pot Roast Chicken

  • Mark Willis

    That sounds pretty good! It’s just a shame that preparing it had to involve the death of another creature. I’m not a vegetarian, and we need to remind ourselves that we are at the top of the food chain, and shouldn’t need to be apologetic about rearing of animals in order to eat them. What about the veg? Were they home-grown?

    • Chez Foti

      You’re so right, but at least I know our wee hen had a very happy life. Sadly none of the veggies apart from the garlic were home grown. There’s nothing much to eat out there at the minute, but I’m hoping next winter and spring we’ll have a plenty. Last year was my first year of growing and I didn’t plan much for over the winter. However all my little pepper, tomato and aubergine seedlings are growing up very well!

  • Life with Lizzi

    How old was your chicken? We have one year olds in our garden at the moment in te centre of Brussels, we’re loveing the eggs, and can’t imagine eating them, but if needs must (and it’s a shame to waste!). I just wondered if there is a stage where you say, the old ladies just live it out til the end…….
    love your blog btw, Lizzi

  • Chez Foti

    Hi Lizzi, we think she was about a year and a half to two years old (we got our chickens from some neighbours who left to go travelling). From what we’ve been told by fellow chicken keepers you can eat chickens up to five years old but they need hours and hours of slow cooking. The younger the better really. We actually didn’t intend to eat ours, they’re for eggs really…but it seems such a waste of a life not to do something with her…if that makes sense?!, Louisa

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