Photo by: Colin Campbell

Roast chicken with dates, olives and capers

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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
Salt and black pepper

The Silver Palate, by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, is one of the best cookbooks I know and a classic of the 1980s, listing recipes from the first modern quality take-out food shop in New York. Many of the dishes in the book have become legendary. One of them, Chicken Marbella, is the inspiration for this recipe. The chicken needs marinading for at least a day, preferably two, to soften and flavour properly; I wouldn’t cut corners here. Serves four, generously


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.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
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.
Remove from the oven, transfer everything to a large platter, sprinkle over some freshly picked oregano leaves and serve.

Perfect with

  1. Merlot vinegar

    Vibrant and aromatic, this red wine vinegar will bring to life all that it's used with

    Merlot vinegar


{based on 6 reviews}

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  • Shop Enjoyable
    (12/06/2019) Although I really enjoyed this dishing, and it was very tasty and simple to make, I was expecting slightly more on the flavours with the length of time to make it.

    I did try making this with a lower marinade time (a few hours rather than days) and for me, still got the same great taste
  • Shop Easy Peasy
    (18/03/2019) This is fabulous for those who like to plan ahead, and want a fuss free dinner so they can spend time with their family and friends. The combination of sweet and sour from the dates and olives is delicious. I used pomegranate molasses instead of the date syrup. It worked perfectly.
  • Shop Chicken Marbella
    (02/02/2019) I made this for a dinner party and it turned out great. Making it again soon. My only concern was that the skin did not crisp. I ended up broiling it for a few minutes so get a little crispiness, but not as much as I'd like. Any suggestions?
  • Shop Delicious Chicken Recipe
    (15/01/2019) I never heard or followed Ottolenghi before my daughters boyfriend mentioned and once I checked this website I fell in love with unusual combinations and simple delicious cooking.
    I have made this recipes several time and always been great success among the guests.
    I have added few ingredients which is chilli flakes and few figs abs it goes superbly with dates.
    Thank you
  • Shop Delicious
    (21/11/2018) Made this last night with a whole chicken. The flavor combo is absolutely delicious. The ingredients cooke down into a chunky sauce around the chicken. I suggest serving with bread or mashed veggies to soak up the goodness.
  • Shop Succulent dish
    (06/11/2018) This dish looks delicious! Need recommendations for two side dishes. I will write a review after my dinner party.

    Thank you for helping me organized a succulent dinner.