The gift that keeps giving ... 😊

Chicken Standalone.jpg

Once again I am out of the habit of posting recipes … I’m cooking a lot! (my poor belt can attest to that) but haven’t had the motivation to organise, photograph, edit and write until now! 😇

For my first post in a while I thought it would be appropriate to revisit an old “friend” … Mr. Yotam Ottolenghi and coincedently he has a new cook book out! (Well it was released in the middle of September). 😉

His latest offering … “Simple” … The premise of the book … well … Simple stands for …

Short on time

10 ingredients or less

Make ahead



Easier than you think

Each recipe is categorised with one or more of the above headings (colour coded for those of you in a rush) A nice idea …

The title is a little deceiving, a little surprising if you are an Ottolenghi die hard fan. Simple is not something we would generally think of when we summon up images of his recipes … not necessarily due to the complexity of the techniques but more about the sheer number of ingredients … but in fairness in this case simple does not mean bland … in fact it means anything but! All the recipes (12+) that i have cooked so far are still very much “Ottolenghi” and ridiculously tasty!

I chose this recipe from the book as I had made it previously (and will make it many more times in the future)! The first time was a last “minuteish” lunch for some friends … where a last minute dash to the supermarket was made (and I didn’t have time to marinate the chicken the night before) and I forgot to get one of the ingredients (well I forgot to ask my little helper to get them). What I didn’t know was … that it was one of the key ingredients and I tried to substitute them with something else! 😣

The ingredient in question … Medjool dates ... and in a bit of panic and search around my well stocked kitchen cabinets I managed to dig out some dried prunes … a decent substitute I thought … the first attempt was very tasty and looked pretty close to the photo in the cookbook! Job well done! … well … not so much! 😖

For the second effort I changed two things one … I marinated the chicken the night before and two … I used the correct ingredients!

All I can saw is … WOW … the difference … incredible … the second attempt … in a different realm of taste!!  This is the genius of Ottolenghi … all the different ingredients while many … make up something very special! 😋

This is a great dinner party or sunday lunch recipe and as I said before … I will make it again! 👍🏼

P.S. In the group photo … I served the chicken with … (All recipes from Simple and all excellent!)

Harissa and confit garlic roast potatoes

Hot Charred cherry tomatoes with cold yoghurt

Two bean and two lime salad

(All recipes from Simple and all excellent!)

To buy the book ... click on the photo to go to my amazon link

The Recipe

Chicken Marbella

The Book

Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi (published by Ebury Press)

60g capers, plus

2 tbsp of their juices

120g Medjool dates, pitted and quartered lengthways

2 bay leaves

120ml dry white wine

1 tbsp date molasses (or treacle)

salt and black pepper

Marbella Chicken

Ingredients (serves 4 generously!)

Chicken legs, drumstick and thigh attached

(skin on and scored 3 or 4 times to the bone (2kg))

5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

15g fresh oregano, picked, plus extra to serve

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

3 tbsp olive oil

100g pitted green olives


What to do …

  1. Place the chicken in a large, non-reactive bowl and add all the remaining ingredients, apart from the wine and date molasses, along with 1 teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper.

  2. Gently mix everything together, cover the bowl and leave in the fridge to marinate for 1-2 days, stirring the ingredients a few times during the process.

  3. Preheat the oven to 180C fan (200C traditional).

  4. Spread the chicken legs out on a high-sided medium baking tray, along with all the marinade ingredients.

  5. Whisk together the wine and molasses and pour over the meat.

  6. Place in the oven and cook for 50 minutes, basting two or three times, until the meat is golden-brown on top and cooked through.

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

  8. Eat and Enjoy …