Before I had my own children, I used to wonder why my mum was so keen on chicken dishes. And then it all became clear… because a winning chicken dish like this one requires only a very small window of time to put together, because it only requires one dish (yes, read that again – one dish) and therefore very little washing up and also because it’s perfect for the family but doubles as a great main course for a dinner party.
You can prepare this dish way in advance, leave it to marinade and then just pop it in the oven an hour before hungry children get home or guests arrive.
Go on, make this one. Put on some Fleetwood Mac and enjoy getting into your groove.
With love from the Palace,
You will need
2 whole garlic bulbs
280g green olives, drained
225g dried soft apricots
125ml red wine vinegar
80ml extra virgin olive oil
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 strips orange rind
2 bay leaves
½ jar of Pesto Princess Chermoula Paste
1 Tbsp dried oregano
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 cup brown rice (brown rice is firm and won’t disintegrate when you cook it for an hour)
250ml white wine
5 Tbsp brown sugar
Fresh thyme or parsley, to serve
1. Cut the tops off the garlic bulbs to expose the cloves. Pop them into a ceramic dish that will fit into your fridge along with the olives, apricots, vinegar, oil, thyme sprigs, orange rind, bay leaves, Pesto Princess Chermoula Paste and oregano. Add the chicken and massage or mix so that all the flavours combine.
2. Leave to marinade for at least 30-40 minutes. Ideally, leave it for between 4-8 hours if you can.
3. Once you are ready to cook this delicious meal, pre-heat your oven to 180°C. Take a large roasting pan and pour the cup of uncooked rice in the base. Place the chicken pieces along with the marinade on top of the rice and pour over the wine. Lastly sprinkle with sugar and pop in the oven for about an hour (depending on how thick the chicken pieces are). The skin should be crispy and the rice cooked through.
Serve straight out of the oven with a sprinkling of fresh thyme or parsley.
Recipe and food styling by Michelle Parkin.
Michael Olivier’s Choice
Haute Cabrière Unwooded Pinot Noir 2015
The Haute Cabrière Unwooded Pinot Noir 2015 is a perfect reflection of the Sun, Soil, Vine and Man philosophy of Takuan von Arnim’s approach to wine on this family-owned Franschhoek Estate. With no use of oak, it is a pure expression, a fingerprint almost, of the year leading up to the harvest of 2015.
It looks like: A blend of cranberry and pomegranate juice, garnet, translucent like a bright gem.
It smells like: Elegant red berries, pomegranates, cherries and cranberries.
It tastes like: Full voluptuous berries and cherries and a reminder of a basket of field mushrooms freshly picked in the forest.