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Author Notes: Mediterranean style roasted chicken not only tastes great, it’s an easy show stopper for any night of the week. Roasting yields that crispy skin we crave, and stuffing the Mediterranean flavors under the skin keeps the chicken moist, with a perfect balance of zing from the citrus, sweet from the apricots, and salty bites from the briny olives.
- 6 Chicken legs with thighs
- 20 Kalamata olives, pitted, chopped - you can use all of one kind, or a mixture
- 2 Lemons, zested, then sliced, skin and pith removed
- 2 Roasted red peppers, chopped
- 12 cloves Garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup Olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tablespoon Fresh rosemary leaves (about 2 branches)
- 1/2 cup Apricot preserves
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place chicken in a large roasting pan, without overlapping. Loosen the chicken skin with your fingers, without completely separating the skin from the chicken, creating an air pocket between the meat and skin.
- Create the stuffing: In a separate bowl, mix the olives, lemon zest, lemon slices, roasted peppers, garlic, olive oil, rosemary, and apricot preserves. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and stir. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Add red pepper flakes to taste. Divide the stuffing mixture into 6 parts and stuff under the chicken skin, covering as much surface area of the meat as possible. Rub any remaining mixture over the top of the chicken.
- Sprinkle the top of each chicken leg with sea salt.
- Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken thigh. Allow to rest for 10 minutes -- the chicken will come up to 165 degrees.
- Chef's Notes: Serve with couscous and honey glazed carrots with local orange blossom honey. This recipe is also great with chicken wings and drummettes. Chop ingredients slightly smaller, about 1/4" pieces, and smother the wings and drummettes in the stuffing instead of placing it under the skin, then bake for 25 minutes.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Roast Chicken