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Chef Yotam Ottolenghi prepares an easy, briny-sweet oven-roasted chicken dish from his latest cookbook Ottolenghi Simple.

“The chicken in this dish loves the long marination, but it can also be cooked straightaway if you don’t have the time,” says Ottolenghi. “Just season the chicken with the 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper (which would otherwise go into the marinade), rubbing it thoroughly into the skin before combining it with the rest of the marinade ingredients (no more salt required) and bake according to the recipe. I like to use chicken legs, but others prefer chicken breasts with the wing bone attached, which also works very well.”

He loves pairing it with his Aromatic Olive Oil Mash.

Adapted from "Ottolenghi Simple" by Yotam Ottolenghi. Copyright © 2018 by Yotam Ottolenghi. Used with permission by Ten Speed Press. All rights reserved.


  • 8 chicken legs (skin-on and bone-in), skin scored a few times (about 3 pounds)
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3/4 cup fresh oregano leaves, plus more for serving
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup pitted green olives
  • 6 tablespoons capers, plus 2 tablespoons of their brine
  • 4 1/4 ounces Medjool dates, pitted and quartered lengthwise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon date or standard molasses


Place the chicken in a large nonreactive bowl and add the garlic, oregano, vinegar, oil, olives, capers, dates and bay leaves, along with 1 teaspoon salt and a good grind of black pepper. 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.

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Spread out the chicken legs on a medium high-sided baking pan, 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 two or three times, until the meat is golden and brown on top and cooked through.

Remove from the oven, transfer everything to a large platter, and sprinkle with some oregano before serving.