Olive roasted chicken with soft polenta and mixed roasted peppers

I bought some beautiful looking mixed baby capsicums at Choku Bai Jo on the way home from market yesterday. I thought they’d be lovely roasted up in the oven with olive roasted chicken marylands and some chilli infused polenta. It’s in no way a specific recipe, and very easy going. I used a lovely Cascabel chilli. Cascabels have medium level heat and a deep nutty taste. Plus, when you shake them when they’re dried, they make a great rattle sound!

Serves 2

2   chicken marylands
18 approx mixed olives (I used Sicilian and Kalamata)
1   bay leaf
2 tablespoons verjuice
    olive oil
    salt and pepper
6   small mixed capsicums
1/3 cup polenta
1   cascabel chilli
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon butter

Olive roasted chicken with soft polenta and roasted mixed peppers

Preheat oven to 220° Celsius.

To prepare the chicken, combine olives, verjuice and bay leaf in the bottom of a small baking dish. Rub a small amount of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste, into the skin of the chicken. Arrange chicken pieces on top of the olive mix ensuring as much skin is exposed as possible. I use a dish in which the two marylands sit snugly together. This allows the skin to stay dry and go super crispy, while the flavourful ingredients below stay moist and keep the chicken juicy. Place in the hot oven.

Now place the capsicums in a baking dish and sprinkle over a small amount of olive oil. Roast the capsicums, turning as they start to colour. Remove from the oven when the capsicums are evenly coloured and soft. Keep warm until ready to serve.

To prepare the polenta, place the chilli, milk and water in a saucepan on the stove. When all ingredients come to the boil, remove the chilli. Remove the stem and chop. Return the chilli and seeds to the liquid. Add polenta, whisking to avoid lumps. Simmer, continuously stirring till the polenta is thick and creamy. Stir through the cheese and butter.

To serve: When chicken is crisp and golden on top, remove from the oven. Set the marylands aside in a warm place. In a suitable vessel, reduce the pan juices. Spread a portion of the polenta on each plate. Arrange the olives in a row down the middle of the polenta. Arrange the roast capsicums down one side of the plate. Place the chicken atop the polenta and olives. Serve with reduced pan juices. Bon appétit!

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