Black Olive Roast Chicken

I make a lot of roast chicken so finding a good new simple recipe after perusing my cookbooks is a much appreciated thing around my house before dinner time. I found this recipe in ‘The Herbal Kitchen’ by Jerry Traunfeld and adapted it using vegetables that I had on hand from my veggie box. Roasting a chicken on top of vegetables is an easy way to serve dinner in one large baking dish. Tonight I added celery, kale and spring onions from my Betty’s Organics box. In this roast chicken recipe the extra steps are cutting the backbone out of the chicken to position it over the vegetables and placing an herbed black olive paste under the skin. After I picked out my chicken from the butcher, I paid a visit to the olive bar at Whole Foods and found Moroccan oil-cured olives for the paste. I don’t know what it is about the olive bar but even if I’m not buying any olives, I still check it out. So, you’re probably wondering how the kale that I tossed in with the other veggies came out??

It came out really good! I just gave it a rough chop, the kale that was under the bird steamed and was very tender and the kale that was around the outside of the bird, mixed with the other veggies, was crisp and delicious. Just make sure you salt the bird and the veggies before placing in the oven.


herbed olive paste

1/2 cup pitted oil-cured black olives
2 tablespoons thyme leaves
3 tablespoons rosemary leaves
1 lemon, grated and juiced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2-3 tablespoons olive oil, recipe calls for 2 but I used more to make a smooth paste


1 & 1/2 pounds potatoes, Yukon Gold or any variety, cut into 1-2 inch chunks
6 celery stalks, or 2 fennel bulbs, sliced thickly
3 carrots, thickly sliced
3 spring onions, thickly sliced
1 bunch dino kale, roughly chopped, remove thick stalks

1 roasting chicken, 4-5 pounds, rinsed and patted dry
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°


1. Place all of the olive paste ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend, scraping down the bowl a few times, until they form a fairly smooth paste. I added closer to 3 tablespoons of olive oil to achieve a smoother paste.

2. Put the potatoes and the other vegetables in a roasting pan or large baking dish and spread a couple of tablespoons of the olive paste over everything.

3. Remove the backbone of the chicken with poultry shears, turn it over and spread it out flat. Loosen and pull the chicken skin, and taking a small amount at a time of the olive paste with your hand, stuff it under the skin, distributing it evenly between the breast, thighs and legs. Some of the olive paste will end up on the outside of the chicken, that’s fine.

4. Lay the chicken on top of the vegetables, positioning the knee joints inward. Sprinkle the skin and vegetables generously with salt and pepper.

5. Roast the chicken for about 60 minutes, longer for a bigger bird. The chicken should be deeply browned and show no sign of pink when you cut to look between the thigh and the lower breast. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before carving.


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