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Italian Roast Chicken With Peppers and Olives

by . Featured in NIGELLISSIMA
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Introduction

A roast chicken always feels celebratory; indeed, a roast chicken always is celebratory. The vibrantly coloured and intensely flavoured vegetables that are cooked alongside here seem only to underline this, offering their own brightness and brio, sunny in taste as well as mood.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

A roast chicken always feels celebratory; indeed, a roast chicken always is celebratory. The vibrantly coloured and intensely flavoured vegetables that are cooked alongside here seem only to underline this, offering their own brightness and brio, sunny in taste as well as mood.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Italian Roast Chicken With Peppers and Olives
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 4-6

Metric Cups
  • 1 chicken (approximately 1.5kg / 3lb preferably organic and corn-fed)
  • 1 unwaxed lemon (cut in half)
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 leeks (washed and trimmed)
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 100 grams pitted dry-packed black olives
  • 60 millilitres olive oil
  • sea salt flakes (to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 chicken (approximately 1.5kg / 3lb preferably organic and corn-fed)
  • 1 unwaxed lemon (cut in half)
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 leeks (washed and trimmed)
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • ⅔ cup pitted dry-packed black olives
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/gas mark 6/400ºF. Untruss the chicken, sit it in a roasting tin and put the lemon halves and 2 of the rosemary sprigs into the chicken’s cavity.
  2. Cut each leek into 3 logs, then slice lengthways and add to the tin. Now, remove the core and seeds of the peppers and slice them into strips, following their natural curves and ridges, and add these to the tin. Tumble in the olives, and now pour the olive oil, mostly over the vegetables but a little over the chicken, too. Add the remaining rosemary sprigs to the vegetables, along with some sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper, to taste, and, using a couple of spoons or spatulas, gently toss the vegetables about to help coat them with the oil and make sure everything’s well mixed up.
  3. Sprinkle some sea salt flakes over the chicken and put it in the oven for about 1– 1¼ hours, by which time the chicken should be cooked through, and its juices running clear when you cut into the flesh with a small sharp knife at the thickest part of the thigh joint. The vegetables should be tender by now, too, and some of the leeks will be a scorched light-brown in parts.
  4. Remove the chicken to a carving board and, while it rests (for about 10 minutes), pop the pan of veg back in the oven, switching the oven off as you do so.
  5. Cut the chicken up chunkily, transferring the pieces to a large warmed platter. Now take the pan back out of the oven and, with a slotted spoon or spatula, remove the vegetables to the large platter and when all is arranged to your aesthetic delight, pour over it all the bronze, highly flavoured juices that have collected in the pan.
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/gas mark 6/400ºF. Untruss the chicken, sit it in a roasting tin and put the lemon halves and 2 of the rosemary sprigs into the chicken’s cavity.
  2. Cut each leek into 3 logs, then slice lengthways and add to the tin. Now, remove the core and seeds of the peppers and slice them into strips, following their natural curves and ridges, and add these to the tin. Tumble in the olives, and now pour the olive oil, mostly over the vegetables but a little over the chicken, too. Add the remaining rosemary sprigs to the vegetables, along with some kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste, and, using a couple of spoons or spatulas, gently toss the vegetables about to help coat them with the oil and make sure everything’s well mixed up.
  3. Sprinkle some kosher salt over the chicken and put it in the oven for about 1– 1¼ hours, by which time the chicken should be cooked through, and its juices running clear when you cut into the flesh with a small sharp knife at the thickest part of the thigh joint. The vegetables should be tender by now, too, and some of the leeks will be a scorched light-brown in parts.
  4. Remove the chicken to a carving board and, while it rests (for about 10 minutes), pop the pan of veg back in the oven, switching the oven off as you do so.
  5. Cut the chicken up chunkily, transferring the pieces to a large warmed platter. Now take the pan back out of the oven and, with a slotted spoon or spatula, remove the vegetables to the large platter and when all is arranged to your aesthetic delight, pour over it all the bronze, highly flavoured juices that have collected in the pan.

Tell us what you think

What 19 Others have said

  • This was delicious. Now I wonder if I can add cut up or fingerling potatoes for a one-dish meal.

    Posted by bappel on 6th April 2021
  • Absolutely superb recipe and incredibly easy. If you have any leftovers from this, do yourself a favour and heat them up then stick them in a toasted ciabatta with a bit of provolone.

    Posted by smallestgarden on 5th April 2021
  • The leftover are even better than the first time, so I think I should make 2 chickens next time or at least a bigger one. There are two of us and we pretty much finished a chicken between us. We reduced the volume of vegetables since I didn't have enough peppers and it was still delicious.

    Posted by bappel on 30th March 2021
  • This was my very first attempt at roasting a chicken. Followed Nigella's directions exactly and it came out perfectly! Juiciest chicken ever, and the veg looked so elegant. Plan to make this again for a romantic dinner post-lockdown.

    Posted by NYClcg on 5th February 2021
  • Simply delicious - followed recipe and perfect.

    Posted by Jolamby1 on 21st January 2021
  • Love this recipe. Excellent to share with guests. So little work to do. No missing the conversation, as no need to touch the dish for virtually the whole cooking time. I usually serve a dish of green vegetables, maybe asparagus and beans or brocolini.

    Posted by Deb1923 on 7th November 2020
  • Delicious! Making again tomorrow. Leftovers nice tossed through some pasta.

    Posted by Practicenurse on 26th September 2020
  • absolutely wonderful. strange not having a kitchen that smells English on a roast but the Italian aroma makes it feel I am on holiday. excellent recipe thank you.

    Posted by carlbox on 21st February 2019
  • I’ve made this chicken once a week since I first came across this recipe. It’s heaven. I dream about it. My 4.5 year old twins and husband DEVOUR it! Just the smell of it in the oven is beyond... The edges of the leeks get carmelized and crispy - half of them never make it to the table! I always commandeer the crackly chicken skin - chef’s much-deserved reward! I’m salivating just writing about it. The carcass makes the most delicious stock and the rare leftovers make the most delicious chicken salad. Pure, glorious umami! MUST try!

    Posted by jsgd8 on 26th May 2018
  • My family loves this chicken dish! I do add several cloves of garlic to the pan along with the vegetables. Yummy, thanks for sharing Nigella!

    Posted by RobyH on 4th February 2018
  • This meal is special, the aroma while cooking is amazing. I add a ton of fresh rosemary chopped finely that I add when pulled from the oven, infusing the vegetables and drippings with rosemary. (Get a crusty baguette for dipping and enjoy!) Its become one of my signature Sunday dinners and is a people pleaser. Thank you Nigella!

    Posted by Dimitra.J on 22nd January 2016
  • I was quite sceptic when I was reading through the recipe because I am not a fan of roasted peppers.. however decided to try.. This is an AMAZING recipe! the outcome is so deliciously tasty!!!! and it is so easy to cook! Thank you very much for such a great recipe!

    Posted by AnaSer on 30th October 2015
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