Chubby Chicken Legs with White Wine, Olives and Caperberries

Spring: the prettiest season by far and definitely less demanding than its summer counterpart. There’s not a wedding on every available weekend, there’s no need to book a holiday due to the copious bank holidays and it’s absolutely unnecessary to bare legs, which helps on the body admin front, a lot. Heck, even wild flowers make the motorway roadsides look idyllic.

We are eating easier, fresher food than the heavy recipes of the winter months and accompanying them with a salad rather than stodge. So, here we were on a spring evening and I cooked a deceptively simple dish for eating al fresco (when I say al fresco, I really mean directly under a patio lamp). I once heard tell that you can taste the quality of a wine that is cooked in a recipe and remembering this and being fully aware that any wine not included in the recipe was to be drunk at dinner, I opted for a beautiful Lindeman's Bin 65 chardonnay. Whole chicken legs are simply placed in an ovenproof dish with olives, caperberries, fresh tomatoes, Parmesan, wine and garlic and baked until the ingredients have mingled and become united. Serve straightaway with fresh greens and a chilled glass of wine.

Chubby Chicken Legs with Tomatoes, Olives and Caperberries

Serves 4

Prep Time – 10 minutes
Cook Time – 40 minutes

3 tbsp olive oil
75ml dry white wine (I used Lideman's Chardonnay)
100g freshly & finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 big gloves of garlic, peeled and very finely sliced
4 plump chicken legs, skin on
4 fresh tomatoes, halved
A handful of black olives (125g)
2 tbsp caperberries
Fresh bread to serve

1/ Preheat the oven to 180C, fan 160, gas 4
2/ Add the olive oil; white wine, half of the Parmesan and garlic to a 2-litre oven proof dish and stir vigorously to combine. Add the chicken legs and coat well with the sauce. Add the tomatoes, olives and capers to the dish and toss in the sauce.
3/ Turn the chicken so the plump side is facing up and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan to cover as if a sheet of snow. Cook for 35-40 minutes until the chicken meat is pulling away from the bone. Remove from the oven and give a final dusting of Parmesan.
4/ My suggestion would be to serve with a hunk of bread and chilled glass of white wine.

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