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No matter the season, nor the temperature, to my mind there is always a place for roast chicken and this recipe is no exception. Just a few short moments of attention and a quick dusting of spice results in a more than satisfactory combination of chestnut-crispy skin, together with a flesh succulent and tender over a pool of fruit-scented juice. You only need add a bowl of fresh, green leaves, or take advantage of the hot oven and roast a tray of assorted vegetables, and you are good to go.
The basic principle here works equally well on the whole bird, or a spatchcocked version should you prefer, but I like to choose plump chicken legs so nobody needs miss out.
Roasted on a high heat sizzles up that skin, and cooked over a long period of time ensures the flesh is just on the point of falling away from the bone. Delicious!
- 4 pastured chicken legs, thighs intact
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp ground garlic powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Generous pinch sea salt
- ½ cup black pitted Kalamata olives in olive oil, drained*
- 4 large sprigs thyme
- 1 small orange, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
- * Be sure to check how your olives have been cured. Many will not be with AIP-approved ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Arrange the chicken legs in a roasting tin. Put the spices into a small bowl and mix together.
- Pour the olive oil over the top of the chicken pieces. Then sprinkle on the spices, followed by the salt.
- Place the olives and thyme around the chicken and pop the roasting tin into the oven.
- After 30 minutes, remove the tin from the oven, tip it slightly so the hot juices run into the bottom corner and baste the chicken.
- Arrange the orange slices amongst the chicken, making sure you are not covering the skin as this will stop it getting crispy.
- Pop back into the oven for a further 20 minutes or so, until the skin is crispy and the flesh falling away the bone.