Chicken Stuffed with Tomatoes and Olives

I had big plans for this chicken when I bought it this morning. I was going to fully debone, marinade and stuff it in a complex Indian marinade. As the day wore on, the TV became pretty trashy and I became more engrossed in the lives of each and every Kardashian. The chicken became less and less of a focus – right up until 6pm, when after I could bear no more reality, my attentions finally turned to the poor bird. It needn’t have worried – this simple stuffed roast chicken was a cinch to prepare and an absolute taste sensation. I hadn’t expected it to turn out so well from so little effort and ingredients – but it really did. Super tasty! Super juicy and really easy… what could be better?!

1.5-2kg chicken (cleaned and patted dry)
2 lemons (halved)
200g pitted Kalamata olives
2 large tomatoes (centres removed then cut into segments)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
10 stalks fresh Italian parsley (roughly torn)

Preheat the oven to 220ºC

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, parsley, slat & pepper and olive oil together with the juice of one of the lemons.

Stuff 2/3 of the mixture into the cavity of the chicken and then push in half a lemon to seal. Use two toothpicks to seal shut the cavity.

Place the chicken in medium baking tray (breast side down) and scatter the remaining tomatoes and olives around the bird. Pour over any oil and juices from the bowl and then use the remaining 1/2 lemon to squeeze over.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes then turn the bird to be breast side up. Baste with some of the juices from the baking tray, then reduce the oven to 190ºC and bake the chicken for 60 minutes until, the juices run clear, when the chicken is pierced between the leg and breast.

Remove from the oven, cover with foil and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

Use two forks to pull apart the bird in large chunks. Pour over some of the cooking liquid and arrange the stuffing alongside. I served mine with a risotto and it worked brilliantly, but this would also be great paired with seasonal vegetables.

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