Chicken thighs stuffed with black olive and anchovy butter with roasted cherry tomatoes and steamed asparagus
( SERVES 6 )
Photo by Warren Buckland
This is the main course I did at a pop-up dinner with Jennifer le Comte. We called it the “Alice Waters California Tradition” dinner, and concentrated on using local produce and real food, in the tradition that American chef Alice Waters established back in the 1980s. The following recipe is based on a couple of recipes from her Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook.
- Heat the oven to 200C.
- Put the chicken, thyme, 3 cloves of the garlic, the wine and sugar into a large bowl. Mix well and marinate 2 hours.
- Take the chicken out of the marinade and discard the thyme but reserve the marinade.
- Put the butter, anchovies, ciabatta crumbs, olives and parsley into a bowl. Mash well.
- Put the chicken thighs on a clean surface, former skin side down. Place a little of the butter in the middle of each and roll up. Brush a small roasting pan with 1 Tbsp of the oil. Place the chicken thighs side by side with the ends underneath so they don’t unroll. Brush the tops of the chicken with another Tbsp of the oil. Place in the oven for 30 minutes or until the juices run clear when they are pierced with a skewer.
- Meanwhile put the tomatoes into another small roasting dish and add the other Tbsp oil and the remaining garlic, finely chopped. Mix well then spread out so the tomatoes are side by side. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and place in the oven for 10 minutes or until just bursting.
- Remove from the oven, add the balsamic and mix gently, without mashing the tomatoes.
- Remove the chicken from the roasting dish and keep it warm. Skim some of the fat from the pan juices and add the reserved marinade and the stock. Bring to the boil and boil until reduced by a third. Whisk in the cornflour mixture, taste and season.
- Serve the chicken thighs, halved diagonally, with the pan juices and with the tomatoes and their juices and the asparagus.