Roast Chicken with Olives and Yogurt
- ACTIVE: 25 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
This tangy and flavorful chicken is Italian home cooking at its best.
- One 4-pound chicken
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 lemon, halved
- 2 thyme sprigs, plus 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped thyme
- 15 Calamata olives, pitted
- 5 garlic cloves, 2 halved and 3 minced
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped capers
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped rosemary
- 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped marjoram
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons yogurt
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Set the chicken in a small roasting pan and season the cavity with salt and pepper. Cut 1 lemon half into quarters and add them to the cavity along with the thyme sprigs, 6 of the olives and the 2 halved garlic cloves. Squeeze the remaining lemon half over the chicken, rub it with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together.
- Cover the pan with foil and roast the chicken for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and baste the chicken. Increase the oven temperature to 500° and roast the chicken in the upper third of the oven for about 15 minutes longer, or until it is golden and the juices in the cavity run clear.
- Pour the juices from the cavity into the roasting pan, transfer the chicken to a carving board and cover loosely with foil. Pour the pan juices into a measuring cup and skim off the fat.
- In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the 3 minced garlic cloves and cook over low heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the parsley, capers, lemon zest, lemon juice, rosemary, marjoram, chopped thyme, reserved pan juices and the remaining 9 olives and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the yogurt. Season with salt and pepper. Carve the chicken and serve with the herb sauce.
A medium-bodied red or full-bodied white with acidity will complement the briny and tangy flavors here. Consider an Italian Pomino Bianco, a Chardonnay blend.