There is quite simply nothing better than a beautiful plate piled high with delicious food at Christmas dinner. And who better to make our dreams a reality than our friend Amelia of Melie's Kitchen! Serving up a delicious sticky sumac & date roasted chicken with olives & pomegranate walnut salsa, this will be a recipe you want to show up with.
Sumac & Date Chicken:
6 small free-range chicken marylands
6 cloves garlic, smashed with the back of a knife
8 fresh medjool dates, pip removed & cut into quarters 3 baby white onions (or shallots), cut into quarters
1⁄2 heaped cup Sicilian green olives (stone in)
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp dried currants
1 Tbsp ground sumac
3⁄4 cup dry white wine
Walnut & Pomegranate Salsa:
3⁄4 cup walnuts pieces (70g)
1⁄2 tsp each cumin & coriander seeds
Zest & Juice of 1 medium lemon
1 bunch (15g) each dill & coriander, finely chopped + extra to serve 100g pomegranate arils
100g marinated buffalo cheese in oil, drained (or feta cheese)
Prep chicken ahead of time: Pat chicken dry with a paper towel, then transfer chicken to a large bowl. Add the smashed garlic, dates, shallots, olives, vinegar, brown sugar, currants, sumac, 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 1⁄2 tsp salt. Toss everything together, until the chicken is well coated. Cover bowl with cling film and place into the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
Preheat your oven to 200°C fan bake. Set aside a large roasting dish.
Bake chicken: Tip the marinated chicken into the roasting dish, arranging chicken legs so that the skin side is facing upwards and they aren’t overlapping. Pour the wine around the chicken in the roasting dish. Bake chicken on the lower-middle oven rack for about 70 minutes, until chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Baste the chicken legs every 20 minutes with the juices from the roasting dish. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes.
Make salsa: Roughly chop the walnuts. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add walnuts and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often, until walnuts are toasted. Add cumin and coriander seeds and cook for a further 30 seconds, whilst stirring. Remove pan from heat and transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Set aside to cool. Once cool, add the lemon zest and juice, dill, coriander and pomegranate arils. Season well with salt. Toss everything together and set aside to serve.
Serve chicken legs on a platter, then spoon over the remaining bits from the roasting dish. Dollop over the buffalo cheese. Scatter the salsa on top, and garnish with some extra herbs.
On Meelie's Table:
For more from Amelia Ferrier, follow her for delicious recipes at @melies_kitchen