4 Portions. Approximate cost: £14.85 – includes a mini bottle of wine (£2.60) 

Skill level: Extremely easy, 

Total cooking time: 1 hour, (plus time to marinate overnight)  

  • Prep time: 10 minutes, (plus time to marinate overnight) 
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes, 

Equipment used: 1 deep roasting pan, 1 large mixing bowl, 

Original recipe: Ottolenghi’s roasted chicken legs with dates, olives & capers


I’ve been on holiday for the last week (enjoying the sunny climes of Barcelona!) but have returned eager to cook… Today I had a day off work and so feeling a little adventurous decided to make a couple of dishes from the Ottolenghi website.

Having set aside a whole afternoon to create a series of technical and ingredient heavy dishes, I soon realised that this is one of the easiest dishes I have ever cooked –  You simply throw all of the ingredients into a bowl to marinade overnight and then tip this into an oven dish the next day to cook. There’s not much more to it.

Serve with hassleback potatoes and a big salad. 

To prep:

(Original recipe in bold font)

Slice the dates into halves or quarters (depending on size). 

The original recipe says to use pitted olives, but these tend to be smaller and have a tendency to shrivel. Instead, I use larger olives that have the stone. As long as your not precious about removing them from your mouth as you eat – I think it makes a notable difference (just make sure you bring a little bowl to the table to collect the stones)

Place the chicken in a large, non-reactive bowl and add all of the ingredients, apart from the wine and date molasses (I typically use honey instead of molasses) along with ¾ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper.

Gently mix everything together, cover the bowl and leave in the fridge to marinate for 1 to 2 days, stirring the ingredients a few times during the process.

To cook:

Preheat the oven to 180C. 

Spread out the chicken legs on a large baking tray, along with all the marinade ingredients. Whisk together the wine and molasses and pour over the meat. Place in the oven and cook for 50 minutes, basting 2 or 3 times, until the meat is golden brown on top and cooked through.

(Basting is important – don’t be tempted to skip this as you may miss out on the beautiful crispy skin)

Remove from the oven, transfer everything to a large platter, sprinkle over some freshly picked oregano leaves and serve.



  • 8 chicken legs and / or thighs, skin on, bone in. (£10)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g pitted green olives, (£1.50)
  • 2 tbsp capers, plus 2 tbsp of their juices
  • 70g (pitted and quartered lengthways) Medjoul dates – (£2.15 for 200g, 75p worth here)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 120ml dry white wine (£2.60 for a mini bottle – the rest served with dinner)
  • 1 tbsp date mollasses (I typically use honey)
  • 15g fresh oregano, torn, plus extra for garnish
  • salt & pepper