Halving a chicken makes for a quicker cooking time and also allows all the lovely juices to mingle with the potatoes and onions while cooking. Don’t add the olives at the beginning of cooking, otherwise the finished dish may be too salty.
¼ cup olive oil
5 large cloves garlic, crushed
finely grated zest and juice 1 large lemon
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Sicilian
1 cup water or wine
1 kilogram agria potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
2 large onions, sliced
12 large, pitted green olives
¼ cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
sea salt and ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.
Combine the oil, garlic, zest and lemon juice and the oregano in a bowl.
Put the water or wine in a large, shallow roasting dish and add the potatoes and onions.
Add ¾ of the garlic oil and toss everything together. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Cut the chicken in half through the breast then down either side of the backbone. Discard the backbone. Rub the chicken halves with the remaining oil mixture and place skin-side up on top of the potatoes. Season generously.
Roast for 30 minutes then add the olives to the pan. Roast for a further 20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Remove the chicken to a platter and cover loosely to keep warm. Scatter the cheese over the potatoes and place back in the oven and cook for 10 minutes until very tender and lightly golden on top.
To serve: Cut each piece of chicken in half and serve with the potatoes.
Serving option: Combine 1 cup well- drained grated cucumber with 2 tablespoons capers, 1 clove crushed garlic, 1 cup thick plain yoghurt, 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Wine match: Neudorf Rosie's Block Chardonnay