Although I’m hesitant to support imported produce I can’t bring myself to go past the abundance of Californian blood oranges in stores at the moment. With their meaty raspberry colour and flavour they’re like a slightly less acidic orange with a kick, which makes them perfect for savoury dishes. Here I’ve combined them with tender roasted kumara, creamy goat’s cheese, charred chicken and chickpeas for a special weekend meal or weeknight treat. PS Excuse the shambles on the plate, I foolishly burnt my hand on the skillet so was working one-handed! Enjoy x
4 free range chicken legs and thighs, skin-on, bone-in
6 garlic cloves, finely grated
Juice of 2 lemons, divided
1/3 cup olive oil, divided
2 medium kumara, scrubbed
3 large sprigs rosemary
2 blood oranges, thinly sliced, plus wedges for squeezing
1 400g can chickpeas, rinsed
½ cup Sicilian green olives, pitted
1/2 cup crumbled goat’s cheese
Preheat oven to 220°. Place chicken in a large bowl and season with salt. Add garlic, 2 tbsp lemon juice, and 2 tbsp oil and toss to combine. Let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes or cover and chill up to 12 hours. Remove chicken from marinade, draining off any excess; discard marinade. Set chicken aside.
Prick kumara all over with a fork and roast for about an hour until tender. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
For the chicken heat 1 tbsp oil in a large oven-proof frypan over medium-high. Cook chicken, skin side down, until skin is very brown (it should get very dark; as long as you don’t smell it outright burning it will be all the better with some char), about 4 minutes. Transfer to oven and roast, keeping skin side down, until cooked through, 22-24 minutes. About 1 minute before removing chicken from oven, toss rosemary sprigs into frypan. Place chicken, skin side up, on a plate along with rosemary sprigs. Set skillet over medium-high. Cook orange slices just until golden and slightly softened, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to plate with chicken.
Toss chickpeas, olives, and goat’s cheese with remaining oil and remaining 1 tbsp lemon juice in a large bowl; season with salt
Tear open the kumara and arrange big sections of flesh on a large platter. Place chicken, along with any extra juices, around kumara, then top with blood orange slices, chickpea salad, and rosemary leaves. Squeeze orange wedges over everything when at the table.
Gretchen Lowe, Food Stylist Auckland