My favourite Ottolenghi Roast Chicken

My favourite Ottolenghi Roast Chicken

It’s a big call to make, but I am putting it out there, this basil chilli chicken is my favourite of all the Ottolenghi roast chicken recipes (and there are quite a few!). It’s the first Ottolenghi recipe that I ever made and it started a love affair that has lead to the purchase of three cookbooks, an introduction to sumac and an obsession with aubergine.  This recipe doesn’t require sumac or aubergine, but it is an Ottolenghi winner. And it’s easy!  Take some chicken, bathe it in marinade – you probably already have most of the ingredients at home – and then pop it in the oven. Serve the chicken, drizzled with sauce, alongside whatever you fancy.  This week we had it with green beans and roasted baby potatoes, but it works just as well alongside some herby basmati rice or with a ciabatta roll (or two) to mop up the delicious sauce.


Basil and Chilli Chicken (Slightly adapted from Ottolenghi. Original recipe here)

  • 1 whole chicken, butterflied (backbone and breastbone removed)

For the marinade:

  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 spring onions
  • pinch dried chilli flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • handful fresh basil stalks (pick the prettiest leaves off and reserve them for garnish)

Place all the marinade ingredients in a shallow bowl and stir to combine.

Place the chicken in the marinade and spoon marinade over both sides of the chicken. You want to ensure the chicken is completely coated in the marinade. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Transfer the chicken and the marinade to an oven-proof roasting dish and roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the chicken is cooked through.  To test, pierce the thickest part of the chicken (somewhere on the thigh). If the juices run clear, the chicken is cooked.  If the juices are pink, return the chicken to the oven and check again in 10 minutes.

Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes, garnish with basil leaves and serve with your choice of sides.