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Roast Chicken with Lemon Zest and Green Olives


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 pounds whole chickens
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 1/2 cup minced cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron (optional)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Water or chicken stock
  • 1 (6 ounce) can pitted green olives, drained
  • Julienned zest of 2 lemons


  1. Heat olive oil in Dutch oven or roasting pan and place chickens, breasts down in pan.
  2. Combine ginger, paprika, bay leaves, garlic, onion, parsley, cilantro and saffron in bowl. Spread mixture over chickens and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add enough water to cover chickens halfway. Place over high heat and bring to boil.
  3. Remove pan from heat and place in 400 degree F oven. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Turn chickens and continue baking until very tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  4. Transfer chickens to serving platter. Place pan on stove top and heat remaining juices to boil. Add olives and lemon zest. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.
  5. Spoon sauce over chickens and serve.

Yield: about 8 servings

Source: Los Angeles Times Food Section - Hanukkah: The Miracle of the Olive

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