Recipe: Lucy Corry’s Garlic & Caper Chicken with Braised Spring Vegetables

This easy-to-make main course has all the flavours of classic roast chicken, with minimal fuss.

Words & recipe: Lucy Corry  Styling & photos: Carolyn Robertson


600g small potatoes, quartered lengthwise
500g baby carrots, scrubbed and ends trimmed
500g fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced lengthwise
2 large leeks, trimmed and sliced lengthwise
a few sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup white wine
6 (about 1.2kg) large bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, excess skin and fat removed
75g butter, softened
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
3 teaspoons baby capers
salt and pepper
To serve: aioli (optional)


Heat the oven to 190°C.

Put the baby carrots, potatoes, fennel and leeks in a large roasting dish big enough to hold them in a snug, single layer. Drizzle with half the olive oil and wine. Tuck in the thyme and bay leaves and season well with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking, mix the butter with the crushed garlic and capers. Divide this mixture into six. Slip fingers or a spoon under the chicken skin to create a pocket, then push in the butter (patting it out evenly). Season well with salt and pepper.

When the vegetables have cooked for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and fit a rack over them. Place the chicken pieces on top and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Bake for another 30 to 35 minutes until the chicken is cooked. To serve, divide the vegetables between six plates, place a piece of chicken on top and add a dollop of aioli (if using). Serves 6

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Peel two plump cloves of garlic and crush to a very smooth paste with a generous pinch of salt. Place in a medium bowl, add an egg yolk and mix well. Decant about 200ml of best-quality extra virgin olive oil into a bottle so it’s possible to keep a tight control on its flow.

Add the oil, drop by drop, to the garlic and egg mixture, constantly stirring or whisking (don’t rush this part or the aioli will split). Once about half the oil has been incorporated, start adding about a teaspoonful at a time, making sure it’s all emulsified before adding the next.

It’s done when the aioli holds its shape. Add ¼ cup finely chopped fresh herbs (parsley and chervil are recommended) and season to taste with more salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Cover and store in the fridge. Use within three days.


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NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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