1⁄2 cup pitted olives (I used kalamata), finely chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, crushed
25g anchovy fillets (about 6-8 fillets), finely chopped
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons oregano leaves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons sumac, plus extra for sprinkling
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken leg and thigh pieces
2 tablespoons flat-leafed parsley, shredded
2 red capsicums
1 medium eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 teaspoons minced chilli
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup flat-leafed parsley, chopped

Olives, anchovies and garlic make a very punchy under-the-skin stuffing for chicken. I have used leg and thigh pieces, but you could also use a whole chicken or a butterflied bird for the barbecue. Ajvar or acvar is a sauce/relish made with red capsicums. This recipe is from a version I ate in Istanbul which also included eggplant.


1.To make the stuffing, mix together the olives, garlic, anchovies, lemon zest, oregano, sumac and olive oil in a small bowl.
2.Gently push your hands between the skin and flesh of the chicken to loosen it, then push the stuffing under the skin to coat well.
3.Preheat the oven or a covered barbeque to 190°C.
4.Cook the chicken pieces for about 40-45 minutes until cooked through and golden, basting with juices once or twice.
5.Sprinkle with parsley and sumac and serve with the ajvar and roast potatoes, flatbreads or rice to soak up the juices.
7.Place the red capsicums and eggplant directly over the flame of a gas burner or barbecue, or under a preheated grill, turning regularly until completely blackened and soft.
8.Put them in a large bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap and let them sweat for 10 minutes.
9.Peel off all the blackened skin and discard.
10.Remove the stalk and seeds from the pepper and chop the flesh finely.
11.Cut the stalk off the eggplant and chop the flesh finely.
12.Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until soft.
13.Put this in a bowl with the chilli, sugar, salt and lemon juice and mix well then stir through the red pepper, eggplant and parsley.

Recipes & food styling Fiona Smith / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Sara Black

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.