Italian Roast Chicken Extra Virgin Olive Oil

You can get the benefits of olive oil by incorporating it into your diet for health heart. Here is a great way to include it in your roast chicken recipe

Updated July 7th 2022

The Mediterranean diet is known for being heart-healthy, and extra virgin olive oil is a key ingredient. A recent study found that consuming two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day can help lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. Chicken is also a good choice for a heart-healthy diet. It is low in saturated fat and high in protein. When combined, these two foods make a healthy and delicious meal option. Plus, the combination of olive oil and chicken provides numerous health benefits. The olive oil helps to reduce inflammation and the chicken provides lean protein. This makes it a great option for those looking to improve their overall health.

Chicken is a great option to include in your diet as a high-quality protein source. This is because it is much leaner than red meat – just make sure you remove the skin! The numbers are in! Cooking your chicken with the skin on and then removing it retains the moistures, and in fact lowers the fat, versus cooking it without the skin!

Source: The Mediterranean Diet – Historically Healthy! –

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Italian Roast Chicken Recipe


  • 1 chicken (approximately 1.5kg / 3lb preferably organic and corn-fed)
  • 1 unwaxed lemon (cut in half)
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 leeks (washed and trimmed)
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 100 grams pitted dry-packed black olives
  • 60 millilitres Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt flakes (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/gas mark 6/400ºF. Untruss the chicken, sit it in a roasting tin and put the lemon halves and 2 of the rosemary sprigs into the chicken’s cavity.
  2. Cut each leek into 3 logs, then slice lengthways and add to the tin. Now, remove the core and seeds of the peppers and slice them into strips, following their natural curves and ridges, and add these to the tin. Tumble in the olives, and now pour the olive oil, mostly over the vegetables but a little over the chicken, too. Add the remaining rosemary sprigs to the vegetables, along with some sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper, to taste, and, using a couple of spoons or spatulas, gently toss the vegetables about to help coat them with the oil and make sure everything’s well mixed up.
  3. Sprinkle some sea salt flakes over the chicken and put it in the oven for about 1– 1¼ hours, by which time the chicken should be cooked through, and its juices running clear when you cut into the flesh with a small sharp knife at the thickest part of the thigh joint. The vegetables should be tender by now, too, and some of the leeks will be a scorched light-brown in parts.
  4. Remove the chicken to a carving board and, while it rests (for about 10 minutes), pop the pan of veg back in the oven, switching the oven off as you do so.
  5. Cut the chicken up chunkily, transferring the pieces to a large warmed platter. Now take the pan back out of the oven and, with a slotted spoon or spatula, remove the vegetables to the large platter and when all is arranged to your aesthetic delight, pour over it all the bronze, highly flavoured juices that have collected in the pan.

A roast chicken always feels celebratory; indeed, a roast chicken always is celebratory. The vibrantly coloured and intensely flavoured vegetables that are cooked alongside here seem only to underline this, offering their own brightness and brio, sunny in taste as well as mood.

A roast dinner is like anything, you can make it as healthy as you like. Pick a lean meat like chicken and roast it with some extra virgin olive oil. This will help to bring out the flavour of the chicken also to keep it moist. You could also remove the skin and just eat the breast meat to keep it lower in calories. Add lemon to the middle of the bird for extra flavour without a lot of extra calories.


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