We're thrilled to have partnered once again with Gill Meller, who has created his own take on a Basque style chicken combining our Properly Free Range Whole Chicken with olives and preserved lemon.

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with your cooking, particularly when that rut is absolutely delicious. Take roast chicken for example, sometimes it’s hard to see why you’d do anything else with a good bird, when it’s so simple and so tasty. However from time to time it’s always worth changing things up and when you do this is the perfect dish to make.


  • 1
    Properly Free Range Whole Chicken
  • 1
    Preserved Lemon
  • 500ml
    Pure Chicken Stock
  • 100g
  • 1
    Large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2
    Red peppers, cut into 1cm thick lengths
  • 2
    Cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 100g
    Stoned green olives
  • 1/2 tbsp
    Smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp
    Fennel seeds
  • A pinch
    Saffron (optional)
  • 3-4 Sprigs
  • 150g
    Pearled spelt or barley, soaked in fresh water for an hour and drained
  • 1 tbsp
    Tomato puree
  • 6
    Fresh bay leaves
  • 1 Small bunch
    Parsley, leaves picked and chopped


  • Place the chicken down on a large chopping board. Use a sharp knife to remove the legs and the wings. Cut the breasts away from the bird and halve them.

  • Set a large heavy based casserole pan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and when its hot add the chicken pieces. Season them with salt and pepper and fry them, turning regularly until they are crisping golden and smelling delicious. Lift the chicken out to a plate.

  • Slice the chorizo into chunky rounds and add it to the pan, along with the red peppers, onions, garlic, fennel seeds, and paprika. Fry everything, stirring regularly, for 8 – 10 minutes. Now add the pearled spelt, saffron (if using) green olives, marjoram and about 500ml of chicken stock. Give it all a stir then arrange the chicken pieces over the top of the spelt and peppers. Cut the preserved lemon into quarters, discard the flesh and thinly slices the skin. Scatter this around the chicken. Tuck in the bay leaves and place a lid on the pan. Cook in a preheated over 170°C fan for 1 hour.

  • The chicken should be nice and tender and the meat coming away from the bone with ease.

  • Rest for 15 minutes before drizzling with extra virgin olive oil and serve with crusty bread and the chopped parsley.

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