These taste, the beauty and the size are what makes Cretan chestnuts sunning and surprising as nowhere else I’ve seen before.
I knew that many recipes includes chestnuts with poultry so I decided to create my recipe and add a special note, something that would enhance the taste for the dish and would fit with both chestnuts and chicken.
The inspiration came from the souvenir of a Cypriote recipe: Afelia (Αφέλια), a roasted pork recipe with whole coriander seeds. And voilà, I decided to cook this dish with coriander seed and lot of the local Cretan wine (Romeiko).
I prepared only half of the recipe with two big chicken legs only for my husband and me (see picture) and this came so delicious, that a few days later I repeated this dish as described below for our friends. The day after the leftover are even better!
Roasted Chicken with Chestnuts
- 1 chicken (1 ½ kg)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium-sized onions, chopped
- 2 peppers (any color), diced
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, whole
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup wine
- 1 1/2 – 2 kg chestnuts, peeled and boiled (should not be overcooked)
- 1/2 cup water (or wine)
- salt, pepper to taste
- Wash the chicken, cut it into portions, season with salt and pepper.
- Cut chicken into portions, remove excess skin (what you wouldn’t eat, but don’t remove it completely) and fat.
- Heat oil in the skillet and brown the chicken for about 5 minutes.
- Add onion and pepper and cook for other 5 minutes.
- Arrange chicken skin side up, onion and peeper into an oven safe casserole.
- Add coriander seeds, bay leaf, and wine and cook in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F for about 20 minutes.
- Adjust chestnuts around the chicken, add water (or wine), if necessary adjust salt and cook for other 20 minutes; don’t stir the chestnuts would break.
- Serve warm with rustic bread.