Chicken Sofrito

From Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi


  • 1 tbsp. sunflower oil
  • 1 small chicken about 1.5kg, butterflied or quartered
  • 1tsp sweet paprika
  • ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. sugar
  • 2 ½ tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • Sunflower oil, for frying 750g Charlotte potatoes, peeled, washed and cut into 2cm dice
  • 25 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • Salt and pepper


Pour the oil into a large shallow pan and put over medium heat. Place chicken flat in the pan, skin side down and sear for 4-5 minutes, until golden brown. Season all over with the paprika, turmeric, sugar 1/3 of a teaspoon of salt, good grind of pepper and 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice. Turn the chicken over so that the skin faces up, add the onion to the pan and cover with lid. Reduce heat to low and cook for a total of about 1 hour and 30 minutes (this includes the time the chicken is cooked with the potatoes). Lift the lid every now and then to check the amount of liquid in the bottom of the pan. The idea is for the chicken to cook and steam in it’s own juices, you may need to add a little bit of boiling water, just so that there is always 5mm of liquid at the bottom of the pan.

After the chicken has been cooking for 30 minutes, pour enough sunflower oil into a medium saucepan so that it rises 3cm up the sides. Fry the potatoes and garlic so together in a few batches, over a medium- high heat, for about 6 minutes, until they take on some colour and crisp up. Use a slotted spoon to lift each batch of potatoes and garlic away from the oil and onto paper towel the sprinkle with salt.

After the chicken has been cooking for 1 hour, lift it from the pan and spoon in the fried potatoes and garlic, stirring them with the cooking juices. Return chicken to the pan, placing it on top of the potatoes for the remainder of cooking time, (30 minutes). The chicken should be falling off the bone and the potatoes should be soaked in the cooking liquid and completely soft. Drizzle with the remaining lemon juice when serving.