Alexandra Dudley's 'Chicken Cacciatore' and 'Rosemary & vanilla baked apricots with whipped yoghurt cream'

To celebrate the season of al fresco entertaining, food writer, podcast host and Sheerluxe recipe columnist, Alexandra Dudley, has kindly shared two delicious summer recipes for you to try yourself at home. 


Chicken Cacciatore

This rich tomatoey chicken dish is perfect for summer suppers. It’s one of those dishes that doesn’t need much to accompany it either. A simple green salad or good loaf of bread will do. You could even serve it alongside my cheesy garlic bread. I tend to prep the base ahead of guests arriving and then sear and add the chicken just before the party starts. Once the chicken is in the pan you have a whole hour to enjoy cocktails. 


Serves – 4

Time - 1 hr 20

Difficulty - Easy



4 bone in chicken legs, skin on

Olive oil

5 red bell peppers

2 white onions

4 cloves garlic

1 can chopped tomatoes

3 tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 bunch thyme, tied with string

70g pitted olives, I like taggiasche

Parsley to serve



Heat the oven on the grill setting to high (250 degrees) and cook the peppers for approx. 30 minutes (each oven varies so keep an eye on them) turning half way, until their skins have blackened. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a clean cloth and allow to rest whilst you sear the chicken. Or, if prepping the base ahead carry on with the sauce.

Heat a good glug of olive oil in a wide deep braising pan or casserole dish. Season the chicken on both sides and sear for 5 minutes either side until the skin has turned golden. Transfer to a plate.

Finely slice the onions, peel and crush the garlic cloves using the side of your knife, then roughly chop.

Add the onions and garlic to the pan that cooked the chicken with a little more olive oil if the pan is dry. Cook slowly until soft and golden.

Add the tinned tomatoes, fresh chopped tomatoes and thyme. Stir and bring to a simmer.

Uncover the peppers and peel away their skins. They should fall away easily. Remove the seeds and core and slice into thick strips.

Add the peppers and olives to the pan along with a good pinch of salt, and stir to combine. Then remove the thyme and nestle in the chicken, skin side up. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for an hour stirring every so often to check that the sauce isn’t catching at the bottom.

Taste for seasoning, garnish with fresh parsley and serve.


Rosemary & vanilla baked apricots with whipped yogurt cream

This is one of my favourite summer puddings. Apricots come alive when baked in my opinion and a hint of vanilla and rosemary do wonders in bringing out their flavour. Vanilla pods are not cheap but they are worth it. I use them to flavour both the apricots and the yogurt cream here and you could also add them to a jar of sugar post-baking to make vanilla sugar. The whipped yogurt cream is a lighter take on a traditional vanilla whipped cream. I find the slight sourness that the yogurt brings offsets the juicy sweetness of the apricots perfectly.


Serves – 4 (or 4 servings)

Difficulty – Easy

Time – 30 mins



8-10 apricots

1 vanilla pod

the juice of one orange

2 tbsp runny honey

4-5 sprigs of rosemary

150g greek yogurt

150g double cream

amaretti biscuits to serve



Preheat the oven to 180 fan setting. Halve the apricots, removing the stones and place them into a deep roasting dish.

Slice through the vanilla pod and scrape half the seeds into the apricots, adding the rest to a medium sized mixing bowl with the yogurt.

Squeeze the juice of an orange into the apricots, drizzle over the honey, add the rosemary sprigs, and toss well to combine. Then place the apricots cut side up, dot the rosemary between and add the vanilla pod. Bake for 25 mins until the apricots are sort but still hold their shape. Allow them to cool.

For the whipped yogurt cream, add the cream to the bowl with the yogurt with the remaining vanilla seeds and whisk until smooth peaks form.

To serve, spoon the yogurt onto a serving dish, top with the apricots and any cooking juices, crush over amaretti biscuits and add fresh rosemary sprigs.




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