I’ve spent the month of January in Florida. It’s been a fabulous month visiting with family and friends and organizing my year and regrouping after the holidays. One of the pleasures of having a bit of downtime for me is trying new recipes. This chicken dish is one of those recipes. My sister-in-law was visiting and mentioned how good this recipe was, so I had to try it! The chicken is moist and tender and full of lemon flavor, but the real star is the olives! The yummy castelvetrano olives are out of this world! The recipe calls for ones with pits, but I used pitted and they were perfect. Paired with one of my favorite side dishes (baked tomatoes), it was a quick, easy and delicious weeknight dinner.
BRAISED CHICKEN WITH LEMON AND OLIVES
Adapted from MAUREEN ABOOD
1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
6-8 chicken thighs (I used skinless as that’s all they had in my grocery store)
1 tsp Kosher salt
Few Grinds Ground black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp crushed fennel seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lemons, cut in wedges
1 cup large green olives, preferably Castelvetrano
1 cup chicken stock
2 TBSP chopped parsley, for finishing
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium high heat. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towel and season all over with salt and pepper.
Place the thighs skin side down in the hot pan and cook, without disturbing, until the thighs lift easily from the pan and the skin is deep golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Turn the chicken over and sear for another few minutes, until golden. Take care not to burn the skin or the oil by adjusting the heat down a bit.
Remove the thighs to a plate and pour off all but a tablespoon of the fat. Return the pan to medium heat and deglaze the pan by pouring the chicken stock in and scraping up any browned bits as the stock comes to a boil.
Return the thighs to the pan skin side up. Season with the red pepper flakes and fennel seeds, then smear with the garlic. Arrange the lemon wedges and olives around the chicken, squeeze a couple of the wedges over the chicken and into the drippings.
Cover the skillet with foil or lid and place on the center rack in the hot oven. Bake for about one hour, or until chicken is very tender and juices run clear.
Arrange the chicken, olives, and lemon wedges on a platter and tent with foil. Return the skillet to medium heat and spoon off as much fat as possible.
Bring the pan juices to a boil and reduce for about a minute. Pour over the chicken, dust with chopped parsley, and serve immediately. How beautiful is this dish????
BAKED TOMATOES WITH MOZZARELLA AND PARMESAN
(Adapted from The Cookie Rookie)
4 tomatoes sliced (plum or small regular)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place tomato slices on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Top each tomato with a layer or mozzarella and then a layer of parmesan.
Sprinkle the chopped basil on top of each tomato.
Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Turn off oven and broil for 2-3 minutes to brown the cheese.
Serve immediately. ***You can also drizzle with balsamic reduction and add more fresh chopped basil if you are wanting to amp up that caprese taste!