Middle East

easy oven roasted chicken with onions, olives, and preserved lemon


Roasted chicken has always been one of my favorite things.  Skin on, bone in.  They both give so much flavor. Remember when everyone was in love with boneless, skinless, breasts?  Many still are. I’m going to be bold and say that I am 100% team thigh.  They’re so juicy and flavorful and harder to overcook.  This recipe is one of my favorite weeknight recipes because you can prep it the night before or in the morning.  I love all the briny, fermented, umami goodness that preserved lemons bring, but you could easily use fresh lemons.   Olives continue the briny goodness. Buy some good black and or green olives at the olive bar.  If I buy a whole jar of olives they almost always go to waste. I love the olive bar because I can buy just 5 olives if I want to.  I highly recommend buying olives with the pits still in.  Similar to how bone in meat has more flavor, unpitted olives are more flavorful than pitted.  Onions finish off this dish adding a sweetness quality after they have been cooked down and soaked up all the delicious chicken drippings.

oven roasted chicken with onions, olives, and preserved lemon

serves 4

Ingredients:

4-5 chiken thighs (bone in, skin on)

1  onion, sliced

1 preserved (or fresh) lemon, sliced

6 olives, smashed to get the pit out then cut in half

1/4 cup avocado oil

salt and pepper

chopped parsley  and Aleppo Pepper (optional) for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Sprinkle both sides with plenty of salt and pepper. Place in a 9×13 baking dish. Arange the sliced lemon and onion evenly all around the chicken.  Sprinkle on the olives.  Pour the avocado oil over everything. Put into the pre-heated oven and roast for about 50 min. You’ll want the skin to be crispy.  If it doesn’t crisp up to your liking, a couple of tricks are pouring a little more olive over the skin before it’s done cooking, or turning the oven to broil and broiling it for a couple of minutes.  But don’t ever leave a broiling oven! I have a friend who takes this so seriously that she just sits in front of the oven, face close to the window, the entire time she broils. Take it out of the oven and let it sit a couple minutes.  Serve it with rice, quinoa, or Israeli couscous.  I served it with my favorite little grain blend, Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains.  There is a great description of it on this blog.

Here’s what I did for the Harvest Grains:

I cooked the grains according to the package, chopped up about 2 Tablespoons of almonds and a 1/4 cup of parsley.  After the grains were cooked, I poured in a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and added the chopped almonds and parsley.  I spread the grain mixture on a large platter and arranged the chicken dish over the top. Then I sprinkled everything with more parsley and a little Aleppo Pepper Enjoy!

 

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