Oven Roasted Spanish Chicken with Olives and Lemon

I’m always on the lookout for a tasty easy chicken recipe.  Particularly one made with chicken thighs. They are everyone’s favorite around here; what’s not to like? Juicy; flavorful and tender. The spice rub is awesome; I used both smoked paprika and some real Spanish paprika; a Christmas gift from my goddaughter who picked it up in Europe for me.  The homegrown lemons added so much fragrance and zing – made this dish soar!

This recipe is an adaption from one on californiagrown.org. I cut it in half since there are only two of us and reduced the spice amounts quite a bit plus I used boneless thighs instead of bone in.  It was licking the plate delish! The sum of these ingredients is far more than you might expect. Simple but the flavor interplay of these ingredients was perfection. Even the 8-year-old adored it!

chicken with olives in pan

Spanish Chicken with Lemons, Olives and Paprika

 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless thighs

1-2 Tbsp EVOL

———

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp. paprika

½ tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp garlic powder

———

1 medium onion, yellow or red

1 lemon, particularly great if you can use Meyer lemons

½ cup green olives, no pimentos; I used jarred Manzanilla olives

Directions: Put the thighs in a bowl; add half the olive oil. Mix around. Mix the dry ingredients in a small dish and rub/pour over the thighs. Cover with plastic and refrigerate up to 8 hours; I did one hour in fridge and 10 minutes on counter to warm a bit.

Line the bottom of a 9×12 baking dish with aluminum foil. Drizzle with a bit of the olive oil. Cut up the onion from top to bottom in thin wedges. Lay in pan, slice the lemon thin and sprinkle slices around. I actually made 4 oblongs of the lemon and onion and laid my 4 thighs on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turn thighs over and add olives in the center of the pan, corralled by the chicken thighs; bake 10 more minutes. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.  chicken with olives on plate

Side dishes: I took a separate sheet pan; sprayed with olive oil spray and laid halves of small russet potatoes, cut side down and baked along with the chicken. When the 20 minutes of baking time went off I added a pound of whole asparagus spears with bottoms snapped off to the potato pan. Drizzled them with EVOL and sprinkled entire pan with kosher salt. Let it cook until chicken has rested; good if you can flip the potatoes and asparagus spears when you take out the chicken.

Notes; amazing if you have the fragrant Meyer lemon for it. Easy to double. I had some special European paprika which I used; very flavorful; made it amazing tasting. If you want it much spicier visit the original recipe but I wanted a more nuanced version and it was perfection! Enjoy.

Symon Says Chicken Goes Perfect with Olives and Orange

This recipe came out of a five ingredient cookbook by Michael Symon that I got out of the local library many months ago. The combination of olives, tomatoes and orange is very Mediterranean and a tummy warming bundle of yummy flavors. Don’t leave any of those three ingredients out; they are crucial to a great result. olivesYou gotta love how short the list of stuff to buy is. Well, this dish actually uses eight items but olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes are three staples I (and most cooks) keep in the house all the time. So it is five, sort of! I had everything on hand but the chicken so I was in business after a stop for some high quality chicken thighs.

Chicken is a regular protein choice for dinner at my house, inexpensive, easy to make and it takes on the flavor of whatever you put it with. The thighs are my favorite chicken part as they stay moist and have a bit more flavor than breasts. Canned chopped tomatoes have great tomato flavor and are so convenient as well as pretty inexpensive.

navel oranges

I used a bit less olive oil than the original recipe – seemed like half of the quarter cup was quite enough. I have made this about 3 times in the past year. I believe the original recipe was made with boneless chicken thighs but I prefer them bone in. If you like boneless; cook it five minutes less. I stuck a thigh with my instant read thermometer and knew the poultry was done. Totally takes the guess work out.

This recipe is a keeper: it meets my criteria of inexpensive, quick to put together, gluten free and great tasting. That’s the quartet of food greatness in my recipe world. And that is why I am sharing it with you today!

chicken with olives 003

Symon Says Chicken with Orange and Olives

Ingredients

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 chicken thighs (if small; 5-6)
2 sliced garlic cloves
1-2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes
Grated zest and juice of one fresh navel orange
A pinch of red pepper flakes
1 cup chopped Kalamata olives (I opened a can of regular black ones and cut them up roughly – in half is fine)

In a dutch oven heat the oil, add the chicken, skin side down, cook 8 minutes, turn using a pair of tongs, cook 8 more minutes. Add olives and rosemary; cook one minute. Add a half cup of water to de-glaze the pan and then add the rest of the ingredients. I like to hold half the olives and add them at the end, especially if you use the canned black olives which are softer than kalamata olives. Cook 20 minutes, test for doneness and add 5 more minutes if needed.

I served my chicken over a baked red potato, cut open and sliced somewhat. With a simple green salad you have a super supper. There is very little active time spent making this; but you can’t leave it alone for more than 8 minutes while each side browns. Still, dishes can be done, kitchen tidied or other chores completed while the chicken thighs brown. The dish goes together in just a few minutes of chopping garlic and olives. In a rush I have been known to tip the olives into a measuring cup and just cut with a paring knife stuck in the cup to roughly chop the olives.

It is also nice with pasta; gluten free ziti comes to mind. Even rice would be great with this flavorful and naturally gluten free main dish.