Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Simple is Good: Chicken Thighs w/ Olives & Preserved Lemons

The more I cook and write about food, the more I realize that people just want to keep it simple.

No one wants a fancy meal or project on a weeknight, especially if you work all day and attempt to make a nice dinner when you get home. It's almost impossible.

Whenever I post a simple chicken recipe it gets a million hits, but when I post a crazy cake that takes all day, no one remembers the recipe.

You will remember this recipe, because it is impressive, simple, but more important, it's delicious.
It costs next to nothing and can feed a crowd.

Please don't ask me if you can use boneless, skinless thighs, blah blah.
Just use the thighs w/ the skin on them, they give the chicken a nice flavor and keep them nice and moist, you can take the skin off on your plate later.

And a little chicken fat never hurt anyone!

If you don't have preserved lemons, you can find them online at amazon grocery, or at a Middle Eastern grocery.
I made my own this summer, recipe here, and I remembered the jar in the back of my fridge. They last forever.

For this recipe, I christened my new Le Creuset 3.5 quart Dutch oven in their new French Grey color....which I fell in love with at the Food52 offices.

These are my favorite pots by far, they are workhorses in the kitchen, last forever, and if not, have a lifetime guarantee.
Easy to clean up (ask my husband!) and are by far the best kitchen investment you will make.

Chicken Thighs w/ Olives & Preserved Lemons: serves 3

6 chicken thighs, with skin and bones
1/2 cup of green olives (I leave the pits in), Picholine or another variety
1 whole preserved lemon, flesh discarded, skin chopped
2/3 cup white wine
4 large garlic cloves, cut in half
fresh thyme sprigs

Box of couscous
golden raisins
fresh cilantro

Season the chicken thighs w/ kosher salt & pepper (this will not work w/ skinless thighs, trust me).

In a Dutch oven, heat some olive oil and cook the thighs, skin side down for about 4 minutes, just until the skin is crispy and will finish them in the oven.

Turn the thighs over.

Throw in the garlic cloves and cook less than a minute. Add in the white wine and simmer for 2 minutes.
Add in the olives, preserved lemons and fresh thyme sprigs.

Place in a 375F oven and bake for 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the couscous. Boil the water with the raisins, add in the dried couscous and cook as per directions on box.
Add in fresh cilantro at the end (this is my favorite herb).

When the chicken is finished, plate the couscous in bowls and place 2 thighs on top of each bowl, pouring some of the sticky yummy sauce around.



Katie C. said...

I made chicken stock the other day from a roast carcass. I don't know why but this time I saved the chicken fat that I skimmed off the stock. Do you? If so, what do you do with it? I used a little mixed with EVOO to sauté the veggies that were going into the soup but i have a lot left. Do you freeze it? It seems a waste to throw it away.

Stacey Snacks said...

I never skim the fat off my chicken stock anymore........I freeze the stocks, and I like to have that layer on top for protection!

If it's not too much fat, I leave it in when I make my soups......chicken fat is good for you.

I used to freeze it (like duck fat) and use it for sauteeing, etc. But I haven't in a while. No room in my freezer! ha!


Anonymous said...

Ms. Snacks:

Off topic but interesting - from the comments feed on the most recent Smitten Kitchen post.

Interesting tip - I did not know that. Another way to beet it!

jan January 19, 2016

I’m surprised you don’t like beet root. A baked one zapped into any tomato based sauce will improve the flavour and colour and reduce the acid taste. A yellow one baked and then zapped into any green sauce or soup will also improve the flavour

Natalia said...

I have home-made chicken stock so won't bother to skim the fat for this recipe.

In one of your previous recipes which called for preserved lemon, you suggested a purchase of preserved lemon slices available at Trader Joe's, which I still have so I'll use that.

Sounds like a delicious meal for a winter's night and I too am a big fan of Le Creuset, although these days I find it harder & harder to lift! :)

Heather Gorin said...

When do you add in the preserved lemon? I just bought a jar from trader joes!

sharon santoni at my french country home said...

One of our favourite recipes, and like you we preserve our own lemons, from the lemon tree on the terrace! At least that way we are sure they are truly organic.
Love the grey colour of your Le Creuset :)


Stacey Snacks said...

Hi Heather,
I just revised the recipe......add the lemon rind in with the olives and thyme just before popping in the oven.

Stacey said...

Oh! Looks so great! I want to taste it right now! It seems to me that as soon as I get home I'll try cooking this meal. I hope it will be as tasty as it looks.

Heather Gorin said...

Thank you!!

Carolyn said...

Yum, I am going to have to make this recipe!! I didn't know Le Creuset came out with grey.. I love the Staub grey. ( my favorite pans are Staub with the lids with "bumps" that self baste the food!)