Just like how I like my desserts both salty and sweet, I really dig a dinner that combines bright and briny flavors with each and every savory, Mediterranean flavored bite.
My taste buds have a mind of their own. And lemon is usually part of their brainwash. And olives, and capers and anything pickle-ish. We can save the “get pickled” jokes for the weekend.
Making another appearance here on the blog, skinless and boneless chicken thighs are the centerpiece of this dish.
Honey mustard flavored, kicked up Tabasco braised and slow cooker balsamic thighs of the fowl have all found their way to my dinner table. And I’m pretty sure this dish of Sautéed Chicken with Olives, Capers and Lemons won’t be the last thigh I’ll be sharing with you anytime soon.
Let’s save the Angelina Jolie thigh jokes for the next awards show red carpet, okay?
A light dusting of flour creates a subtle crust on these moist members. This time around I used rice flour to keep the coating from becoming gummy, something that sometimes happens if I get too heavy handed in my dredge. It turned out light and thickened the sauce just right, but since I used more of a dusting rather than an all out milk / egg / flour dredge, all-purpose probably would have done the job just fine.
While the poultry might be the heart of this one-pot meal, the light and bright briny olives and capers are it’s essence and flavor punch. And bonus, it’s ready in just over a half an hour.
You could use grocery store, pimento stuffed green olives to add that briny flavor, but I had a jar of super firm and bright, jalapeño stuffed green olives that were destined to dance with the rest of my green ingredients.
Some say pitted olives are sometimes a more mushy than those with the pits still intact, but for me, I go for the pitted because who has the time or the patience to pit those babies? And plus, the jalapeño adds just a little bit of spice.
Not to be outdone, tart lemons whose flavor has been deepened thanks to a bout in a hot pan with extra virgin olive oil creates a perfectly pungent base of caramelized bits to fry the chicken in. It’s just another layer of flavors that makes your mouth pucker and say, “WOW!”
Let’s save the talking lemons jokes for, oh, like…now.
Sautéed Chicken with Olives, Capers and Lemons
- 2 lemons sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 6 skinless boneless chicken thighs, about 1 pound
- 1-2 tablespoons rice flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 fat garlic clove minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3/4 cup Sicilian green olives
- 1/4 cup capers
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Bring a medium-large, high sided skillet to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add half of the lemon slices and sear until browned, 3-5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate. Season the chicken thighs with kosher salt and black pepper and dust with rice flour, shaking off the excess. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil to the hot pan and sear the chicken pieces until golden brown, about 5 minutes each side. Transfer to another plate and finish searing the rest of the chicken pieces, then transfer to the same plate as the rest of the chicken.
Add the rest of the olive oil to the pan and the minced garlic, and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant, stirring so the garlic doesn't burn and become bitter. Add the green olives, capers and broth. Add the reserved chicken and any juices that have been released plus the reserved lemons and their juices and cook over high heat until the broth is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the butter and parsley and cook for another minute. Season with more kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Transfer to plates and spoon the olives, capers, lemons and sauce on top.
Serve with sautéed spinach, kale or swiss chard on the side.
inspired by Food & Wine magazine
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