Weeknight Chicken: Pan-Roasted Chicken with Olives and Lemon

We had this delicious chicken dish last night.  The recipe packs a ton of flavor into the chicken from the lemon, olives, shallots, and sage!  Plus, the chicken, which was browned on the stove and finished in the oven, was perfectly cooked — not dried out at all .  This recipe is definitely a keeper — sophisticated enough to entertain with but easy enough for a weeknight meal!

I only made two changes — I used 4 bone-in, skin-on breasts instead of a whole chicken cut into 8 pieces and, because the store was out of fresh thyme, I used dried thyme.

I served the chicken with some sliced polenta warmed in a frying pan.  The chicken could definitely be a one-pot meal with some crusty bread or simple green salad on the side.

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Olives and Lemon
Fine Cooking

  • One 4-lb. chicken, cut into eight pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter; more as needed
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 medium shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 3/4 cup jarred brined olives, rinsed, pitted, and halved
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 6 small fresh or 3 dried bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 tsp. chopped

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.

Season the chicken generously on all sides with salt and pepper.

Cut the ends off the lemon, stand it on one end, and slice off the peel and the bitter white pith to expose the flesh. Cut the lemon segments from the membranes, letting them drop into a small bowl.  Cut each segment crosswise into 4 pieces.

Heat the butter and the oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, cook the chicken skin side down until golden-brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Pour off all but 2 Tbs. of the fat. Add the shallots, olives, sage, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and lemon segments, and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Return the chicken to the pan skin side up and transfer to the oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh registers 165°F, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve, sprinkled with the chopped thyme.

Serves four.

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