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Pan-Roasted Chicken with Olives and Lemon


Serves four.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 103

This dish is elegant enough for entertaining but simple enough to make anytime.

  • 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.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 630, Fat (kcal): 40, Fat Calories (g): 360, Saturated Fat (g): 11, Protein (g): 60, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 18, Carbohydrates (mg): 6, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 7, Sodium (g): 850, Cholesterol (g): 200, Fiber (g): 1,

Photo: Scott Phillips

I have made this many times and it's one of my go-tos. It's shockingly good for how easy it is. I like white meat better, so I use bone-in breasts and they work wonderfully. If you don't have fresh herbs on hand, dried ones work fine - any Mediterranean or French blend works particularly well.

Wow! Absolutely delicious! Strong flavours, each individually identifiable, each perfectly complementing the others and together infusing the chicken and juices to a perfect pitch. Loved it and will definitely do again.

This was fantastic! The description was right, simple but elegant. I didn't have fresh herbs on-hand so I sprinkled the chicken, on both sides, with dried thyme and rubbed sage and it came out wonderfully. I will absolutely make this again.

We really enjoyed this recipe. Instead of making a separate starch for the dinner, I just through in small potatoes. and they turned out great, too. Even though they were in the oven longer than they should have been, the meat was moist ( I only used legs ), and the skin was crispy. I don't usually like to eat skin but this one, didn't leave any. Next time we have dinner guests, I this will be on our menu for sure! Simple, elegant, and soooo yummy.

This was great. We kept it in the oven to cook for an hour so it was very tender. I will definitely make this again.

Simple and delicious! Will definitely make this one again.

This was my first time cooking anything like this and my wife and family loved it, i'm taking online classes at the art instiute of pitt in hotel and restuarant mangement

I really enjoyed this recipe. It had a very rich flavor and it was easy to make. I will make this one again and again!

This dish had pretty good flavor. I didn't have any shallots on hand, so I used an entire onion and a few cloves of garlic. I served it with roasted potatoes. They were great to use to dunk in the 'gravy'.

Absolutely wonderful. Will make this again and again. View my full review with picture at:

We really enjoyed this. Used preserved lemon as we cook Moroccan so had them on hand. Is simpler as far as spicing goes but still had great flavor. Will definitely make this again.

This dish was fabulously flavorful! Each bite was packed flavor. This recipe is a keeper. I served it with a wine rice and vermicelli dish as well as broccoli. My husband kept telling me to not lose the recipe!

This was a fairly quick recipe that had a wonderful finished product. I used just kalamata olives and the mix of flavors by the end of cooking had my husband and I "mmm mmming" all through dinner. To make the lemon cutting a little easier I treated them like grapefruit. Cut lemon in half, then cut between each skin with a sharp knife to loosen the flesh, then scooped out with a spoon. We served this with herbed scalloped potatoes, summer squash and fresh bread. Will definitely make this again.

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