Chicken with Lemons and Olives

From My Carolina Kitchen

Grated zest of one lemon

6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)

¼ cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ to ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon capers, with some of the juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, or 2 teaspoons dried oregano (see cook’s notes other herbs)

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 to 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, excess fat removed

½ to ¾ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in quarters

In a large plastic zip lock bag, combine the lemon zest and juice, wine, olive oil, crushed red pepper, salt, black pepper, capers, oregano, and garlic. Add the chicken and gently shake to coat. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

When ready to bake, remove the bag of chicken from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the chicken in a baking dish in a single layer and pour the lemon juice mixture over it. Scatter olives over and round the chicken pieces. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated oven for about 45 minutes, until the chicken is browned on top and cooked through to 160 – 165 degrees.

Serve chicken over watercress and drizzle with the sauce. Serve with crispy baked small red or white potatoes that have been tossed in a bit of olive oil, seasoned with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and tossed with chopped fresh rosemary. Bake alongside the chicken in a 400 degree F oven for about an hour. Garnish the plate with a few grape tomato halves if you wish for color.

Notes: If the sauce is to thin, thicken with a cornstarch and water slurry. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator about 45 minutes before cooking to allow the chicken to come to room temperature. If using chicken with bones, it may take a bit longer to cook. Check at 45 minutes and if not cooked through, continue to cook until it reaches 160 to 165 degrees.

Adapted slightly from The Lazy Gourmet – serves 4 - 6