Crispy skinned skillet chicken with lemon slices, briny capers, artichoke hearts, and olives makes for a wonderfully simple weeknight dinner, created in partnership with Progresso Foods.
Ordinarily, chicken is Brian’s realm. Roast chicken, fried chicken, grilled chicken, smoked chicken – they all fall to him. The sole exception is skillet chicken – that’s my thing. The perfectly browned, crispy skin is satisfying to all the senses and the rendered fat means the pan sauce is all but certain to be memorable. But above all, I love the opportunity to play with flavors.
The skillet chicken I made last Sunday was all about contrasting the quiet tang of Progresso Artichoke Hearts with the pucker-inducing brine of capers (rinsed) and oil-cured olives (not rinsed). Lemon, a splash of Champagne vinegar, and loads of fresh oregano straight from the garden rounded out the flavors, lending depth. The result is a dish that feels sophisticated and complex without actually being all that complicated to make.
It goes without saying that a lovely chicken dish needs to start with great chicken. When possible, we buy chicken whole from a butcher we trust, both because we can count on the quality and because buying whole is more economical. However, I need to level with you here and say that I’ve only broken down a chicken once or twice. Brian is great at chicken butchery, but lately I’ve been fond of calling up the butcher and asking them to do it for me. It saves time, as well as a round of counter/sink/knife/cutting board washing. For a dish like this, where we’re only working with dark meat, we returned the breasts and wings to the refrigerator for tomorrow night’s dinner and froze the wingtips, back, neck, and giblets for a weekend day when there’s time to make a rich chicken stock.
It occurred to me only after I’d tested and photographed this recipe that I’d created a bonafide pantry meal just as things at the farmers market are really taking off. Happily, skillet chicken makes fast friends and was wonderful tucked up against a quick kale and spinach salad and toasted farro with herbs.
Crispy skinned skillet chicken with lemon slices, briny capers, artichoke hearts, and olives makes for a wonderfully simple weeknight dinner. Serve with farro and kale salad.
- 3 pounds chicken thighs and legs (from 2 whole chickens)
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 14- ounce can Progresso Artichoke Hearts
- 2 tablespoons non-pareil capers
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup oil-cured pitted Moroccan olives
- 1 lemon, sliced thin with seeds removed
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
Sprinkle chicken pieces on both sides with about 3/4 teaspoon sea salt. Cover and set in fridge for about 20 minutes.
Drain artichoke hearts and cut in half. Set on a layer of paper towels to drain completely. Rinse and dry capers.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Heat a cast iron or other large, deep, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil and chicken, skin-side down. Sear, nudging pieces gently to prevent sticking, for 7 minutes or until skin is crisp to the touch and a rich golden brown.
Remove chicken to a plate. Turn heat down to medium and add shallots, garlic, and capers. Sauté 2 minutes. Add Champagne vinegar and stir (skillet will pop and spit a bit when you add vinegar). Finally, add artichoke halves and place chicken back in the pan skin-side up. Tuck olives and lemon slices around chicken.
Slide cast iron skillet into oven and roast 10 - 15 minutes (check internal temp after 10), until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (be careful not to touch the bone) reads 165 degrees F.
Scatter oregano leaves over chicken and serve atop toasted farro or your grain of choice. Spoon pan sauce over chicken and farro; serve with a lemon wedge.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Progresso Foods. Brooklyn Supper is happy to partner with the brands we use in our own kitchen and we hope you’ll use them too!