Yes, folks, this is my post number 500! Five hundred times that I’ve hit the PUBLISH key, and sent my words and images into the blogosphere! I wanted this post to be special, but at the same time I had to go with life’s flow, which lately has not allowed me to indulge into fancy cooking. But one cannot go wrong with a recipe described as “The best thing I ever made”.Β  If you are familiar with the FoodTV, you may know they have a show with that exact title, and it’s actually pretty interesting: chefs describe their favorite recipe in a particular category. This was Alton Brown’s best take on chicken. Chicken thighs are de-boned, and roasted with an olive stuffing under the skin, and a smoked paprika rub. They cook over thin slices of Yukon gold potatoes. I could have those potatoes on a daily basis. For breakfast. For lunch. For dinner. For a late night snack. Oh, yes, the chicken was awesome too!πŸ˜‰

(from Alton Brown’s Best Thing I ever Made)

6 ounces pimento stuffed green olives, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, grated
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 + 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled
1 medium yellow onion, cut in small pieces

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the olives, lemon zest and garlic in a small bowl, and set aside. Mix the smoked paprika, olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and pepper into a paste in a large bowl.

De-bone the chicken thighs using a pair of kitchen shears:Β  make a cut down the length of the bone to expose it, then cut the meat away from the bone. Discard the bone. Add the boned chicken thighs to the paste and massage well to coat. Let it sit for half an hour or so.

Thinly slice the potatoes on a mandoline, about 1/4-inch thick. Arrange the potato slices and onion pieces in an even layer on a foil-lined half sheet pan and sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt.

Stuff about 2 tablespoons of the olive mixture under the skin of each chicken thigh. Arrange the chicken thighs, skin-side up, on a cooling rack and set the rack over the potatoes and onion in the half sheet pan. Bake until the skin is crispy and the potatoes are tender, 55 to 60 minutes. If you prefer the potatoes crispy, remove the rack with the chicken and return to the oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:Β  The only tricky part of this recipe was de-boning the chicken thighs,Β  but it’s not that hard.Β  I normally cook chicken thighs on the bone, but there’s something special about cutting through those pieces of meat, all juicy with the stuffing, without having to work around the bone.Β  It is a technique that could be applied to other types of stuffing.Β  The liquid that drips during roasting infuses the potatoes with incredibly rich flavor.

In typical Sally fashion,Β  onion and garlic were omitted, but I gave you the recipe the exact way Alton made it in the show.Β  I never thought very highly about pimento-stuffed olives, but they are simply perfect in this dish.Β  Alton Brown had a moment of inspiration when he conceived this recipe, everything works together extremely well.Β Β  Since it’s a reasonably heavy dish,Β  you won’t need anything else to round the meal.

Five hundred posts published and no special celebration?Β  Well, stay tuned, my friends.Β  A special milestone is waiting around the corner, and for that one I’ll have a little giveaway to my readers!πŸ˜‰

ONE YEAR AGO: Back in Los Angeles

TWO YEARS AGO: White House Macaroni and Cheese

THREE YEARS AGO: Korean-Style Pork with Asian Slaw


  1. Oh, Sally!! Wow.. congratulations!! Can it possibly be 500?? And I’ve just gotten to know you, lol:) You’ve got a lot of recipes for me to test out.. starting with this one! I was thinking.. hmmmm.. surely she’s got something more up her sleeve, 500 is a big one.. (kind of like 50 + 0). I can’t wait to see what you do to celebrate! Congrats again!! xx Smidge


  2. Well, congratulations, Sally! 500 post is quite a milestone, one that will take me years to reach — if I ever do. And this is one great recipe to mark the occasion. I love that you use chicken thighs, skin on, for it, too. A number of years ago, I stopped cooking with boneless, skinless chicken breasts for lack of flavor and never looked back. And the best thing about this recipe? I have every single one of the ingredients. How often does that happen?


    • I don’t quite understand how some bloggers post daily – to me it seems like an impossible feat! It took me 3 and a half years to reach 500, and I bet it will take longer to reach 1000!


  3. Congrats on the milestone. Love your blog and can’t wait to read the next 500 posts! The chicken looks so delicious.

    Kindest regards,


  4. Sally! Congratulations on post numero 500!! Wow, that is something… and yes, I was absolutely seduced by your title “the best thing I’ve ever made…” – and you did not disappoint!πŸ™‚. Your smoked paprika thighs look gorgeous and I just happen to adore olives too so this combination is very intriguing to me…very much looking forward to your special celebratory post and giveaway – yay!!


    • Smoked paprika is a great ingredient. This recipe used up my reserves, which gives me good reason to place an order at Penzey’s or Spice House, my two favorite online stores….


  5. Congratulations, Sally. 500 posts is a landmark, and it does seem like yesterday when you started your blog. The recipe looks wonderful, and I will certainly use the onion and garlic. It also looks perfect for a celebration party!


    • It does feel like yesterday…. you know what is amazing? Sometimes I read my old posts and I realize I totally forgot about them? I know at some point I will blog on the same recipe twice, but so far it has not happened…πŸ™‚ Senior blogger moments, anyone?


  6. Mmm! *Drool* Here’s to many more!!!! All your recipes turn out amazing! Thanks for sharing all your food goddess knowledge with us!πŸ˜‰


    • Thanks so much, Dr. Smallwood! I wish my approach to making graphics from the SLM worked as well as cooking… got a severe lesson in humility today trying to plot my data. (sigh)
      We might give you another call tomorrow….. πŸ™‚


  7. Just made this and it is simply amazing. I didn’t have the ingredients you suggested so I used artichoke hearts, black olives and parm cheese under the skin with the simply wonderful smoked paprika rub. Also, potatoes were not cooking so I added 1 cup stock and let it cook off. OMG…people… HAVE to make this!


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