If you are into Paleo recipes, make this dish! If you are not into Paleo recipes, make this dish! Yes, I am a bit bossy today, as a husband and a few graduate students might have noticed. But it’s all with good intentions, as I know what is good for them, for you, and maybe even for myself. The inspiration for this recipe was found in one of my Kindle cookbooks, Make it Paleo II, by Hayley Mason and Bill Staley. They also have a food blog, Primal Palate, with great recipes and youtube videos. I always read the good and the bad reviews of a cookbook before buying it, and one of the reviewers at amazon.com said that this recipe alone was worth getting the book. I made it twice, once exactly as written, but in this post I am sharing my take on it, modified not only in flavor but also in the method itself. In their version, it is all made in a single skillet, but I did not want to turn on the big oven, so after browning the meat I transferred the pieces to a baking dish that fits in our Breville.
CHICKEN THIGHS WITH ARTICHOKES AND CAPERS
(adapted from Make it Paleo II)
6 skin-on chicken thighs, boneless
Sea salt to taste
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp za’tar
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 (6-oz) jar artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and drained
2 Tbsp capers
1 lemon, sliced into rounds and quartered
Heat the oven to 425°F. Heat a skillet or cast iron pan over medium heat. Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel, removing as much moisture as possible. Season the skin with salt and place them skin side down in the hot skillet. Flip the thighs once they develop a nice brown sear on the skin, which should naturally make them easily release from the pan. Cook the chicken skin side up for 1 minute, then transfer to a baking dish, skin side up. Season evenly with the oregano, za’tar, and more black pepper to taste. Add the artichoke hearts, olives, capers, and lemon slices to the skillet. Place the skillet in the oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked.
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Comments: If you never de-boned a chicken thigh yourself, take a deep breath and try it, because it’s a nice skill to acquire in the kitchen. I don’t know what type of chicken meat your grocery store carries, but where we live I can find bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, and boneless, skinless. The former I use for roasting all the time, but the skinless I reserve for either braises, stir-fries, or grilling (usually after a nice marinade with yogurt or some citric concoction). You absolutely need boneless pieces with the skin on for this recipe, so if you cannot find it, roll your sleeves up and get working. It was a bit of a struggle, but I got better and better as I did it. I watched some videos on youtube to help me with the technique, but most videos available show professional chefs who handle the knife as if they were born with one in their hands. Amazing to watch, but when trying to mimic them, my shortcomings became quite evident. I say take your time, put some soothing music on, and practice. By the way, if you don’t have za’tar, don’t worry. But get some, will you? I must say it’s one of my favorite spice mixtures at the moment. Love it.
Phil is so addicted to my default recipe for chicken thighs, that at first he was disappointed by the different preparation. But, it took him only one bite to say that I should revisit this recipe whenever I feel like it. Two thumbs up! So there you have it, make this dish because I said so, and Sally knows what’s best for everyone. HA!
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