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 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.


(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.


to print the recipe, click here

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!


ONE YEAR AGO: Pea Pancakes with Herbed Yogurt

TWO YEARS AGO: Mushroom Stroganoff

THREE YEARS AGO: Tomato Sourdough

FOUR YEARS AGO: Gamberetti con rucola e pomodori

FIVE YEARS AGO: Flirting with Orzo


    • The skin is to die for…. and if you use boned pieces they cook faster and in this particular preparation turn moist and tender. I am sure you can adapt this recipe for bone-in pieces, browning the skin, flipping the pieces over, but then I would cook at a lower temperature, longer, and increase the heat at the end or run it quickly under the broiler…


  1. What a brilliant but simple recipe! Wonder whether this is the newest ‘holy trinity’: olives, capers and artichoke hearts – have used the first two together naturally but not added the third. Love za’atar tho’ buy mine! And love chicken thighs also and they come ‘the same two ways’ here so I better sharpen my knife 🙂 !


    • I was also surprised because I prefer to use frozen artichoke hearts, instead of canned. However, the brining solution of the canned product worked great in this recipe, gives it a little zing


  2. I bone my own thighs often for tandoori chicken. It’s actually quite a bit of fun. Artichokes aren’t something I’m familiar with as an ingredient. Something to try. And I don’t use my za’atar NEARLY enough.


  3. Kind of reminds me of Chicken Marbella which is really good and a great company dish. I was going to make “Roast chicken with dates, olives and capers” yesterday then realized the marinating time, a day or two. So today I'”ll toss it together for a Wednesday night dinner. I don’t know much about the paleo diet, so not too sure that it fits into that category with the tablespoon of date syrup or treacle etc.


    • I think date syrup is paleo, all date-related things are ok with Paleo. Just heard the other day that white potatoes are now considered ok in Paleo nutrition. It gives me a chuckle, the way some people follow diets in such a rigid way – no, I cannot have white potatoes… oh, wait, now I can… pass them on, please :-0)))

      of course, I am not talking about allergies, just about the cult aspect of nutrition which is epidemic these days in the US


      • Last night we had the erstwhile President of the Australian Medical Association and a Professor of Medicine talk at length about Paleo on a news report as one of our best known chefs is totally ‘into it’. I do not believe in the word ‘diet’ so usually bypass articles on them, but Paleo was quite officially called ‘fad’ and ‘potentially dangerous’ as so many necessary food components were missing and it supposedly is impossible to follow longterm . . . just commenting . . . Hope you had a great evening!!!!


        • I think the Paleo’s main problem is cutting out dairy products – particularly for a woman in later years of her life, calcium is so important, and dairy products are the easiest source to obtain it in good amounts. I don’t know of other food components that would be missing but I don’t really worry about it, because I don’t use any type of restriction long term. I do go into lower carb days after excesses, it’s what works for my body and I have no problem sticking with it. Short term, that is. Short term 😉


    • Exactly, make this dish or else! 😉 I should have used that line. Will save it for later, as I tend to go back to bossy mode every once in a while. Like on a weekly basis? 😉


  4. Oh my, what a dish. To me, it doesn’t need a paleo warning (heh) just a billboard to say how good this looks. I learned how to bone a thigh and a leg from a local celebrity chef and I thought it was a lot of work. The thigh only might not be too bad. 🙂


    • Oh, there is NO WAY I am every going to attempt de-boning the whole leg – HA! I shiver to think… chicken bits will fly everywhere, I would have to tip toe to the shower and sterilize the kitchen… no, I will stick to the thigh, thank you very much! You are a very brave woman!


  5. To be honest, as soon as I see chicken recipe I have to try it. I am always looking for new and exciting ways to spice it up for dinner..and needs to be quick. I am trying this 🙂


  6. I sure like bossy Sally! Especially when it comes to recipes like this. 🙂 I’ve never deboned a chicken thigh before. It is probably a skill I should pick-up at some point. This sounds delicious and I’m going to keep my eyes open for the za’tar. Sounds like a fun spice mixture to have on hand!


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