I just heard on the news that we should get ready for the Presidential 2020 campaign ads to start as soon as Wednesday of next week. Can you stand it? I wish we could establish a rule that banned political ads of any kind from airing for the months of November and December. Call it political detox season or even better, let’s donate all the money that would be spent tearing each other apart on people who need to be put back together again. Ok, that’s off my chest.
And now, in case you didn’t see this photo on social media, how adorable are these two cuties who are dressed as Ina and Jeffrey Garten for Halloween?!!! The photo cracks me up every time I look at it. Thank you to my friend, Ellen for sharing it with me!
Let’s talk chicken.
Today’s post is just a simple recipe that represents how I cook savory food at home. Unlike the sweet side of life where I have a few recipes that I will make over and over again, the savory side of food prep bring out my inner kitchen gypsy. A little of this, a pinch of that and voila. I enjoy looking at what I have in my pantry and fridge and making up dishes on the fly. Such was the case for this recipe because I had some preserved lemons that I made in early summer and wanted to start using them. Preserved lemons can also be found at many markets now so not to worry if you don’t have any hanging around, but they are easy to prepare as long as you are willing to wait a month to use them!
The next decision was what to pair the lemons with and I decided chicken would be nice, especially one that would cook quickly. The answer to that was a smaller chicken that was “spatchcocked” which just means having its backbone removed so it can be flattened for more even cooking. You can ask your butcher to remove the backbone and butterfly it for you (even if it’s wrapped, just ask and they will gladly do it and rewrap in butcher paper!). I recently saw that Bell & Evans has a spatchcocked chicken available pre-packaged which is a real convenience, although I am sure it’s pricey.
Preserved lemons make me think of North African and Middle Eastern influences so I grabbed some cumin and cumin seeds and some kalamata olives to finish off this simple weeknight dish. Yum.
I posted a picture of the chicken to my Instagram and my friend and follower, Susan asked if I had a recipe. I hadn’t written it up but did and asked her if she would be willing to test it. She was more than willing and I was very grateful! She said the recipe was easy to follow and the flavor was delicious. It was salty, but that may have been because it’s important to rinse your preserved lemons to rid them of any excess salt and it was a step she missed. However, it prompted me to rewrite the recipe and to reduce the extra salt added to the recipe just to make sure you have good results. Sue also swapped out green olives for the kalamatas due to her family’s preference. My husband doesn’t care for green olives but I love them so think they would be awesome. Sue also suggested she might add some dried apricots or prunes to give the dish a little sweetness so I added that into the recipe as an option. I know some people don’t like sweet with their savory so you can leave that out if it doesn’t appeal.
The best comment was that it was an easy “make after work” dinner which is awesome.
Skillet Roasted Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Olives is a recipe that definitely represents how I cook in my kitchen. I hope it becomes an easy weeknight or weekend favorite for you! And thank you to Sue for testing the recipe!
If you make it please take a picture and send it to me via email or social media. I’d love to see what you are cooking from the blog!
Until next week…
One Year Ago: Review of Pammy’s in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Two Years Ago: Review of Myers & Chang in Boston, Massachusetts
Three Years Ago: Green Beans with Tomato Sauce (Fassoulia)
Four Years Ago: My Week with Ina Garten
An easy way to roast an entire chicken on a weeknight! Preserved lemons, olives and optional dried fruit are paired with earthy cumin and cumin seeds to bring all the flavor to your dinner plate. Pair with some rice or couscous and a green vegetable or salad.
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 Vidalia onion, halved and sliced into thin half moons
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1, 3/12-4 pound chicken, backbone removed and butterflied
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 preserved lemon, rinsed and dried
- 20 kalamata olives
- 3/4 cup dried apricots or prunes (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in the middle.
- In a 12-inch overproof skillet, warm 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until wilted and just starting to brown. Add the white wine and allow to evaporate. Add the cumin seeds and stir until incorporated. Spread out the onions evenly in the pan. Turn off the heat.
- Mix the additional 2 Tablespoons of olive oil with the salt, cumin and black pepper. Place the chicken in the pan on top of the onions. Rub the olive oil mixture over the entire surface of the chicken. You can even rub some of it under the skin.
- Did you rinse your preserved lemons? If not, do that now and pat dry. Slice into about 8 slices and nestle them, the whole kalamata olives and dried fruit if using around the chicken. Place the skillet in the oven.
- Roast the chicken until the thigh registers 165 degrees. This should take about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes.
- Allow the chicken to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve with rice or couscous. A green vegetable would look pretty on the plate as well.
Tips from The Kitchen Scout
It's important to rinse and dry your preserved lemons to remove the salt they are preserved in. Otherwise, your dish will be too salty!
My thanksgiving spatchcocked turkey was a huge timesaver, perfectly moist, and a bronze goddess. I may never roast a turkey (or chicken) any other way.
Hey Valerie. When do you add the apricots?
Thanks Jenn, just updated the recipe! Add them with the lemons and olives.
After such a very sad week in Pittsburgh, and around the country, this is just the kind of comfort food I need.
I agree, Francine. Thanks. xo
Val, Last week I decided that I will do a spatchcocked turkey for Thanksgiving this year (Presenting the whole bronzed bird to be carved at the table was never our thing). I hope this will take HOURS off the cooking time leaving more room for outdoor adventures.
Has Harvey tried Castelvetrano? One bite and he will change his mind about green olives!
That sounds like a great plan about the turkey! Let me know how that goes.
I only recently discovered Castelvetrano and really like them – but he is pretty firm with his choices. I’ll offer them to him and see what happens 🙂
That sounds perfect, Renee! I only recently tried Castelvetrano myself and really like them – I will attempt to convert my hubs but…
Hear, hear on a political detox. And while we are at it, can we put a ban on Christmas ads prior to Thanksgiving? Pottery Barn’s September catalogue cover shows a house decorated for the holidays.
I am soooooo with you. Makes me want to boycott the catalog!