Although we try and eat a mostly plant-based diet, there are times every so often when I crave chicken. I can give up red meat without any problem at all, but I do need seafood and poultry once in a while. I used to be a white meat only girl, and when I was younger everyone in the family saved the breast meat for me. As I grew older, I learned to appreciate chicken thighs which are less expensive than chicken breasts and tend to have more flavor. Chicken thighs, especially bone-in thighs, also remain more moist than chicken thighs.
This simple dish is great for busy midweek family meals because it can be assembled in mere minutes and then simply be popped into the oven until it is finished. This dish is a complete meal in a pan, and all it needs to accompany it is a crisp, mixed salad. Chicken thighs are mixed with flavorful olives, sweet cherry tomatoes, garlic, and herbs. I cooked some diced rosemary potatoes separately simply because the casserole dish I was using was too small to roast everything properly together but you can cook everything in one big roasting pan if you prefer. Olives play an important part in the flavor of this dish, so do choose an olive with lots of flavor such as Taggisca, Kalamata, Castelvetrano, Cerignola varieties. I also only use pitted olives in casseroles because no one ones to bite into a pit when enjoying their meal. If you cannot find olives already pitted, you can easily pit them yourself by pressing the olive with the flat side of a large knife.
Deborah Mele 2016
- 8 Bone In Chicken Thighs, Trimmed
- 5 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1 Pint Ripe Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
- 1/2 Cup Pitted Flavorful Olives (See Notes Above)
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- 2 Large Potatoes, Peeled & Cut Into 1-inch Dice
- 3 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Toss the diced potatoes with 3 tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the potatoes across the bottom of a large roasting pan, then place the thighs on top.
- Scatter the olives and tomatoes around the thighs, then dust the thigh with the oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Drizzle the remains 2 tablespoons of oil over the casserole dish, and arrange the rosemary sprigs on top.
- Roast for about 40 minutes, stirring the ingredients once or twice as it cooks. (A thermometer should reach 165 degrees F. when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh).
- Transfer the thighs to a platter, then return the vegetables to the oven, and roast until the potatoes are golden brown, about 10 minutes more.
- Arrange the thighs on a platter, spooning the potatoes alongside.
- Spoon the olive and tomato mixture on top of the thighs and serve immediately.