When the weather begins to cool in the fall I feel the tug of my oven and I long for the scent of chicken roasting, warming the house and offering to fill my family with good savory things to eat.
This chicken dish is perfect for those occasions. It begins with a basic vinaigrette: bright with lemon, sweetened with honey and rich with olive oil. Add dark kalamata olives along with thick sprigs of thyme to the mixture and pour it over chicken pieces before nestling them into the oven to roast. Soon you will have something special beckoning your family to the table.
This fragrant dish satisfies the senses with salty olives and sweet honey as well as aromatic herbs. Served with rice and a salad of fresh tomatoes and arugula it makes a wonderful dinner for family or guests.
Roasted Chicken with Olives and Thyme
from a back issue of Real Simple
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (approx. 1 – 2 lemons)
1 teaspoon honey
1 small shallot, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
zest of 1 lemon, slivered
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 small bunch of fresh thyme
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, drained
3 – 4 pounds chicken parts
more salt and freshly ground pepper
Create a basic vinaigrette by whisking together the lemon juice, honey, shallots, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Add the olive oil in a thin stream as you continue whisking until the mixture is emulsified.
Add the lemon zest, garlic, thyme and olives to the vinaigrette mixture, stirring to combine. Set aside.
Rinse the chicken parts and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken in a large baking dish in a single layer. Pour the vinaigrette mixture over the chicken and turn to coat.
Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate up to 12 hours (or, if time is short, skip this step and move right on to the roasting.)
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Season chicken with additional salt and pepper as desired. Place chicken, uncovered, in the oven and roast for 20 -30 minutes, until chicken begins to brown.
Reduce heat to 375 degrees and continue to roast until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes more.
Serve, spooning pan juices and olives over the chicken.