Tag Archives: weeknight meals

Baked Shrimp with Lemon & Garlic

Baked Shrimp with Lemon & GarlicThere is a time for involved, long-cooking, multi-dish recipes, and then there’s the time for a 30 minute main that can be made in two steps and served with any carby thing that makes you happy.

This is the second thing.Baked Shrimp with Lemon & GarlicWhether you’re looking for something you can throw together on a weeknight or an easy special occasion meal for when dinner parties are a thing again, Baked Shrimp with Lemon & Garlic fits the bill. It’s light and refreshing, a snap to make and can be on your table in half an hour! Yesssss.Baked Shrimp with Lemon & GarlicBaked Shrimp with Lemon & GarlicBaked Shrimp with Lemon & GarlicThis is one of those dishes for which I almost always have the ingredients. My kitchen is always stocked with lemons, fresh garlic, onions, red pepper flakes, salt and olive oil, and I usually have parsley, too. Just add a couple of pounds of raw shrimp (I used frozen/thawed) and we’re ready to roll!

To make this bright and lemony main, begin by tossing the raw shrimp, minced garlic, thinly sliced onion, red pepper flakes, salt, olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice in a casserole dish. Bake everything for 12-15 minutes at 375F, stirring every five minutes, until the shrimp are pink and opaque, and the thin strands of onion have lost their rigidity. Squeeze another lemon over the top, stir in a big handful of chopped fresh parsley and…um, well that’s it. Told you it was easy.Baked Shrimp with Lemon & GarlicServe Baked Shrimp with Lemon & Garlic over rice, orzo (or other pasta) or with crusty bread—anything to take advantage of all that lemony, garlicky oil! Oh, and a glass of something crisp and cold never hurt anything. Just saying.Baked Shrimp with Lemon & Garlic

Baked Shrimp with Lemon & Garlic
makes 4-6 servings

3 medium lemons, divided
2 pounds fresh or frozen (thawed) raw shrimp (I use 21-30 count)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small white or Spanish onion, very thinly sliced
1/2-1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4-1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

For serving (optional):
sliced lemons
baguette or other crusty bread
cooked pasta
cooked rice

Preheat oven to 375F.

Zest and juice two lemons.

Combine lemon zest & juice, shrimp, garlic, onion, salt, red pepper flakes and olive oil in a casserole dish. Toss together until fully combined. Bake 12-15 minutes, gently stirring every 5 minutes, until all shrimp are pink and opaque.

Squeeze over remaining lemon and stir in parsley. Garnish with lemon slices, if desired. Serve with toasted baguette, pasta or rice.

Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Do not microwave leftovers, as it will drastically over cook the shrimp. Instead, reheat gently on the stove in a pan over medium-low heat.

Baked Shrimp with Lemon & GarlicBaked Shrimp with Lemon & GarlicBaked Shrimp with Lemon & Garlic

Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

Grilled Cheese & Tomato SoupOver the past couple of years, I’ve learned that a shocking number of people I know and love don’t know how to make one of the simplest recipes in the wide world: Grilled Cheese. It’s not because they’re incapable in the kitchen—it’s just that nobody ever taught them how to make it so that the bread cooks and the cheese melts at similar rates, and the butter doesn’t blacken and smoke up the house.Grilled Cheese & Tomato SoupLuckily (maybe?), they’re friends with me, a person who will make them a grilled cheese in the moment and then spend four months dwelling on the (non-)event until the middle of January when she decides to write a blog post about the whole (inconsequential) thing. And that’s how we got here. Luckily. Maybe.

Anyway…Grilled Cheese & Tomato SoupI make Grilled Cheese for dinner at least once a week because a) it’s easy and I don’t have to think about it too hard, and b) I always have sandwich bread, butter and some sort of melting cheese (usually extra sharp cheddar). It only takes a couple of minutes to butter two pieces of bread and layer cheese in the middle. You’ll notice I don’t use sliced cheese here—that’s simply because I prefer to buy the brick and slice it myself. Do whatever works for you, with the exception of pre-shredded cheese because it’s coated in an anti-caking agent that prevents proper melting. You do not want to impede proper melting on a Grilled Cheese!Grilled Cheese & Tomato SoupAs far as cooking goes, I think it’s a pretty human thing to want to cook crispy foods over the highest heat for a couple of minutes, but when it comes to Grilled Cheese (and so many other things), it’s best to ignore that thought, turn down the flame and take your time. Whereas 3-4 minutes over high will yield cold cheese between burnt slices of bread, 7-8 over medium-low will give you perfect melted cheese and buttery, golden edges every time. Those extra four minutes make all the difference in the world.Grilled Cheese & Tomato SoupBoom! That’s all you need to know to make a basic Grilled Cheese. You can change up the cheese and bread depending on your mood, but as long as you butter the outsides of the bread instead of melting butter in the skillet and cook things low and slow, you will always have perfect Grilled Cheese.Grilled Cheese & Tomato SoupAnd what’s Grilled Cheese without Tomato Soup? This combination is a classic for a reason—the tang of tomato pairs perfectly with the rich, cheesy, crispy sandwich, making for a simple, satisfying meal.Grilled Cheese & Tomato SoupAs with Grilled Cheese, my go-to Tomato Soup recipe is easy as can be. Whole peeled tomatoes are crushed by hand, then simmered in vegetable stock with carrots, onion, garlic, tomato paste and spices before being puréed until velvety smooth. Easy peasy.Grilled Cheese & Tomato SoupTwo things to note:

• I prefer to use canned whole peeled tomatoes instead of fresh. This is for a few reasons, but mainly because canned tomatoes give consistently delicious results. I love fresh tomatoes, but they are only in season for a few months of the year and January isn’t one of them.
• You’ll notice I like to add a pinch of baking soda at the end of cooking to neutralize some of the acidity, but you may also use a teaspoon of sugar or honey. Whatever works for you.Grilled Cheese & Tomato SoupSo there you have it—one of the simplest meals in the world, explained. Maybe you knew all this or maybe you didn’t. Either way, I hope you treat yourself this weekend. I know we could all use some comfort. No “maybe” about it.Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices sandwich bread (I like Dave’s Killed Bread White Bread Done Right)
2 tablespoons butter, softened
small pinch of salt, if using unsalted butter
4 ounces extra sharp cheddar or other melting cheese, thinly sliced

Spread 1/2 tablespoon of softened butter over one side of each piece of sandwich bread. If using unsalted butter, sprinkle butter with a small pinch of salt.

Turn 2 pieces of bread plain-side-up. Lay sliced cheese evenly over each plain side. Top cheese with remaining pieces of bread, buttered-side-up, so that the buttered sides of each slice of bread are on the outsides of the sandwiches.

Heat a medium-large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-low heat. Add sandwiches and let cook, without moving or squishing, until they are golden on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip sandwiches and let cook, without moving or squishing, until they are golden on the other side, about 3-4 more minutes.

Serve immediately, with tomato soup (recipe below), if desired.

Tomato Soup
makes about 4 servings

1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium-large Spanish onion, diced
3-4 medium carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
1/2-1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt, divided
4 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled & sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or a pinch of ground cayenne)
4 cups vegetable stock (I use Better than Bouillon)
small pinch of baking soda or teaspoon of sugar, optional
chopped parsley, optional

Place tomatoes and any liquid in a mixing bowl. Use your clean hands to crush the tomatoes. Set aside.

Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and pinch of salt, and cook for 5-7 minutes, until onion is starting to turn translucent but nothing has browned. Add minced garlic and cook about 1 minute or until fragrant. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until starting to darken.

Stir in red pepper flakes, hand-crushed tomatoes & their liquid, followed by vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook for 20-25 minutes, until carrots have softened.

Purée soup with a hand blender. Alternatively, let hot soup cool for 15 minutes before transferring to a high-powered blender and puréeing. Be careful, as hot liquids expand during blending.

Taste soup and add salt as desired. If soup is too acidic, stir in a small pinch of baking soda or a teaspoon of sugar. Garnish with parsley and serve, with Grilled Cheese (recipe above) if desired.

Leftover soup will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Grilled Cheese & Tomato SoupGrilled Cheese & Tomato SoupGrilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

Spicy Turkey Tacos

Spicy Turkey TacosAs with so many of the weeknight meals that show up on this site, I’ve been making these Spicy Turkey Tacos for years. They became a part of my repertoire when I started my day job in 2016, and they’ve been in my weekly rotation ever since. They’re easy to make, require less than half an hour start-to-finish, and are a guaranteed crowd pleaser—not an easy feat with teenagers!Spicy Turkey TacosThese are a simple & saucy DIY taco seasoning, ground turkey and tomato paste situation that remind me—for better or worse—of the Old El Paso Tex-Mex taco kits my mom made when we were little. But, you know, a little classier because there’s nothing from a packet.

Now, I want to make it exceedingly clear that I am of Czech and British heritage, two cultures that are not known for their tacos. To my knowledge, Spicy Turkey Tacos (and recipes like them) aren’t particularly authentic to anything. Please correct me if I am wrong; I want to give credit where credit is due. Spicy Turkey TacosSpicy Turkey TacosThe key to this recipe is the homemade taco seasoning. It’s a simple blend of chipotle chile powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, cayenne and salt, and it is responsible for the majority of the flavor here. The recipe below makes enough for about four pounds of meat, meaning that you can make the seasoning once and then throw Spicy Turkey Tacos together in no time with no notice on a future busy weeknight. Score!

Fair warning that these Spicy Turkey Tacos are called “spicy” for a reason—this taco seasoning was has a real kick to it, so if you aren’t a spicy food person, you may want to reduce the chipotle powder by half (2 tablespoons) or switch to something milder. I promise your tacos still be great.Spicy Turkey TacosSpicy Turkey TacosTo make Spicy Turkey Tacos, begin by browning a pound of ground turkey. Stir in 2 tablespoons each of your taco seasoning and tomato paste until everything is coated. Then add some water and let your taco meat simmer until thickened to your liking. I usually let mine go until the sauce is reduced by half or two-thirds, until it’s thick but still decidedly saucy.Spicy Turkey TacosAs for serving, spoon this Spicy Turkey Taco meat into warmed flour or corn tortillas (or make a taco salad!), and pile on whatever toppings make you happy. I threw cherry tomatoes, diced avocado, romaine lettuce, cilantro, lime, grated cotija and hot sauce on these, but you could go with salsa, guacamole, shredded cheddar, or nothing at all—whatever you like. Next time, I’m going to serve them up with my Pineapple Salsa Fresca for a sweet & spicy finish.

Just living my best pandemic dinner life over here.Spicy Turkey Tacos

Spicy Taco Seasoning
makes a heaping 1/2 cup (enough for 4 pounds of meat)

It is easier to add heat than it is to remove it, so be careful. For a milder blend, reduce the chipotle powder to 2 tablespoons or use 1/4 cup of a milder chile or chili powder. I like this blend with ancho chile powder.

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) chipotle chile powder or other chile or chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher or sea salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one year.

Spicy Turkey Tacos
makes 1 pound of meat (3-4 servings), but can easily be scaled up

1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
1 pound ground turkey (leanest I’d go is 93%)
2 tablespoons spicy taco seasoning (above)
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cups water
warmed flour or corn tortillas

For serving (optional):
avocado
cherry tomatoes
cilantro
grated cotija or other cheese
hot sauce (I used Tapatío)
guacamole
lime wedges
romaine lettuce
salsa

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add turkey and cook until browned, breaking it up with the edge of a silicone spatula or wooden spoon as you go.

Add taco seasoning and tomato paste; stir to coat. Add water and let come to a simmer. Let liquid reduce by 1/2 to 3/4, stirring occasionally, until sauce texture is to your liking. Add more water as desired.

Serve meat in warmed tortillas with desired toppings.

Leftover taco meat will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Spicy Turkey TacosSpicy Turkey TacosSpicy Turkey Tacos

Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust

Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustI’ve been meaning to put a Chicken Pot Pie on here for years, but inevitably I’d forget about it until the day before Thanksgiving (things to do with turkey leftovers!) or winter would slip away from me too quickly, and then it was summer, and who wants to make—let alone eat—a Chicken Pot Pie in July?Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustChicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustImagine my delight when the right timing and opportunity finally presented themselves a few weeks ago, when it seemed like every big-time food person in the world was making Tomato & Corn Pie with Biscuit Crust. The tomatoes and corn are wonderful and all, but nobody will be surprised to learn that I went to look at that recipe *specifically* to see the biscuit crust. I learned quickly that it was basically just buttermilk biscuit dough, and then I wondered if I could use my own buttermilk biscuit dough with the same results…and here we are. Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust, y’all. This is comfort food on steroids and it’s happening right here, right now.Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustI started making pot pies one thousand years ago in 2008, when I was more inclined to use condensed cream-of-whatever soup as the gravy and crescent dough for the topper. My style and taste have evolved a lot (!) since then, and while I have made many Chicken Pot Pies in the ensuing twelve years, I don’t think any of them have been exactly alike. The filling is always based on what I’m in the mood for and what’s at the market.

Today’s pie has both mushrooms and potatoes in addition to the usual carrot, celery, onion combo, but I’ve been known to swap in corn or a diced turnip when the mood strikes—there’s no wrong way to chicken pot pie. This is entirely about volume—3 cups of cooked chicken, 1 cup peas, 1 cup carrots, 1/2 cup each celery and onion, 1-1 1/2 cups whatever else (i.e. mushrooms, diced potato, corn, other root vegetables)—you just want it to add up to about 7 cups of “stuff” maximum so it all fits in your pan. I use a 2-inch deep pie plate for most things, but if yours is shallower, you may want to lean more toward 6 cups of stuff in your filling.Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustChicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustI won’t lie to you, a from-scratch Chicken Pot Pie can take a bit of time to prepare. All of the filling ingredients have to be cooked before they can be put together. This includes the chicken; I made a roast chicken the day before and used some of that, but you can use any cooked chicken you have on hand. This is a great way to repurpose leftovers!Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustOnce the various vegetables are cooked in butter until fork-tender, they all go in a big skillet together, and then you build the gravy on top of them. Stir in some flour (creating a sort of roux), then chicken stock, cream, dijon mustard, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer it all for ten minutes before removing the saucy, bubbling mix from the heat. Stir in your chicken and some frozen peas, then set your filling aside so you can roll out the buttermilk biscuit crust.Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustChicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustOh yes, back to the buttermilk biscuit crust! It’s tender and flaky, and you’re going to freaking flip over how easy it is to make. The dough comes together exactly as it does when you’re making traditional biscuits, except after all the folds and turns it’s split in half and chilled while you make the filling. At this point, when the filling is cooling a bit, the dough is rolled out and fitted to the pan just like any other pie crust. As biscuit dough is softer and contains half the butter of most pie doughs, I found this remarkably easy with which to work.Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustTo finish off your Chicken Pot Pie, fill the bottom crust with your filling, then drape on the top crust, cut a few vents, paint the whole thing with egg wash, and bake it for about 30 minutes. Once your pie is burnished and bubbling, it’s time for dinner.Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustChicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustAnd oh, what a dinner it is. The filling is creamy and chickeny and rich, but never as heavy as I think it will be. The buttermilk biscuit crust is slightly puffed and perfectly browned, and retains distinct layers, just like it would in its traditional form.Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustThis is the best sort of Sunday dinner…or Monday through Thursday dinner if you, like me, have the enviable job of eating the whole thing yourself. Food blogger life isn’t always as glamorous as it seems, but I was happy to take this one for the team.Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust

Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust
makes one 9-inch pie

Buttermilk Biscuit Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, very cold
3/4 cup buttermilk, very cold

Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
8 ounces cremini mushrooms (or other mushrooms), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1 cup diced carrot (about 2 medium), 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup diced celery, (about 1/2-2 stalks), 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup diced white onion, 1/2-inch pieces
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 small Yukon gold potato, peeled, 1/2-inch diced (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
2 teaspoons prepared Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons (1/2 tablespoon) minced fresh rosemary, optional
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
2 1/4 cups chicken stock (I use Better than Bouillon)
1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
3 cups cooked shredded chicken (or turkey), about 1 pound
1 cup frozen peas

Egg Wash:
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Set aside.

Cut your stick of butter into small cubes. Place all pieces into the bowl with the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut cold butter into flour mixture until it is roughly the size of peas. Pour in cold buttermilk. Stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Turn dough (and any unincorporated flour bits) out onto a floured surface. Flour your fingertips and pat the dough into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Fold dough in half, and turn one quarter turn. Pat out until it is 1/2-inch thick again. Repeat folding/quarter-turning/patting out until you have done it four times total. Re-flour your surface as necessary.

Slice dough in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Chill while you prepare the filling.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until browned and dramatically smaller. Set aside.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan and swirl to coat. Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, diced potato and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Add water and cover pan with a lid (or a sheet of foil) for another 5 minutes. Vegetables are done when you can easily stab a piece of celery with a fork.

Add mushrooms back to the pan. Sprinkle on flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stir for about 2 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low. Add mustard, thyme, rosemary, parsley, chicken stock and cream. Cook, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes, or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in chicken and peas. Set filling aside while you roll out the crust.

Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a pie plate.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Unwrap one half of the biscuit dough. Use rolling pin to roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness (about 14 inches in diameter for a 9-inch pie plate). For easiest rolling, roll dough in one direction, turning it one quarter-turn after each roll. Re-flour surface and rolling pin as needed.

To transfer to a pie plate, carefully fold dough into quarters. Place point in the center of the pie plate and carefully unfold. Fit it to the pan and trim any excess overhang (I didn’t have any). Fill with filling.

Repeat rolling process with the second half of the dough. Drape it over the filling, trim any excess overhang, and twist or crimp the edges as desired. Use a small knife to cut a few vents in a decorative pattern.

Make the egg wash. Combine egg and water in a small bowl. Whisk with a fork. Brush over all exposed crust.

Bake chicken pot pie for 30-32 minutes, until crust is deeply browned and filling is bubbling. Let cool 15 minutes before serving. Chicken pot pie will not slice cleanly.

Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to four days. Leftovers will slice cleanly, as sauce thickens during cooling.

Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustChicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust

Chicken with Lemon & Olives

Chicken with Lemon & OlivesUnsurprisingly, the way to my heart is through my stomach. I mean, I’m a food blogger–of course it is.

To get specific though, it’s through salty, briny, acidic foods. Dessert is a wonderful thing, but I will happily destroy a jar of pickles or smear dijon mustard on everything or give you a tour of my salt collection (nerd alert!) any day of the week. And then I will make you a batch of cookies, because of course I will. But that’s a post for another day.Chicken with Lemon & OlivesToday, we’re talking about Chicken with Lemon & Olives, which is a dream dinner for someone like me. It’s got crispy-skinned chicken thighs, briny roasted olives and a garlicky, herby, dijon-spiked lemon sauce, so…yeah, um, hi. Sign me up.Chicken with Lemon & OlivesChicken with Lemon & OlivesChicken with Lemon & OlivesThis dish, y’all. It’s so delicious. The sauce is tangy and acidic from the lemon and mustard, and rich (but not overly so) from the chicken and olive oil. And the olives—ohhhh, the olives. They’re cracked open before cooking so that all that tangy, schmaltzy sauce gets in there and gets a little briny and…well, it’s very good.Chicken with Lemon & OlivesSpeaking of olives, I prefer to make this with castelveltranos because they’re my favorite. More of a kalamata person? Want to try a mix? Do what makes you happy. I used olives that still have their pits because, frankly, they always taste better. If you want to use pitted olives though, I won’t stop you. Just make sure to skip the step when you give them a thwack with the bottom of a cast iron skillet—nobody wants to clean that mess.Chicken with Lemon & OlivesI should note that the sauce stays on the thin side. If you’d like it to be thicker, you can reduce the amount of stock a bit when you pour it in, or remove the chicken, etc., and thicken it with a cornstarch slurry after roasting. Truly, the consistency of the sauce was the only thing I had reservations about during testing, but I like it as written. It nestles perfectly into a pile of polenta or mashed potatoes. Next time I’m going to try serving it with slices of toasted baguette.Chicken with Lemon & OlivesCan we discuss how absurdly beautiful this is? I love the golden chicken in contrast with the vibrant olives and roasted lemon wedges. This is definitely one of those mains that works as well for a dinner party as it does for a weeknight. And on that note, if you’re having a dinner party and making this, please invite me.Chicken with Lemon & Olives

Chicken with Lemon & Olives
makes 6-8 servings

2 cups olives (with pits), brine discarded (I used castelveltrano)
8 chicken thighs
1/2-3/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2-3 lemons, divided
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (based on preference)
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 cup chicken stock
polenta or mashed potatoes, for serving
chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 450F. Grease a large casserole dish or 9×13-inch pan. Set aside.

Crack olives. On a sturdy surface, sandwich olives between two pieces of parchment. Use a heavy object (bottom of a cast iron skillet, meat tenderizer, large can) to give them a few whacks to crack the skin open a bit. You may also use a sharp knife to lightly score each olive.

Blot chicken thighs with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the chicken and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Use your hands to lightly and quickly massage oil and salt into the meat for even distribution.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches (unless your pan is giant), place chicken thighs in the pan skin-side-down and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Meanwhile, juice 1-2 lemons, until you have 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice. Slice remaining lemon into 8 wedges. Set aside.

Reduce heat to medium. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of rendered fat. Add garlic, thyme and rosemary, and saute until fragrant (about 1 minute). Stir in red pepper flakes and mustard, followed by stock. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Pour sauce into prepared dish. Place chicken in a single layer over the top. Arrange olives around chicken and tuck lemon wedges in between. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon olive oil. Bake 45-50 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Let cool a few minutes until bubbling stops. Serve over polenta or mashed potatoes with a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.Chicken with Lemon & OlivesChicken with Lemon & OlivesChicken with Lemon & Olives