As the cherry blossoms and wisteria around town start to make their seasonal debut, this recipe, inspired by one years ago in Food and Wine calling for bright springtime flavors, has become a household favorite this time of year. Sometimes I will tuck in some halved shallots, substitute kalamata olives for the Castelvetrano olives and add some sun dried tomatoes to give it a different spin. You’ll want to serve it with something like couscous to soak up all the delicious sauce. The leftovers are just as much of a hit as the meal itself — so double up if inclined!
- 8 chicken thighs (3 3/4 pounds)
- Sea salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 15 ounces marinated artichoke hearts, plus 1/4 cup brine from the jar
- 1 cup Castelvetrano olives
- 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 6 thyme sprigs
- 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 1/2 cup semidry sherry, such as Amontillado
- 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper.
- In a large cast-iron skillet or black steel pan, heat the oil. Add half of the chicken skin side down and top the pieces (not the pan) with a pot lid; cook over moderate heat until browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside and repeat with remaining chicken.
- When all thighs have been browned and removed from pan, scatter the artichoke hearts, olives, garlic, lemon slices and thyme in the pan. Add the artichoke brine, stock, sherry and fish sauce; bring to a boil. Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt and turn off heat.
- Now return chicken skin side up to the skillet, nestling it in the sauce and around the rest of the goodies.
- Cover tightly with foil and braise in the oven for 1 hour, until the chicken is very tender. Uncover and increase the oven temperature to 400°. Roast the chicken for 15 minutes longer, until the skin is crisp. Discard the thyme.
- Transfer to plates and serve.