As we start to edge into summer here, my tastes start running a bit Mediterranean. Lately, I’ve been really into lemons and olives, and this recipe came up on a friend’s page. There was a really great sale on chicken thighs not too long after that, and so this happened. 🙂 

Cast iron skillets continue to be pretty awesome, especially since you can start something on the stovetop and then just pop it into the oven, like so. 

Braised Chicken Thighs with Garlic, Lemon, and Greek Olives
Lasts between 4-6 lunches, depending on how many thighs you have per serving

Ingredients

  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 large onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lemon, sliced thin and seeds discarded
  • 2 T fresh oregano, plus more for garnish
  • 1 c mixed Greek olives
  • Juice of one lemon (if you can find it fresh squeezed, about .25 c)

Bring your chicken to room temperature about twenty minutes before you start cooking it, to remove the chill, and season on both sides with sea salt and pepper. Preheat your oven to 350 while you do this.

In a cast iron skillet, heat your olive oil over medium high heat.  Once heated, add the chicken skin side down, and sear for five to six minutes, until your chicken turns golden brown. Quickly flip the thighs, and add the cloves of garlic nestling them between the thighs. (Wow that sounded dirty.)  Cook two to three more minutes, until the garlic turns golden brown and gets fragrant. Set the chicken and garlic aside on another plate to rest. 

Immediately add your onions, lemon, and oregano, and season with a bit of sea salt and pepper. Cook for six to eight minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions start to wilt, and any brown bits from the chicken cooking start to come off the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat, and nestle the cooked thighs skin side up in the onion mixture. Pour the olives and garlic cloves over the chicken, followed by the lemon juice. Put the pan into the preheated oven, cooking between forty to fifty minutes (the final picture is after 45 minutes). 

Take your pan out of the oven, and then sprinkle some additional fresh oregano over the chicken for garnish, and enjoy!

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Made this on a whim as I’ve been craving olives lately, and honestly, this recipe sounded pretty amazing to start with.  I added a few more spices, and upped both the Spanish and kalamata olive content as I wasn’t including black olives for this, and the way it turned out is utterly fantastic.

Roasted Olives
Lasts 4 to 5 lunches as a side

Ingredients

  • 10 oz pitted kalamata olives, drained
  • 10 oz garlic stuffed Spanish olives, drained
  • 7 large garlic cloves, minced
  • dash of thyme, marjoram, and oregano
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • .25 c olive oil
  • dash salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a small baking dish, and preheat your oven to 425 (mine was at 400).  Put your dish in, and roast at 400 for twenty minutes.  Let them cool, and then enjoy a nice snack!

So, it’s payday, which means I just did grocery shopping!  However, the vast majority of those groceries won’t be arriving until juuust after I make this post, so I need a little something something to tide me over until that happens.  Thus, Pasta Puttanesca (yes, it can translate to whore pasta :P).  

This is another one of those super effin’ cheap recipes, especially around the right time of year (farmer’s market has just moved to the Square by us, which means lots of vendors and cheap fresh basil, or basil plants) and with the right pantry.  Also, another really quick recipe.  All you should need to buy is basil, a hugeass can of diced tomatoes, anchovies (trust me!), and the pitted (trust me, it’ll save you a lot of work) kalamata olives.

Pasta Puttanesca
Lasts appx 5 meals, at least

Ingredients

  • Pasta (whatever kind and however much you want)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3-4 anchovy filets (trust me on this, you can skip it if you want, but they cook away and add a great flavor base)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped (you know what I’ve said about me and garlic by now, I hope)
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 10-15 pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 small bunch basil, chopped
  • 2 T capers (optional, but if you have them on hand, go for it)
  • ½ T brown sugar (I usually add this, but didn’t this time)

Start boiling the water for the pasta while you chop the onion, garlic, olives, and basil.  Once all that’s done, combine the olive oil, anchovies, onion, and garlic, and cook on medium for appx five minutes, or until the onion’s softened.  Then, add the tomatoes, olives, basil, and capers (if using), and simmer on low until the pasta is complete.  Take a taste, add the brown sugar if the sauce has too much of a bite for you.

Once the water’s boiling, add the pasta and cook according to directions, and drain.  Once that happens, add the pasta to the skillet and mix to combine the sauce and pasta.  

And, there you go!  Dinner in fifteen, twenty minutes tops!  Go eat!  Do whatever!  😀