Chicken is not my favorite food in the universe. I’m particular about the texture. I hate it when it turns out dry. I hate it when it’s bland. But… when chicken is done right, it’s amazing. Juicy, tender, flavorful. Yep. That’s my chicken requirement list.
I’ve found that one of the best methods to achieve the juicy/tender requirement is deep frying. Plus you get the added bonus of crunch with the breading. The thing about deep frying is that it kinda makes a giant mess, and the entire house ends up smelling like oil/chicken, which I hate. H A T E. So deep frying happens very infrequently at my house. Maybe if I bought an actual deep fryer? I don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t matter anyway, because as we all know, deep frying isn’t all that healthy.
The other method I’ve found that will always yield the juicy/tender requirement is roasting. I’m down with roasting in the oven. I’m down with roasting in the pan. Roasting + Chicken = Meant To Be. (Plus easy clean up!)
So we’ve got our method. So let’s talk flavor. Specifically Mediterranean flavors. Think bright lemon notes, tangy olives and salty capers. Add garlic-y chicken. A splash of white balsamic for sweetness. Olive oil to keep the moisture. You can see this all coming together can’t you? And let me tell you, the pan sauce this all makes? A-may–zing on mashed potatoes! Add a beautiful side salad and dinner is served!
Mediterranean Chicken with Olive and Caper Pan Sauce– Serves 4.
- 4 chicken leg quarters with skin
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- zest of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 tablespoon white balsamic
- 3/4 cup chicken broth (use no sodium if using prepared otherwise final dish may be too salty)
- 1 cup mixed pitted olives, green, black, and kalamata + additional olives for garnish if desired
- 1 tablespoon capers, drained
- sea salt to taste (depending on the level of salt in your other ingredients you may not need any)
1. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with with the black pepper and garlic powder. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot add the chicken quarters to the pan skin side down.
2. Brown the chicken well and allow the skin to crisp.Then flip to brown the other side. When the chicken is browned on both sides reposition the chicken so that the skin side is facing up.
3. Add the white wine to the pan to deglaze.Use your spoon to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Allow the pan to sizzle for a minute or so then reduce the heat to achieve a gentle simmer.
4. Add the lemon zest, white balsamic, chicken broth, olives, and capers to the pan.
5. Allow the entire pan to simmer for 1-2 hours depending on the size of the chicken quarters. (Expect aprox. 20-25 min per pound.) You may want to place the lid on the pan during this time, be sure to set the lid partially ajar. Do not fully cover the pan or the chicken skin will become soggy. Cook until meat is tender, meat will visibly begin to separate from the bone. If the sauce in the pan reduces too much during cooking add additional chicken broth as needed.
7. When the meat is fully cooked add sea salt to taste and simmer for an additional five minutes before serving to incorporate the salt. Garnish with additional olives before serving if desired.