We’re big fans of Mediterranean-inspired food over here, which means I’m sharing with you two ways to do chicken thighs in a “one-pot” meal today. One is Greek Chicken and Potatoes and the second is Middle Eastern Chicken and Rice. From the moment I acquired my Lodge skillet-and-dutch-oven-in-one I have found so many dishes where searing is required to be so awesomely compact. I sear and then just turn the skillet with juices and all over and the “skillet” becomes the lid to the Dutch Oven. Brilliant, Lodge. I love it.
The magic of chicken thighs (skin on or skin off, bone in or bone out) is its preternatural ability to turn potatoes or rice into an explosion of flavour. Whatever you want to soak up those delicious meaty flavours should be at the bottom of your pot. One pot meals are amazing because after prepping the food, it really only takes 1/2 hour to 45 minutes to cook all together.
Greek Chicken with Lemon Potatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 white onion
- 1/2 pound of baby potatoes (yukon and red mix) sliced in half
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano
- 2 lemons juiced and the rinds thrown in the pot
- 6-8 chicken thighs
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
We prep our chicken first by searing them in the lid-skillet for 5-10 minutes in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. We set aside and chop onions, potatoes, juice lemons, and throw everything in the pot with olive oil.
Stir in the half the oregano and lay the chicken breasts on top. Spread the reserved half of oregano on the thighs, cover and pop in the oven for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes (depending on the desired crispiness of the potatoes.)
We serve our thighs with raw onion, sliced cherry tomatoes, cucumber and greek yogurt that has both lemon juice and oregano stirred in with salt. The little people in our home eat everything in a wrap. Us larger people usually opt for a salad and a small (think 1/4 cup) side of potatoes.
Middle Eastern Chicken and Rice Skillet
This recipe comes compliments of Ottolenghi and is ravish-the-entire-pot delicious, especially if you like the flavour of cinnamon-cardamom-currants (or raisins in our case) type dishes.
- 2 1/2 tbsp currants (or barberries or raisins or even dried cranberries)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 6-8 chicken thighs
- 10 cardamom pods in the mortar
- 10 cloves in the mortar
- 2 long cinnamon sticks broken in half
- 1 2/3 cups rice
- 2 1/4 boiling water
- 1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped dill
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1/3 cup greek yogurt
- salt and freshly ground pepper
In the Dutch oven heat half the olive oil and cooke the onions over medium head (10-15 minutes) until they are caramelized. The trick with caramelized onions is to resist moving them even though you think they are burning. If you are really concerned about them just add a little (teaspoon) of water and a little sugar to bump up the process. As they are caramelizing season your thighs with 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, then mix in the cardamom, reserved olive oil, cloves and cinnamon; using your hands to get the spices mixed into the chicken skin really well. Then pop them in a medium high heat skillet and sear 3-5 minutes a side. Remove from heat.
Transfer onion out of the pot into a bowl. Dump the dry rice into the bottom of the Dutch oven with the caramelized onion, salt and pepper. Add the dried fruit and stir well. Return the chicken to the pan, pushing it into the rice.
Pour the boiling water over the rice and chicken, core the pan, and cook over low heat on the stovetop for 30 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and leave undisturbed for 10 more minutes, lid on. Add fresh herbs before serving. Serve with a side of greek yogurt.