As a recipe developer dedicated to making weeknight cooking both easy and flavorful, I’m more or less obsessed with the idea of “back pocket” recipes, i.e. the type of dinner recipes that come together quickly using ingredients you probably have on hand. This Castelvetrano Olive Chicken Skillet with Lemon & Shallots completely fits the bill.
Made with 5-ish staple ingredients, this one-skillet dinner comes together by simply roasting extra-flavorful chicken thighs with meaty Castelvetrano olives, shallots, & lemon. Each component melds together in a rich, briny, & bright pan sauce, creating a final dish that’s truly greater than the sum of its parts.
If you’re olive-obsessed like me, I’m sure you’ll be thrilled that this recipe gives you another use for the jar of Castelvetrano olives that you undoubtedly keep in your pantry – but even if you don’t typically love olives, I think you’ll still love this recipe as written. Castelvetrano olives are a variety of Sicilian green olives that are known for their mild, buttery flavor & meaty texture – they’re not nearly as harsh & briny as Kalamata olives, which makes them a great “gateway” variety to try.
As far as serving goes, feel free to pair with whatever side dishes you love most. For me, I think this chicken and olives skillet is pretty much perfect all on its own, but finishing it off with a generous amount of leafy fresh herbs & dragging a crusty piece of bread through the skillet to soak up all the pan sauce is never a bad idea, either. *Wink!*
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (2.5–3 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
- 4 large shallots, quartered lengthwise
- 2 lemons, juiced (approx. ⅓ cup lemon juice)
- ½ cup chicken stock or broth
- one 10-ounce jar pitted Frescatrano or Castelvetrano olives, drained & torn into large pieces
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- for serving, as desired: extra virgin olive oil, leafy parsley, lemon zest, lemon wedges, crusty bread, etc.
- Brown the chicken: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, ensuring a rack is positioned in the center of the oven. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed oven-safe skillet (such as cast iron or stainless steel) over medium-high heat. Use paper towels to pat the chicken thighs as dry as possible, then season well with 2 teaspoons kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Once the oil is hot & simmering, brown the chicken. Work in batches as needed to avoid overcrowding the pan. Carefully place the chicken thighs skin side down. Cook 5-6 minutes, until golden brown & rendered. Flip the chicken & cook 3-4 minutes more, until golden brown. Transfer to a plate & set aside.
- Assemble the olive chicken skillet: Add the shallots to the skillet. Season with a good pinch of kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Stir to coat in the chicken drippings. Deglaze the skillet with lemon juice & chicken broth, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Nestle the chicken thighs back into the skillet, along with the crushed olives.
- Roast: Transfer the olive chicken skillet to the oven. Roast 15-20 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh without hitting bone registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Serve: Finish the skillet with EVOO, leafy herbs like parsley, & a good squeeze of lemon juice. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Ingredient Notes:
- Can I use boneless, skinless chicken instead? Sure! While we love bone-in, skin-on chicken for its richness, juiciness, & crispy skin, boneless chicken breasts or thighs will also work for this olive chicken skillet. Since the schmaltzy juices of bone-in, skin-on chicken really help to create a delicious pan sauce, you’ll likely need to compensate with extra chicken stock or broth & adjust cooking times as needed to ensure the chicken cooks through without drying out.
- Castelvetrano olives are Sicilian green olives with a mild, briny, almost buttery flavor & meaty texture. They’re absolutely delicious – even if you don’t typically love olives! You can find them near other jarred olives in most conventional grocery stores, & they’re also typically included in an olive bar, too. If you cannot find castelvetrano olives, the best substitutes for this recipe are Frescantrano or Picholine olives.
- Storage & Reheating: While the chicken is crispiest & best enjoyed immediately after it’s cooked, leftover chicken and olives will keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed through.
Keywords: chicken skillet dinner, skillet recipe, chicken and olives skillet, Castelvetrano olives recipe, chicken thighs recipe