FFwD: Olive-Olive Chicken Thighs

Olive-Olive Chicken Thighs

by Holly on October 7, 2011

Similar to what I said about Tuesdays with Dorie this week, I also can’t remember the last time I was able to participate in an installment of French Fridays with Dorie. Things haven’t slowed their pace around here at all this week, but this week’s recipe was just too perfect and simple for me to pass up.

This week’s recipe was actually for the Olive-Olive Cornish Hens… as you can tell from the title, I adapted the recipe this week and used some nice, big, juicy chicken thighs I picked up at the store. I actually did go looking for Cornish Hens, but since the only ones I could find were frozen, and I wanted to make this for dinner within an hour or two, I decided to substitute.

Honestly, I’m especially glad that I did.  While I actually really like Cornish Hens, I was happy to not do all the extra work of cutting and flattening the birds. I know it isn’t that difficult or hard to do, but really, taking the chicken thigh short cut made this recipe super fast and family friendly for me to just knock out and pretty much walk away from. It was a seriously beautiful thing and I will definitely make this again.

The recipe really couldn’t be simpler since you just take a little bit of tapenade  that I picked up at the store (by the way, tapenade is a spread made of olives and other yummy stuff, if you aren’t familiar with it, it seems a little bizarre – or did to me at least – but is quite good).  It isn’t difficult to make at home either, but since we just don’t use it that much I’ve never really bothered to keep it on hand – which incidentally, now that I’ve made this recipe, may have to change.

Anyway, you rub a bit of tapenade under the skin, oil your bird or chicken pieces up with some good extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle all the pieces with some salt and pepper (good sea salt and freshly ground black pepper in my case – always SO much better and worth having on hand!) and a nice squeeze of lemon juice and you are good to go.  The chicken thighs took a little longer than the hens would have and I roasted mine in my screaming hot oven for about 38 minutes until it was done and the skin was nice and golden and crispy. I used a baster to pour the pan juices that had collected back over the chicken pieces after they came out of the oven and hit it with some more lemon juice.

I served this chicken to a couple of my cute neighbors who agreed to come over at the last minute and eat dinner with me and my chaotic kids and be my guinea pigs. They loved it and so did we. I also made a simple and quick Chicken Rice Pilaf to go with it. I’ve made this rice recipe several times now and it couldn’t be easier. It is absolutely delicious and flavorful and fluffy. The kids even gobble it up and that is always a huge plus!

For more versions of the Olive-Olive (Chicken) Cornish Hens, please visit the French Fridays with Dorie site.


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Barefoot Pregnant and In The Kitchen October 7, 2011 at 5:33 am

I love chicken thighs…. they are so under used. Everyone loves the breast meat but I say thighs are the best! I will have to save your pilaf recipe. I used to make my own its been a while since we have had it though. Yours looks yummy!

Eileen October 7, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Great idea to use the thighs, making an easy recipe even easier! Looks good to me. Hope life settles down for you soon.

KarenP October 7, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Those chicken thighs (and your whole meal) look wonderful!

Cher October 8, 2011 at 4:48 am

Chicken thighs were a great substiution.
The pilaf looks really good. Thanks for sharing.

Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} October 8, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Beautiful dinner! I’m so glad you shared it!

luciacara October 9, 2011 at 6:47 am

wow – really lovely photos! Great idea to use chicken thighs.

Adriana October 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm

I also did chicken thighs with the tapenade and would definitely try them again. Your meal looks lovely! Thanks for sharing the pilaf recipe.

Alice October 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm

didn’t you love the lemon with it?? 🙂

Teresa October 17, 2011 at 7:09 pm

No shame in substituting chicken thighs! If it helps get dinner on the table, substitutions are wonderful. I bet the thighs were really juicy and flavourful, too. It’s almost shocking how quickly this meal comes together, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing the pilaf recipe, too.

jora November 1, 2011 at 5:18 am

I’m always so impressed by people who are brave enough to substitute in recipes! I get way too hung up on following recipes exactly. Your whole dinner looks great!

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