Among the list of much too late discovered foods in my life, is roasted olives.  I met these intensely salty, crunchy nuggets when my daughter brought home leftovers from a notable restaurant in LA.   Olives, like beets, cilantro and capers, are polarizing. You either have the palate for them or you don’t. If you’re in the latter camp, omit olives in this insanely easy, sheet pan dinner or you can make friends with tiny bits of the charred olives combined with of bite of succulent dark meat poultry.  Flavor explosion.

I dwell on olives, but the glory, really, is in having a one-pan meal.  It’s flatter and faster, but has all the hands-off relief of a slow-cooker.

Just a few ingredients, including a basic spice mix of fennel seeds, red pepper chili flakes and bay leaves, jack up flavor only to be perfectly balanced by olives and lemon zest.

spice girls

We grind spices down to powder and rub into chicken skins.  If you don’t have a spice mill (mine is an old coffee grinder), use whatever tool in your kitchen works best – mortar/pestle, blender, processor, knife, fingernails.

potato prep

After a nice splay of ingredients on a sheet pan, this dinner will wait in the refrigerator all day long, until you’re ready to roast.

before

Forty minutes later…

roasted

Serve with a simple salad.  Simple.

winner, winner

oven-roasted chicken, potatoes & olives

preptime: 15 min                                   4 large servings

cooktime: 40 min

  • 1 bay leaf, crushed
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes; plus more for serving (optional)
  •  lb fingerling potatoes, halved
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick; about 3 lb.)
  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves with tender stems
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Pulse bay leaf, fennel seeds, and ½ tsp red pepper flakes in spice mill until finely ground.
  3. Toss potatoes, olives, 2 Tbsp oil, and half of spice mixture in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and rub with remaining 2 Tbsp oil; season with salt and pepper and rub with remaining spice mixture.
  5. Arrange potato mixture around chicken.
  6. Roast until potatoes are fork-tender, chicken is cooked through, and skin is crisp, 35–45 minutes. Serve chicken and potato mixture topped with parsley, lemon zest, and more red pepper flakes, if desired; spoon pan juices around.

recipe from Bon Appetit and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com

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