This recipe is a true “some, some and some” recipe – I’m afraid I don’t have exact quantities and usually just judge it according to what feels like the right amount at the time. This dish is very easy (you just do the basic prep and then leave the oven to do its thing) and very delicious. It combines some of my favourite flavours: lemon, olives, oregano, mushrooms and garlic. Except when I made it today, because I forgot the garlic. Don’t be like me when you make it and do remember the garlic!
What you’ll need:
Chicken thighs (enough for whoever many people you’re planning to serve)
About one juicy lemon for every two portions
Quartered (or halved if they’re small) mushrooms
Very finely chopped garlic
Ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
What to do:
1. Pre-heat the oven to about gas mark 6.
2. Cut the lemon in half. Then place the chicken in an oven-proof dish and squeeze the juice from the lemon all over the chicken pieces. When you’ve squeezed the lemon halves, cut them in half again – you’ll end up with some rather squished-looking lemon quarters.
(This is not my proudest photographing-the-cooking-method moment!)
3. Scatter the mushrooms and olives over the chicken pieces and push into all the spaces between the chicken. If space is tight, just push everything down – I’ve done it with a much more crowded pan than today’s.
4. Spread the garlic over the chicken, mushrooms and olives and then generously scatter oregano and ground black pepper over the whole thing. Generously drizzle olive oil over everything and then pop the squeezed lemon quarters into any left-over spaces between the chicken, mushrooms and olives, facing downwards (or skin side up) so that any juice drips down into the pan.
5. Bake in the middle of the pre-heated oven. The amount of time this will take will depend on how many people you’re cooking for and how full the pan is, and may vary from about 40 minutes to an hour. One way to check whether the chicken is done, if you’re not sure, is to stab a couple of pieces in their thickest parts with a fork – if the juices run clear, it’s done. If it starts to get dry during cooking, add a little bit of boiling water to the pan.
6. Unfortunately, today’s meal was a bit of a making-do with what we had, which is why I served it with rice and vegetables. Ideally, I like this with garlic mashed potatoes or new potatoes and butter, and a yummy salad. Enjoy!