This dish came about out of necessity, improvised with items I had on hand when some unexpected guests showed up. It was one of my best spontaneous dishes, and now I serve it regularly. The lemon juice tenderizes the chicken and the salty capers and olives mix with the juices to create a sauce. You can use chicken thighs or buy a whole chicken and cut it into pieces.

Serves 4


  • 4 large or 8 small organic chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup mixed pitted olives
  • 2 tablespoons drained nonpareil capers
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 400° F, with a rack in the middle position.

Place the chicken skin side up in a baking dish. Scatter the lemon wedges, olives, and capers on top of the chicken.

Pour the lemon juice and olive oil over the chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake until golden, basting with the juices once, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh reads 165°F. Serve.

Excerpted from Sweet Paul Eat & Make, © 2014 by Paul Lowe Einlyng. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.


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