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Roast Chicken with Caramelized Lemons, Cherry Tomatoes and Olives

Thank goodness for family favorites. You know, the dishes you can count on to delight your crew even if you wind up making it several times in a week. Today's recipe has quickly become one of my most trusted, tried and true dinner entrees for a bunch of reasons.

For starters, whenever I make it, my whole family fights tooth and nail for every last little cherry tomato and olive, whose flavors get insanely rich from all the caramelizing in the sauté pan. Who "got more tomatoes and olives" has become such an issue in my house that I've started adding an extra handful of each beyond what the recipe calls for -- which is actually great because I've found that the more you add the better this dish gets.

Second, if you think this recipe is tasty right out of the oven, just wait until you try it on day two. You will start hoping there's enough for leftovers every time you make it, as the flavors come together even more and the chicken stays moist and juicy under the skin. Mentioning the skin, I had no idea how much my kids adored crispy skin until I made this dish for the first time. I usually try to avoid eating skin and remove it because it's not the healthiest, but let's be honest, it's pretty much the best part.

Third, the taste of caramelized lemons….are you kidding me??!!

If those aren't reasons enough to convince you to make this Roast Chicken with Caramelized Lemons, Cherry Tomatoes and Olives than just the blessing of only having to clean up one pan after dinner, instead an entire sinkful of them, should make you think twice. It will only add to the post-meal smile that will be on your face.

I beg you to make this one. It's seriously worth the un-effort!

This recipe is part of Food Network's Sensational Sides article. Click the links below for more inspiration!

Jeanette's Healthy LivingRoasted Cauliflower, Carrots and Chickpeas With Halloumi Cheese
Dishin & DishesRoasted Asparagus and Avocado Toast
Cooking With EliseRoasted Strawberries and a Mixed Green Salad
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WeeliciousRoast Chicken With Caramelized Lemons, Cherry Tomatoes and Olives
Napa Farmhouse 1885Roasted Leeks With Polenta and Pork Tenderloin 
Red or Green?Spicy Roasted Radishes and Asparagus With Balsamic Vinegar
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The Sensitive EpicureRoasted Fingerling Potatoes and Asparagus With Rosemary
Feed Me PhoebeArtichokes With White Wine and Thyme
DevourOven Roasted Vegetable Recipes
FN DishAn Ode to the Oven, Roasted Side Dish Recipes

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Roast Chicken with Caramelized Lemons, Cherry Tomatoes and Olives (4)

Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 30 mins

egg free

dairy free

gluten free

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable or Canola Oil
  • 4 chicken breasts, bone in and skin on
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 lemon cut in half
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • handful of thyme (about 8-10 stems)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. Heat the oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat.

3. Pat the chicken breasts dry, make sure they are very dry, and sprinkle the top with the salt.

4. Place the chicken breasts, skin side down, in the heated oil and sear for 5 minutes, or until skin is crisp and golden brown.

5. Flip the chicken over. Add the lemon, olives, tomatoes and thyme to the skillet and transfer to the oven.

6. Roast for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.



*The chicken breasts I used were 3/4 pound each.

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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. My passion is creating simple, healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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56 comments

  • Alyson

    This looks delicious, and I who doesn't love a one-pan meal?! Have you ever tried adding fingerling potatoes to the pan? I'm just wondering how the timing would work. I could always cook them in a separate pan, but it would be great to put it all in one!

    Thanks so much!

    leave a comment

    • Brandi

      I was wondering the same about adding potatoes. :-). Weelicious, please do answer this question!

      leave a comment

    • Ana

      You could could pre-cook the potatoes and then add them to the chicken to finish roasting. When I roast a turkey I usually slice the potatoes and line the bottom of the roasting pan with them. they get cooked with all the juices of the turkey and they are delicious!! but a turkey cooks for longer time than this chicken so I think pre-cooking partially may work.

      leave a comment

    • Catherine

      I haven't done that with this recipe, because it only cooks for 25 minutes and potatoes usually take longer than that to cook. Also, my pan wouldn't hold the chicken breasts and potatoes, it is too small! If you cut them small enough the potatoes would cook in 25 minutes, but I would probably put them on a sheet tray drizzled with oil and salt and just put it in the oven at the same time!

      leave a comment

  • Julie

    This feels like a silly question but how do I know if my skillet is oven-proof??

    leave a comment

    • Alyson

      Julie - I think that whether a skillet is oven-proof or not usually has to do with what material was used for the handle. If you're using a pan that is all stainless-steel or all cast iron or enameled cast iron (e.g., Le Creuset), then you should be fine. Many recipes also say you can wrap a handle with foil to make it oven-safe, although I have not tried it. Also note that the handles of the lids for some pans (even Le Creuset) can be an issue, but that's not a factor for this recipe. In any event, the easiest thing to do is Google the type of pan you have!

      leave a comment

    • Ana

      Yes, Alyson is right, is there is anything plastic on your skillet, then it could melt in the oven.

      leave a comment

    • Catherine

      If it is all stainless steel, cast iron, or enameled cast iron it is most likely oven proof. If there is anything plastic on it (or even those silicon handles sometimes) it is probably not. What brand of skillet do you have? The manufacturer's website will probably tell whether or not it is oven-proof!

      leave a comment

  • Melissa

    And what about using thighs? We are a dark meat family. Thanks!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Follow the same recipe, but check the chicken for doneness and add a few minutes onto the cooking time as dark meat can take longer to cook!

      leave a comment

  • Sylvia

    ok- I am drooling a little . This sounds easy and delicious. I will most certainly try it next week. Thanks for a one-pan wonder!

    leave a comment

  • Irina

    Yum! This brings back memories! I loved a similar dish as a kid!
    Grandma used to add some onions in there as well. I am definitely trying this soon (though last time I made it, my Kiddo disliked the lemon in it).

    leave a comment

  • Shannon

    Ohhhhh num yummy. I have been looking for a great, easy, go-to chicken recipe and am pretty sure this is it!
    Have you tried it with other olives, like kalamata?
    Thanks

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Kalamata olives would be wonderful!

      leave a comment

  • Shannon

    2nd question: Do you cover the pan in the over at all? Do you have any problem with oil spitting/sputtering out?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Nope! I leave it uncovered and don't have a problem with splattering. Make sure to dry the chickens really well before placing them in the hot oil!

      leave a comment

  • Catherine

    Great recipe!!! I have organic chicken legs on my grocery list. They are $1.99/lb @ Trader Joes so I think this would be nice for this dish.

    leave a comment

  • Julia

    Great recipe--the colors in this dish are just beautiful.

    leave a comment

  • Michele

    Would dried thyme work well? If so, how much would you suggest?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      I would use 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of dried thyme since it is much more potent! Maybe sprinkle it over everything just before putting it in the oven.

      leave a comment

    • Rangga

      Do not admit as true with the entire thing on that post, but you do churn out a numebr of extraordinarily high-quality things. I’m enormously excited about this subject and I myself act alot of study as well. Anyhow it was a well thoughtout and enjoyable study so I figured I would leave you a note. sense free to check out my web page sometime & let me recognize what u feel.VA:F [1.9.10_1130]please wait...VA:F [1.9.10_1130](from 0 votes)

      leave a comment

  • Dana

    Ok, you had me at caramelized lemons! I can't wait to make this for my family.
    -Dana

    leave a comment

  • Sue

    How big is the pan you used? I am not sure I can fit all four breasts in my stainless steel pan.

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      I used a 9-inch skillet!

      leave a comment

  • Mamas’ Link Round-Up « Those Young Moms

    [...] Easy Roast Chicken with Caramelized Lemons, Cherry Tomatoes and Olives – weelicious [...]

    leave a comment

  • Cindy

    How do you make carmelized lemons?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      The lemons caramelize while they're roasting in the oven with everything else!

      leave a comment

  • Kris Caterer

    it’s always good when i find a blog that teachs and inpires me so much! Thank you!

    leave a comment

  • Jennifer

    This is absolutely delicious. Even my very picky 2 year old ate it. Thank you!

    leave a comment

  • Cheryl

    what would you do different if using a whole chicken?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      You could follow the directions for the Perfect Roast Chicken and just add the lemons, tomatoes and olives to the pan! http://b12.ba4.myftpupload.com/2012/03/19/perfect-roast-chicken/

      leave a comment

  • Susan

    Oh. My. Goodness. This is fabulous!

    leave a comment

  • Jocelyn Oei

    Thanks for sharing one of your tried-and-true recipes! Adding tomatoes, olives and lemon dressed up the weekly roast chicken (I use chicken quarters). I seasoned the chicken with lemon pepper and salt, then followed the recipe as stated. The tomatoes, lemon and olives made such a rich gravy. Even my picky eater son ate every last bite! Love, love, love!!

    leave a comment

  • Office Catering London

    That looks such tasty ! Wonderful !

    leave a comment

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  • Megan

    could i use boneless chicken breasts?

    leave a comment

  • Megan

    can u use boneless breasts?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      You can, but you'll need to cook them for way less time. So keep an eye on them!

      leave a comment

  • zel105

    Does the chicken need to be covered once it's in the oven?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Nope! :)

      leave a comment

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  • Katie

    I made this last week and it was so good!

    leave a comment

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  • Elaina

    Hi this roast chicken with carmelized lemons looked amazing. How many lemons and are they sliced, diced, whole? The recipe does not state. From the photo it looks like 1 lemon sliced in half. Thanks!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      1 lemon cut in half! It is the 4th ingredient in the recipe list. :)

      leave a comment

  • MT

    A good last minute recipe to make and soooooo delicious!

    leave a comment

  • Dori

    roast chiken w csrmelized .lemons cherry tomatoes

    leave a comment

  • Dawnsheridan

    This was so good and very easy! Perfect for a novice cook like myself! Thanks Catherine...

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      So glad it was a hit!

      leave a comment