Mediterranean Chicken Thighs
What’s for dinner? When in doubt, go with baked chicken! Roasted Mediterranean Chicken Thighs with tomatoes and olives is a one pan meal with both a main and side dish cooked together as one recipe. Serve it as an easy chicken dinner for two.
When you don’t know what to make for dinner, what is your go to recipe? The one you can make without looking it up? The one where no matter how many times you make it, you will never stop loving it?
Mine is roasted chicken thighs or quarters with crispy chicken skin. Brown it on the stove, throw it in the oven, and (im)patiently wait for it to bake.
Roasted chicken is a blank canvas for flavor, so after some brainstorming, I came up with Mediterranean Chicken Thighs with olives, tomatoes and garlic.
Why? Because I love olives, tomatoes, and garlic. Anything I can do to turn them into dinner, I will do.
When I was writing about Romantic Dinners For Two At Home, I realized I cook way too much chicken.
I can’t help it; chicken is so versatile and affordable. Plus I learned how to butcher a whole chicken in culinary school, which makes it even cheaper.
It’s no wonder I make it all the time.
To make my Mediterranean Chicken Thighs recipe a complete chicken dinner for two with a side dish, I baked the chicken thighs on top of tomatoes, olives, garlic, thyme, and lemon.
It’s all roasted together in one pan, which means you don’t have to make a separate side dish while the chicken bakes.
Less cooking, less dishes, more time for dinner.
Ingredients For Mediterranean Chicken Thighs
The ingredients for your chicken thighs with tomatoes and olives are as follows:
- Chicken thighs: Use bone in, skin on chicken thighs for best flavor. You can also substitute chicken legs or quarters.
- Salt and pepper: Used to season the chicken
- Olive oil: Used to seer the chicken as well as help roast the vegetables.
- Garlic cloves: Leave whole and unpeeled so they’ll soften faster while baking.
- Cherry tomatoes: Adds both freshness and acidity
- Olives I used a variety of kalamata and green olives. Sometimes I’ll even use garlic stuffed olives!
- Balsamic vinegar: My favorite vinegar and the perfect accompaniment to Mediterranean cuisine
- Sea salt: I highly recommend using sea or kosher salt as their flakes are larger than table salt.
- Lemon: Adds acidity to balance the fat from the chicken and olive oil
- Thyme: Adds freshness to the dish. You can easily substitute rosemary or another hardy herb.
- Feta: Adds a touch of saltiness
I rarely make a separate side dish (mainly because that’s extra dishes to do), so any time I can make a main and side at the same time, I will.
Underneath the chicken is a medley of tomatoes, olives, garlic, and lemon wedges tossed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and sea salt.
I guess you can say a medley of roasted fruit since technically olives and tomatoes are fruit, but that sounds weird, doesn’t it?
Olives are salty, briny, and meaty, making them a great pairing with chicken. I used both kalamata and green olives with whole pimento because I love the color contrast between the green and purple and how they have different flavor profiles.
Random trivia: Did you know a green olive is just an under-ripened black olive? I thought it was its own variety, like how there are different kinds of apples. Who knew!
How many servings does Mediterranean Chicken Thighs make?
My Mediterranean baked chicken makes 4 chicken thighs with the intention of each person getting 2 thighs plus half of the tomato olive mixture.
That makes this recipe a chicken dinner for two.
Plenty of chicken thigh recipes out there make 8 thighs (or more!). That’s why I wanted to scale it down for those of us who only cook for 1-2 people.
However, if you want to double my recipe it certainly can be done. You’ll have to brown the chicken in batches then transfer everything to a 13×9 pan to fit everything.
How To Make Mediterranean Chicken Thighs
To make Mediterranean baked chicken, first pat your chicken thighs dry and season with salt and pepper.
Next, heat some of your oil in a large oven-proof skillet. Once hot, add the chicken skin side down and cook for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and brown the other side for 5 minutes.
If your skillet isn’t large enough, you may need to do this in two batches. Add more oil if necessary.
Meanwhile, mix together your garlic, tomatoes, both olives, remaining oil, balsamic vinegar, and sea salt.
Once the chicken is done, transfer it to a plate and keep warm. Drain any excess fat left in the pan then wipe clean.
Add the tomato mixture to the bottom of the skillet then place the chicken on top. Add the lemon wedges and thyme in between the chicken.
If your skillet isn’t oven-proof or not large enough, you can transfer everything to an 8×8 pan.
Bake at 400F for 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165F. Crumble feta on top before serving.
If you’re using chicken quarters instead of thighs, you’ll like need to roast for 45-50 minutes.
How To Make Chicken Skin Crispy In The Oven
To get crispy chicken skin in the oven, first you brown the chicken thighs on the stove. You may be tempted to skip this step, but don’t. Without it, the skin will be flabby.
After browning, you finish baking them in the oven because bone-in chicken takes longer to cook than boneless.
If you were to finish cooking them on the stove, you’d also risk burning the outside before the inside is fully cooked.
Although I used a 12 inch cast iron skillet (affiliate link), you can use any oven-proof large skillet.
Just be careful of touching the handle. One time the hot skillet was resting after I pulled it from the oven. I instinctively touched the handle to move it and burned my fingers.
More Chicken Dinners For Two
Enjoyed this recipe? Check out more recipes for chicken dinners for two:
- 4 boned-in chicken thighs with skin*
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 8 whole unpeeled garlic cloves
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup green olives with pimento
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- Preheat oven to 400F. Pat the thighs dry and lightly season with salt and pepper.
- In a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Once hot, add the chicken thighs skin side down and cook for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and brown the other side for 5 minutes.
If your skillet isn't large enough, you may need to do this in two batches. Add more oil if necessary.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together the garlic, tomatoes, both olives, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, balsamic vinegar, and sea salt.
- Once the chicken has finished browning, transfer to a plate and keep warm. Drain any excess fat left in the pan. Wipe clean.
- Add the tomato mixture to the bottom of the skillet. Place the chicken on top. Add the lemon wedges and thyme in between the chicken.
If your skillet isn't oven-proof or large enough, you can transfer everything to an 8x8 pan.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165F. Crumble feta on top before serving.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.