Aired August 25, 2014
Brown the chicken: In a wide, heavy-based sauté or frying pan, preferably cast-iron, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken parts well with some salt and a lot of black pepper. Add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook until the skin is well-browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Turn the chicken, reduce the heat to medium, partially cover the pan (another pan, inverted, can take the place of a lid) and continue cooking another 15 minutes.
My mother used to make something like this when I was a kid, and I loved it. I’ve tried a few times to get the chicken to taste just like hers, but memory is a funny thing; I’ve never felt I’ve gotten it quite right, and she doesn’t remember what recipe I’m talking about. This may not be exactly what my mom made, but it’s simple, fairly quick to make, and quite satisfying nonetheless. I like to use large, meaty green olives to finish the dish. As for the chicken, my preference is for dark meat only; if you do add bone-in chicken breast, cut it in half with a cleaver to better fit in the pan. Whatever you do, don’t think too hard about this dish. It’s for supper, not four-star dining. - Scott Conant