I’m not usually a source for hit-the-kitchen-running recipe ideas. I prefer to keep things chill, methodical, and occasionally, blissfully monotonous. Meditating on the vastness of the universe while pleating dozens of dumplings – that is much more my aesthetic. But I, like everyone one else, don’t always have time to parse the unknowable truths of the human experience one ravioli at a time. Sometimes I have places to go, people to see and a very small window of time in which to feed myself. And when I find myself in this position, I make this Chicken Farro Skillet with Green Olives and Preserved Lemon.
Look, Ma! I Made Something Approachable
So, yes, this dish does fall under the “one-pot” umbrella of easy dinners. And yes, my inner food snob is having trouble with that fact. But this is a recipe for single vessel cooking that actually makes sense. The issue I have with one pot, sheet pan situations is the cook times. Enforcing a single cook time onto a wildly different array of ingredients irks me. Often times you have to overcook one thing to completely cook through another.
How to be Annoying
When I cook I want to give every ingredient the best possible treatment. And, for the most part, that means cooking each ingredient in a way that highlights their unique attributes. This is not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Am I aware of how snobby and fussy that sounds? Painfully so. Am I going to change? Well, I’m 33, so probs not. Should my recipes be something you attempt every night? Oh hell no! I don’t even do that. Honestly, sometimes I make guacamole, crack open a bag of chips and call it dinner. And half of my dinners are leftovers. So, no I don’t expect you to crank out five-star meals every night while maintaining a youthful glow and following through on all your social and professional obligations. Dinner shaming is not a part of this blog’s manifesto.
Restaurant Flavor, Bargain Basement Prices
But if you’re millimeters away from spending a bundle on a night out because you’re short on time and the prospect of powered cheese mix is nauseating, drop those keys because this Chicken Farro Skillet is for you. I realize I’m tooting my own horn here, but this skillet tastes completely restaurant-worthy and it takes a minuscule amount of effort. Oh, and the ingredients are easy to find with the exception of the preserved lemon and saffron, both of which you can omit altogether.
If you do decide to give the preserved lemon the boot, I would suggest adding another 1/2 a lemon’s worth of juice and upping the salt by a 1/4 teaspoon. The saffron, although subtle, adds a floral quality to the dish and further highlights the golden hue of the farro. The saffron is nice and it adds a touch of luxury, which my self-indulgent ass quite likes. But you won’t acutely feel its absence if it doesn’t make the cut.
Chicken Farro Skillet – How Easy Are We Talking?
Okay, so I’ve touched upon how simple the Chicken Farro Skillet is to make but I haven’t walked you through the process. So, first things first, you’re in for a bit of mincing and stirring. At the end of this less-than-laborious activity, you have a marinade for your chicken. Pop that chicken in the fridge and walk away. Go fold some socks, watch something trashy on TV or lose twenty rounds of solitaire, whatever floats your boat.
After the chicken has luxuriated, you have to brown it in a screaming hot cast-iron skillet. You don’t want to cook the chicken through, you just want to get some color on it. From there, there’s a little light sauteing of some shallots and then all you have to do is put everything into the skillet, bring it to a boil and pop it in the oven. Pick up that deck of cards once again and wait for your obnoxious kitchen timer to make its presence known.
After a brief stint in the oven, your Chicken Farro Skillet is done and ready to eat. Yes, you heard me right. I swear to you, that is it. I know, it’s weird to get a recipe from me that requires almost no thinking and little dexterity. What have a become? Thank goodness this recipe takes longer than 30 minutes and calls for more than five ingredients or I’d be in the throes of a full-blown identity crisis.
So, that’s everything you need to know about this Chicken Farro Skillet with Green Olives and Preserved Lemon. It’s the perfect meal for the tired, stressed and/or overworked. Truly a dish for everyone because when was the last time you encounter a stress-free individual?
Chicken Farro Skillet with Green Olives & Preserved Lemon
- Cast iron skillet
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 preserved lemon finely chopped
- 1 large clove garlic minced
- 1/4 cup fresh mint finely chopped
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard heaping
- 2 tsp whole grain mustard heaping
- 1 tsp salt divided
- 4-6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
- 1/4 tsp saffron threads
- 2 shallots peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 cup farro
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup green olives pit removed, halved
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1/4 cup sunflower micro-greens
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Pour the olive oil into a large bowl. Add the lemon juice, preserved lemon, garlic, mint, honey, both mustards, and half of the salt. Whisk to combine. Place the chicken thighs in the bowl and toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least an hour.
- While the chicken is marinating, place the saffron in a mortar and pestle along with a pinch of salt. Grind until a fine powder forms. Transfer the powder to a small bowl and cover with boiling water (roughly 2 tbsps and no more than a 1/4 cup). Set aside to steep.
- Once the hour has passed, preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat a quarter-sized amount of olive oil over medium-high heat until nearly smoking.
- Take the chicken thighs out of the marinade and place them in the skillet, fat-sized-down. Reserve the marinade. Sear the chicken on both sides until just golden. We're not trying to cook the chicken, we just want to render some of the fat out and get some color on the thighs. Once golden, transfer the thighs to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the shallots along with a pinch of salt. Saute until just softened, about five minutes. Add the farro and saute until it turns a slightly darker shade and gives off a nutty aroma.
- Pour the stock into the skillet and add the reserved marinade, the remaining salt, the saffron and its steeping liquid, and the green olives. Stir to combine. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Let cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the chicken thighs back into the skillet. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating once halfway.
- Once the farro is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, take the skillet out of the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley, sunflower micro-greens, and fresh lemon wedges.