Skillet Chicken and Rice With Anchovies and Olives
This one-pan meal is inspired by the flavors of pasta con le Sarde, a classic Sicilian dish made with sardines and fennel. Anchovies take the place of sardines here, for a more assertive, punchy flavor. The brininess of the anchovies and olives is rounded out by the sweetness of the sautéed fennel, orange juice and golden raisins, which plump up beautifully as they cook. Serve with a Sicilian white wine and simply dressed arugula.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (4 to 6 thighs)
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1medium fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and diced, plus more fennel fronds, for serving
- 1medium yellow onion, diced
- 1teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼cup roughly chopped anchovy fillets
- 5garlic cloves, minced
- ¼teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
- 1tablespoon tomato paste
- ¾cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio
- 1cup long-grain white rice
- ¾cup pitted Castelvetrano or other green olives, halved lengthwise
- ⅓cup raisins, preferably golden
- 2cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1medium navel orange, 1/2 juiced and 1/2 thinly sliced
Step 1Heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a 12-inch skillet with a lid, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium. Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and season them with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, place the thighs in the skillet, skin-side down. Cook, undisturbed, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and the chicken releases easily from the pan. You may need to raise the heat slightly during the last few minutes if the skin isn’t browned enough.
Step 2Flip the chicken thighs and cook for 3 minutes on the other side, then transfer to a plate and set aside.
Step 3Discard all but about 3 tablespoons fat from the skillet. Add the diced fennel, onion and oregano, and cook over medium for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Add the anchovies, garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant.
Step 4Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until it begins to caramelize and turn rusty brown in color. Add the wine and cook, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, until the liquid has almost completely evaporated.
Step 5Add the rice, olives and raisins to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, orange juice and a few grinds of black pepper, and bring to a simmer.
Step 6Place the chicken thighs on top, skin-side up, nestling them into the liquid so only the skin is above the surface. Cut the orange slices into half-moons and arrange them around the chicken. Drizzle the orange slices with olive oil.
Step 7Cover and bake for 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. (If you’d like to crisp the chicken skin, pop the pan under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes.)
Step 8Top with fennel fronds, more red-pepper flakes and a sprinkle of salt. Serve hot.