This is one of my favourite comforting baked chicken dishes. It’s elegant enough to serve at a dinner party (which I have many times), but not too tricky or time consuming to make as a weeknight dinner.
The best part of this dish is the caramelised onions. There was recently an article about the controversy of recipe timings, particularly about caramelising onions. I thought it was rather hilarious, but very true. For this dish I encourage you to take your time to get the onions right. You can certainly do them ahead of time too. You can do the onions when you have time then put it all together at dinner time.
8-10 chicken thigh fillets
4 large brown onions
6 sprigs thyme
2 lemons, thinly sliced
a handful black olives
a little seasoned flour to dust the thighs
a little olive oil for frying
salt and pepper
100ml white wine
Slice your onions into thin slices. Heat a good amount of olive oil in a frying pan and add the onions, thyme and a good pinch of salt. You want to start with a high heat to get things going, but then turn down to medium-low and stir. It will take a long time, probably at least 30 minutes, maybe longer. It’s worth doing it right!
When the onions are done, transfer them to a baking tray and set aside. Meanwhile lightly flour and season each chicken thigh and brown in a little olive oil. Cook until brown but not cooked through. Place on top of the onions. Top with slices of lemons and olives. Deglaze the frying pan with the wine then add the wine to the tray with the chicken and onions. Top with a little more water if necessary, so that the liquid comes half way up the chicken.
Bake in a 180 degree oven for 45 minutes, up to an hour. The chicken will be tender and juicy and the sauce would have reduced and thickened.