Easy Sicilian Harvest Chicken Thighs
By Jon Bailey - January 13, 2020
This post is written in partnership with Perdue Farms, where I am an ambassador.
Those Sicilian immigrants were a scrappy bunch. When I was growing up, I always heard stories about my family coming over from “The Old Country”. Evidently things were really tough there, and coming to America things were tough too. So when they cooked family meals here, the menu was based on the ingredients at hand. This recipe for Sicilian Harvest Chicken Thighs is my interpretation of one of those scrappy menus. Recipes with chicken thighs were popular in our family, and I’m sharing my modern take on one of our favorites.
Recipes with Chicken Thighs
Chicken thighs were inexpensive back in my grandparents’ day, because that part of the chicken was not considered premium. Nowadays chicken thighs are still relatively inexpensive, and we love them because that cut is always more flavorful. When we make recipes with chicken thighs at our house, the family runs to the table at dinner time. Believe me, that does not always happen.
If you add my Sicilian Harvest Chicken to your repertoire of recipes with chicken thighs, maybe your family will run too! And good news: this dish only takes about 30 minutes to prepare.
Sicilian Harvest Chicken Thighs
My Sicilian nana was very resourceful. She had to feed the family on very little money, and so she improvised what what ingredients were fresh and available. The basis of most of her recipes she learned in the Old Country and brought with her when she immigrated through Ellis Island. Here in California, she learned some new tricks by adding the local versions of ingredients she knew at home.
One of my favorite recipes with chicken thighs came from her kitchen. There were a few staples she could always depend on fresh or she canned herself (she called canning “putting up”). I’m going to put up some tomatoes tomorrow, she’d say. This meant she was going to can fresh roasted summer tomatoes in sealed jars for the winter months. Her basement in Sacramento was lined with jars of these and other vegetables and fruits. Roasted artichoke hearts were another thing she “put up” in olive oil and cloves of garlic. Yum!
This is my version of one of her recipes with chicken thighs. I made up the name Sicilian Harvest Chicken Thighs – I have no idea what she called it! I just call it delicious, and I hope you agree.
Ingredients for Sicilian Harvest Chicken
As you gather the ingredients for this very easy Sicilian Harvest Chicken recipe, the more authentic the better. If you have a farmers market in your area, start there if you can. The fresh ingredients in this recipe can often be found there, and organic produce is even better. Sometimes the jarred items called for in recipes with chicken thighs like this one will be sold there too, “put up” by locals.
Also, don’t scrimp on the quality of the chicken thighs you use. It really honestly makes a load of difference when you buy high quality, organic chicken from purveyors like Perdue Farms. We enjoy chicken a lot in our family, so it makes sense for us to buy packs of thighs and keep them in the freezer.
We serve these Sicilian Harvest Chicken Thighs over freshly cooked pasta, because duh. Pasta!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- 5-6 Chicken Thighs (we use Perdue Harvestland Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs)
- Two cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- One small yellow onion, chopped in 1-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups of roasted artichokes in olive oil (not the marinated kind)
- 1 1/4 cups roasted tomatoes (roast them yourself or buy them jarred in their own juices)
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 3/4 cup Italian or Kalamata olives, sliced in half
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Salt & pepper to taste
This is one of the easiest recipes for chicken thighs ever – you won’t believe it.
- Coat the chicken thighs in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken thighs side by side along the bottom of a baking pan with high sides or a casserole dish.
- Pour the artichokes in olive oil over the chicken.
- Add the roasted tomatoes and juices over the chicken.
- Sprinkle onion, garlic and spices.
- Spread spinach leaves over the mixture.
- Scatter the mushrooms and olives over the top.
- Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes (until thighs are cooked through)
While the chicken is baking, boil a pot of water and cook pasta of your choice.
Remove chicken from oven. Let set on stovetop until pasta is ready.
When pasta is cooked al dente, drain and place back in the pot with 1/2 cup reserved pasta water and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Mix to keep pasta from sticking to itself.
Place a serving of pasta on plate, and top with a heaping serving of chicken and vegetable mixture. Scoop several generous spoonfuls of olive oil and juices from bottom of chicken pan, and spoon over pasta and chicken on plate.
Serve with grated parmesan cheese if desired, and a nice crusty slice of Italian bread.
See? This is one of those recipes for chicken thighs that could not be easier to prepare. Sicilian Harvest Chicken Thighs for the win!
If you like this chicken recipe, here are some others you might try: