Garlicky Chicken with Lemon-Anchovy Sauce

Noritake Blue Hammock Dinnerware | HomeGoods Macrame Placemats (similar from World Market)

You guys sent SO MANY RECIPES! My stomach thanks you, as does my wallet – because something I really appreciated was that so many of the ideas you sent – and please keep them coming – use normal-ish ingredients that I already have in my cupboard, as opposed to, say, saffron threads (WHY must saffron be so expensive?).

The first recipe I decided to try was one for Garlicky Chicken with Lemon-Anchovy Sauce. It was sent over by Mimi, who called it “one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.” Sounds good to me.

Oddly enough, because the New York Times is usually extremely on the ball with their recipes, I was midway through cooking when I realized that I needed to make some adjustments in order to a) make sure the chicken was cooked through and b) keep the garlic from burning, and my suspicions were confirmed when I went back to the original “give me your recipes” post and saw that Mimi had commented noting the exact same issue.

Clearly this means that Mimi and I should be running the New York Times.

My All-Time Favorite Reader-Submitted Recipes

Anyway, here’s the recipe with the adjustments I made (I also increased the proportions slightly to accommodate the trio of wolfhounds that live with me, so the below will generously feed a family of four). I was extremely, extremely reluctant to use anchovies mostly because the idea of peeling open the little metal box and getting anchovy slime all over my fingers was a little anxiety-inducing, but I got over that – and I have to admit that the creepy little monsters did add some next-level flavor to the sauce (and my weirdo children were super excited to see them go into the pot, but if your own children would be less enamored of the idea of eating anchovies, rest assured that there’s no visual trace of them whatsoever in the finished dish).

This recipe isn’t terribly dissimilar from the Chicken Vesuvio I make all the time, but I love the extra tanginess and saltiness that the capers and lemons (and, okay, the anchovies) lend here – it’s make-sure-you-have-a-loaf-of-bread-to-wipe-up-the-sauce delicious.

garlicky chicken with lemon anchovy and caper sauce


What You Need:

  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs 
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 anchovy fillets
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers, patted dry
  • 1 large pinch chile flakes (Note: I left this out)
  • 1/2 cup white wine (Note: My addition)
  • 2 tbsp butter (Note: My addition)
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for serving

What You Do: 

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel, season with salt and pepper, and let rest.
  2. Mince one of the garlic cloves and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large, ovenproof skillet (one with a lid). Add the remaining smashed garlic cloves, anchovies, capers and chile flakes (if using). Cook, stirring frequently and breaking up the anchovies with the back of a spoon as they dissolve, 3-5 minutes (you might want to add the garlic halfway through this process, if your cloves are on the smaller side). Remove the anchovy-caper oil to a small dish and set aside.
  4. In the same pot – working in batches, if necessary – cook the chicken thighs until browned all over (approximately 10 minutes total).
  5. At this point, I deviated from the original recipe and decided to add a little white wine (maybe 1/2 cup). Once it reached a low boil, I returned the anchovy-caper oil to the pot, gave it a stir to coat evenly, and placed the covered pot in the oven for about ten minutes to finish cooking. (Note: Make sure to check the chicken for doneness if you’re using larger thighs; I usually cook pan-seared chicken at 450, but since I used smaller thighs I cooked them at 350 per the Times recipe, and they turned out great.)
  6. Return the pot to the stovetop and transfer the chicken thighs to a plate. Add the minced garlic, butter, and the juice of one lemon half, and cook, stirring constantly and scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, about 30 seconds. Return the chicken to the pot and cook another 15-30 seconds.
  7. Serve by squeezing over the juice from the remaining lemon half and garnishing with parsley.

garlicky chicken with lemon anchovy and caper sauce

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