I very rarely do this, but I knew I must have done something wrong. This Garlicky Chicken with Lemon-Anchovy Sauce recipe from Melissa Clark at the New York Times is a favorite of one of my sons and his girlfriend and even several of their friends as I’ve been told. They’ve made it at their homes and at our home in the country, often.
I made the recipe about a month ago and I was like, “This isn’t very good. Why do they keep making it?”
But yet, it didn’t make sense. I like Melissa Clark’s recipes. I LOVE anchovies, garlic, lemon and chicken thighs, so what’s wrong with this picture?
So last week, one of my brothers was going to be in town from Boston on business and staying with us. I decided to give it a go again.
Ok, ok, so I (as usual) altered the recipe a bit – added more garlic and cooked the whole thing on the stovetop – no oven – and this was fantastic!! Bursting with flavor and freshness with the spark of lemon, the hit of anchovies and of course, the dreamy, creamy garlic.
Even as a leftover, it still held up all that sprightly flavor! I doubled Melissa’s original recipe to make sure we’d have some extra lunches and dinners after the three of us ate.
So give this a go. This does take a little longer than my usual weeknight dinners, particularly because I like to trim ALL the fat from the thighs. Cook with LOVE. You’ll be happy!
Garlicky Chicken with Lemon-Anchovy Sauce – serves 8 – adapted from Melissa Clark
3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8 thighs)
Freshly ground black pepper
12 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/2 cup (scant) extra-virgin olive oil
11 anchovy fillets
4 Tbs. drained capers, patted dry
2 large pinches of chile flakes
11/2 lemons, cut in halves
Fresh chopped chives, for serving
Trim all fat from the thighs, wash and pat dry with a paper towel. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and let rest while you prepare the anchovy-garlic oil.
Mince two of the garlic cloves and set aside for later. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the 10 smashed whole garlic cloves, the anchovies, capers and chile flakes. Let cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the anchovies, until the anchovies dissolve, about 3 minutes.
Raise heat to medium-high. Add the chicken thighs and cook until nicely browned on one side, 5 to 7 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, flip the thighs, cover and cook another 7 to 12 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
When chicken is done, transfer thighs to a plate. Place skillet back on the heat and add minced garlic and the juice of one whole lemon. Cook for about 30 seconds, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Return chicken to the pan and cook it in the sauce for another 30 seconds.
Transfer everything to a serving platter. Squeeze the remaining lemon half over the chicken and garnish with chopped chives. Serve with crusty bread or rice, your favorite vegetable and of course, LOVE!