Roast Chicken, Arugula, and Citrus-Marinated Olives
You can prep the olives up to a week ahead of time and their flavor will only develop and get better with time. Just make sure you take them out of the fridge at least 15 minutes before serving, so the oil can come to room temperature. If you are working with olives with pits, be sure to smash them with the side of a chef’s knife and remove the pit before marinating. It will be much more difficult once they have been prepared. These olives are great on their own, so feel free to make extra and store them in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
Mature arugula (as opposed to the bagged baby arugula), is spicy and hearty enough to keep its shape well after it has been dressed, and will still look sharp when your guests go back for seconds. If you can’t find it, substitute another spicy green like dandelion greens or mizuna.
Serves 8 to 10 people
- 3 cups (460 g) pitted Castelvetrano olives (or other mild, pitted green olive)
- Julienned zest of 1 1/2 Valencia oranges (see Note)
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
- ¾ cup grapeseed oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, crushed
- 4 tablespoons (13 g) chopped fresh tarragon
- 4 (7-ounce/200-g) boneless chicken breasts, skin on
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
- 6 tablespoons (90 ml) grapeseed oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 8 ounces (225 g) mature arugula, washed and dried
- Use a vegetable peeler to remove the orange zest, leaving the white behind, then cut the zest into thin slivers. Heat the olives, orange zest, olive oil, grapeseed oil, bay leaf, and peppercorns in a saucepan. When the oil reaches a low boil, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the tarragon and remove from the heat.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel and set aside. (Don’t skip this step, or you won’t get a nice crispy skin.)
- Heat a large ovenproof sauté pan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. After 5 minutes, add the grapeseed oil, swirl it around in the pan. Just before cooking, season the chicken breasts with salt and light coating of cracked black pepper. Add the chicken breasts, skin side down to the hot pan. To get a nice sear on the skin, push the breasts down in the pan for a few seconds, and then allow the chicken to cook for 10 minutes without moving or flipping them.
- After 10 minutes, flip the breasts so the skin side is up and transfer the pan to the oven to cook for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the internal temperature of the meat is 150°F (66°C). Remove from the oven, transfer the breasts to a cutting board, and let rest for at least 5 minutes.
- Put the arugula on a large, shallow platter or in a serving bowl. Squeeze the lemon over the arugula and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil from the marinated olives. Season with salt and cracked pepper, and use your hands to gently toss, making sure all the leaves are coated.
- Slice the chicken breasts into ½-inch (12-mm) slices and arrange on top of the arugula, tucking the slices into the leaves. Using a slotted spoon, top with the marinated olives. If you have extra, just place those in a separate bowl off to the side, so guests can add more if they like. Top with the remaining 2 tablespoons tarragon and serve.
Note: Use a vegetable peeler to remove the orange zest, leaving the white behind, then cut the zest into thin slivers.