4 chicken legs, approximately 3/4 lb. each
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme, or 1 tbsp fresh
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 lb. good quality olives, such as Kalamata or Castelvetrano, unpitted
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Step 2: In a large baking dish or lasagna pan, arrange the chicken legs in a single layer, skin side up. Using a basting brush or your hands — your hands are the best tools you have, remember — lightly coat the skin with the olive oil. Sprinkle the legs with thyme, and season them with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Scatter the olives around the chicken such that they have their own space in which to live. It is okay if a few olives reside in the fold of a leg, but you do want to try to get the majority of them onto their own space in the baking dish so that they are marinated with the chicken fat as they cook.
Step 4: Roast the chicken until the skin is crispy and juices run clear when the legs are pierced, 55 minutes to 1 hour. Serve each leg with 1/4 of the olives per person, even to the olive haters, for they need to taste and then find themselves transformed to olive lovers, or at least roasted olive lovers. Be certain to remind your dinner companions that the olives are not pitted so that no one loses a tooth. That’s no way to start a meal, or inspire a love of roasted olives.
Reprinted with permission from Amy McCoy's Poor Girl Gourmet (2010 Andrews McMeel Publishing)