Recently one of my brothers was going to be in town from Boston on business and staying with us. I decided to give this Melissa Clark recipe a go as it is a favorite of my son and his girlfriend.

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 capers and anchovies, plus of course, the dreamy, creamy garlic.

The capers really help this stand out. Capers are actually the flower bud of the plant, typically eaten pickled and are often found in Mediterranean dishes, adding a salty, vinegary punch to a dish. You may also see caper berries which have matured to about the size of an olive, but today we’ll be using the smaller variety.


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!

This does take a little longer than my usual weeknight dinners, particularly because I like to trim ALL the fat from the thighs, but it is absolutely worth it. You’ll be happy! For more recipes like this, you can visit my website: LOVE- the secret ingredient.

About The Author

My name is Mary Frances. I am a designer, creative director, painter, wife, mother and cook. I own an internationally recognized, award-winning brand development and marketing communications firm in New York City, and am a graduate of Parsons School of Design. I especially love to cook and serve great food to make people content and happy. Hearing mmmm’s makes my heart soar. I grew up in suburban St. Louis, in Webster Groves, the youngest of six and the only girl. (Yes, that’s FIVE older brothers!) My mom was a great home cook, and she made sure that I could make a mean pie from scratch. After Parsons, I married, had two boys and moved from NYC to the NJ suburbs where I threw myself into cooking and entertaining. Now it’s time for me to share the great recipes, tips, stories and LOVE with you. The inspiration for LOVE – the secret ingredient came from our youngest son when he wrote in a gift cookbook that the one ingredient that was ever-present in my meals was love. When you cook with LOVE, everything just tastes better.

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