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Grant Melton, Rach's former culinary producer, marries chicken with the ingredients in his favorite drink—a dirty martini—in this fun, easy and tasty one-pan dish. He cooks boneless, skinless chicken thighs with pearl onions, lemon rind, olive brine, dry vermouth and vodka, then tops the dish with olives, lemon juice and parsley. It's like a cocktail and dinner in one! 

For more of Grant's greatest hits, check out his Taco Pasta Casserole and Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball


  • 1 ½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 6 pieces)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 10 ounces pearl onions (fresh or frozen)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Strips of lemon rind cut vertically with a peeler from half of a lemon (remove white pith with a small knife)
  • ½ cup olive brine
  • ¼ cup dry vermouth
  • 1 tablespoon vodka (optional)
  • 1 cup Castelvetrano olives, halved and pitted
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO


Serves: 4


Preheat the oven to 400°F.  

Place a large well-seasoned cast-iron pan or large nonstick pan over low heat. Place the chicken thighs skin-side down in the pan and let cook, undisturbed, for 15 minutes or until the fat has started to render from the chicken and the skin begins to brown. 

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the onions, garlic and lemon rind, evenly distributing them around the pan. Give the pan a shake so everything settles into an even layer and then add the olive brine, dry vermouth and vodka (if using). Place the pan in the oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the chicken is brown and the skin is crisp.  

While the chicken cooks, make the olive topper. In a small bowl, combine the olives, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.  

Take the pan from the oven and move the chicken thighs to a plate. Place the pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by half and the sauce begins to coat the onions, about 5 minutes. Pour the glossy sauce and onions onto a serving dish. Arrange the chicken thighs on top and then carefully spoon the olive mixture around the chicken. Serve immediately.