Spain’s aromatic pimentón de la Vera (smoked paprika) gives these succulent chicken thighs a deep, ruddy color as they roast on a bed of red onion and sliced Meyer lemon. You’ll want to serve every drop of the lemony, garlicky pan juices. The lemon slices can be eaten or not, as you prefer.
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, about 1 1⁄2 pounds
- (750 g) total
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons pimentón de la Vera (Spanish smoked paprika)
- 1 Meyer lemon (or navel orange), ends removed, then thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced from stem to root
- 24 green olives (optional)
Coat the chicken thighs all over with the olive oil. In a small bowl, combine all the rub ingredients, mixing well. Sprinkle on both sides of the chicken. Set the seasoned thighs on a rack over a plate or tray and refrigerate, uncovered, for 8 to 24 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting.
Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Choose a shallow baking dish just large enough to hold the thighs in a single layer without touching. Put the lemon and onion slices in the baking dish and toss them together. Remake them into a flat bed and set the thighs directly on top.
Roast the chicken for 20 minutes, then baste with the pan juices. Continue roasting until the chicken skin is well browned and crisp and the onions and lemons are just beginning to caramelize, about 20 minutes longer. Add the green olives, if using, about 10 minutes before the chicken is done.
Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before serving to allow the juices to settle.