Roasted Chicken with Baby Artichokes and Olives

Roasted Chicken with Baby Artichokes and Olives, plus 34 life lessons

The other day I turned 34. I’ve never been one to dread birthdays or getting older, even if I’m dying my grey hair faster than I drive these days. 34 was the quietest birthday I’ve ever had and it was actually nice. I even had time to pour a bourbon (an experimental Buffalo Trace Hot Box Toasted Barrel) I had been saving for the occasion and reflect on what 34 years has taught me. At this time, I would like to share with you those life lessons… because you never know you, just might need them.

34 life lessons for 34 years

in no particular order

1. Sock monkey slippers are very comfortable but wear out fast, invest in multiple pairs.

2. Strive to be different. Choose duck fat instead of butter.

3. Accept yourself. That’s the true secret to happiness.

4. Never put lipstick on in front of a bear.

5. Putting yourself in “timeout” is a must — even if that “timeout” is at a small music venue, restaurant, or on the porch under the stars.

6. Thank your mother every day that she didn’t send you back.

7. That whole “don’t go to bed angry” thing is bs. It’s ok to sleep on it.

8. When your best friend says it doesn’t hurt, it will. Just get a professional to do your piercings.

9. Be adventurous. Also, never be too shy to dance in your underwear.

10. Always follow your gut. Seriously, sometimes it knows more than you.

11. Never, ever, ever leave food in your tent. Even if the park ranger says there are no bears around.

12. It’s ok to tell your husband he’s right — just don’t make a habit out of it.

13. Don’t chase feral chickens. You will not have a free dinner. It just makes your neighbors call you the crazy chicken lady.

14. Stuart Smally is not right in the head. Not everyone is going to like you but it’s their loss.

15. When in doubt, always pick a Wes Anderson movie.

16. Putting rubber cement on your brother while he’s sleeping and then making him think his skin is peeling off when he wakes up is an awesome prank but it will cause him to use you for karate practice in the future.

17. When your husband asks you to crew Western States 100-mile run, turn around and walk away.

18. Having friends you can say anything to is an absolute must.

19. Be awesome and then be aca-awesome — there’s no limit to how great you can be.

20. Blowing bubbles is an acceptable answer to anything.

21. When the room starts to sway, keep one foot on the floor.

22. Do spontaneous…a lot. Even if you end up getting married to a musician by an Irish priest in a bar in Canada.

23. If you want to be pretentious, wear a beret.


25. Life is too short for cheap/inferior ingredients…or beer, or wine, or bourbon.

26. Laugh at your mistakes. Not everyone can sing the 12 days of Christmas in front of an audience.

27. Always dream…so far they’ve all come true. Well, except for the whole amazing singer thing.

28. Make sure you call first before showing up unannounced to a glass house.

29. Never shoot an intern.

30. Making paté at 3am can almost be therapeutic, especially when there’s alcohol involved.

31. “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child  This also applies to everything in life. Julia was a genius.

32. Watching the sunrise in the dessert after being up all night dancing is a must at least once in your life.

33. If all you need to hear is, “You’re talented,” then your journey is finished.

34. Know how to roast a simple chicken — from there you can cook anything.

Which brings me to this recipe…

Roasted Chicken with Baby Artichokes and Olives

Tender lemony chicken roasted with bright baby artichokes and tangy olives is a simple and delicious one-pot meal for any night of the week. Roasted chicken is my 5-year-old’s favorite meal ever and this version is at the top of her list. I think it’s her favorite because she gets to eat it all with her hands.

lemon butter

Combine butter, salt, pepper, and lemon zest; rub on chicken.


Next, remove the hard outer leaves of the artichokes off, slicing them in half, and coring out the fine “hairs” or the choke from the artichokes. Leaves have not been removed from these artichokes yet in this picture.


Place the chicken in a cast iron skillet or rack of a roasting pan then place the artichokes, olives, and lemon slices around the chicken. Transfer to the oven and roast.

Roasted Chicken with Baby Artichokes and Olives, plus 34 life lessons

Once roasted, carve and serve. That’s all there is to it. Very simple but full of flavor.

Cheers and here’s to another 34 years!

Roasted Chicken with Baby Artichokes and Olives

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: serves 4 to 6

Roasted Chicken with Baby Artichokes and Olives

Tender lemony chicken roasted with bright baby artichokes and tangy olives is a simple and delicious one-pot meal for any night of the week.


  • 3 to 4 pound chicken, pasture or free-range prefferd
  • 2 tablespoons duck fat or unsalted butter, softened
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 12 baby artichokes
  • 1/2 cup pitted olives, such as Kalmata
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Allow the chicken to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting. With paper towels, pat dry the chicken as best as possible. This will help the skin to crisp.
  3. In a bowl, combine duck fat or butter, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Loosen the skin between the chicken and the breast meat with your fingers and place half of the butter mixture underneath the skin. Rub the remaining butter evenly over the entire chicken. Truss the chicken with cooking twine, optional. Place the chicken in the center of a large cast iron skillet or on the rack of a roasting pan.
  4. Remove the the tough outer leaves of each artichoke. This will be about half of the leaves. With a knife, slice about 1/2 inch off the top of the artichokes, removing the prickly tops of the leaves. Next, slice the artichokes in half and remove the fuzzy hair-like chokes from the center with a spoon. The choke is really small and easy to pop out. A grapefruit spoon works best. Place the artichokes in a bowl along with olives, lemon slices, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper; toss to combine. Place artichokes, olives, and lemons around the chicken. Pour water in bottom of pan.
  5. Transfer to the oven and roast for 1 hour 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°F. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Toss artichokes and olives with fresh parsley, if desired. Carve and serve.


Baby artichokes can be found at most markets in the spring months.

Wine pairing: a white Burgundy or lightly oaked chardonay


  • Mark

    We simply love you and all of your recipes! Can’t wait to try this one out! Happy birthday!

  • How to Philosophize with Cake

    That list is so funny and clever! :) And the baby artichokes sound delicious, I’ll have to look for some in the grocery store.

  • Sommer @ASpicyPerspective

    Love your list! Your recipe sounds amazing!

  • Paula - bell'alimento

    You are da bomb diggity 134 x’s over xoxo

  • Sunnie@ModernGirlNutrition

    Happy {belated} birthday! Those artichokes look super good

  • Maria | Pink Patisserie

    The best life lessons list I’ve seen in a long while! Happy belated birthday. :) I can personally attest to #11 as well. Painfully so. Gorgeous dish and yes to duck fat!

  • Steph

    I love thie wit and authenticity of this list! Happy Birthday and thank you for all the fabulous stories and recipes!!

  • The Food Hunter

    Great post! Happy Birthday

  • Kim (Feed Me, Seymour)

    These are the most genius 34 life lessons ever. Seriously, I love them all. Most especially #8. And also, this chicken! It looks so bright and tasty.

  • Claire Gallam

    That is a beautiful chicken!

  • Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes

    Loved your list (yes, especially number 11) and love this chicken recipe!!

  • Amanda ( The Kitcheneer)

    Love your list! It’s all VERY true! especially #1 :) Roast chicken is one of my absolute faves! This looks so elegant and decadent! Will definitely try this!

  • Brenda@SugarFreeMom

    Oh my gosh you are too cute! I especially love life lesson #4 gave me a good chuckle but I truly believe in #5! Chicken looks succulent and beautiful too!

  • christine

    What a beautiful looking roast chicken. I agree, everyone should know how to give a chicken a good roasting.

  • Colleen (Souffle Bombay)

    Hap-py Birthday!! Love 3, 9, 18 & 20 Won’t ask about 11 or 4 lol! I want to eat all of the baby artichokes

  • Nutmeg Nanny

    This is such a beautiful dish!

  • Marly

    Oh, I hate being that annoying veggie friend that’s always looking at a recipe with the intent of vejanizing it. I just made up that word, but you know what I mean. But seriously, tofu seasoned just right and surrounded by olives and artichokes would be so good. Thanks for the inspiration! Oh, and happy Birthday!!

  • Sarah Caron (Sarah's Cucina Bella)

    Love your lessons! I turn 34 in a few weeks too. And this recipe looks divine!

  • Angie | Big Bear's Wife

    #19! Yes! haha ooo and beautiful chicken dish!

  • Susan

    Love this list. Always use duck fat. There’s nothing wrong with marrying a musician. Noted about leaving food in a tent when camping (not that you’ll ever find me camping) and very last happy birthday!

  • Jessica (Savory Experiments)

    #12 is my favorite. Keeps them calm. I’m in love with your beautiful photos!

  • Coleen @ The Redhead Baker

    Happy Belated Birthday! I’m guessing there’s an interesting story behind $4 and 11!

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