Preheat oven to 400F (Conventional) or 380F (Convection/Fan)
Sear the Chicken Thighs
- Dry the chicken thighs, and generously salt and pepper all sides.
- Heat a heavy skillet over Medium-High heat. Add the olive oil. Once it is shimmering, add the chicken thighs, skin-side down. Sear both until golden, about 4-5 minutes. Then turn, to sear other side 4-5 minutes. Remove seared thighs from pan.
Make the Sauce:
- Remove half of the fat from the pan. Add the garlic (or powder), basil, thyme, oregano and crushed red pepper, if needed. Once the spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds, add broth (or water), cream cheese, the lemon zest, tomatoes, pepperoncini, capers, and olives. Whisk until the sauce is creamy. Then add the seared chicken thighs to the sauce, keeping the skin side up.
Bake the Chicken
- Place the skillet of chicken in sauce into the oven to finish cooking, 15-20 minutes.The sauce will thicken during the baking process.
- Prepare pasta to al dente (about 1-2 minutes less than fully cooked), if desired.
- Remove chicken from sauce, and add reserved lemon juice and stir. Add the al dente pasta to finish cooking.
- Serve chicken with sauce, and pasta if desired.