Stewed Chicken with Olives.
You’ll need, in no particular order:
- Chicken thighs*
- Olives (whatever tickles your fancy. I use a mix of black and green. Please DON’T use those awful black rubber ones that come in a can)
- Sun-dried Tomatoes
- Fresh Herbs (as you like! Thyme and fresh oregano are nice.. a combination of marjoram and sage is a sort of sexy alternate version.. a bay leaf is good)
- White wine (whatever is decent enough for you to drink)
- Tomato Paste (please use the stuff from a toothpaste style tube.. it’s often much better, and you can use just a bit at a time)
A brief word on ingredient lists. There are some things that I will assume you have. Things like olive oil, butter, salt, pepper, vinegar, eggs, flour, water.. etc.. I will also NOT be including amounts, except maybe in relative terms like “equal parts of x and y” or descriptive terms like “a little little bit” or “as much as you think you can stand.. then double it.” I think that giving amounts in recipes has a tendency to perpetuate the myth that cooking is hard and exact, and maybe makes people feel that they NEED the recipe because it contains some sort of magic formula.. I want to discourage this whole line of thought! Be accountable!! Use your noodle!! A recipe, and more importantly, the fundamental technique contained in the recipe, will stick better that way. You’ll have an easier time departing from the recipe and making it your own if you were never that dependent on it to begin with. Maybe it’s best if we don’t even call these recipes, but “descriptions!”
Use a heavy wide bottomed pan. I use a le crueset paella pan. A cast iron skillet would also work well.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and then brown it in some olive oil. Turn it once to brown both sides. Remove and reserve.
With the pan still hot, add chopped garlic and onions and a couple of anchovies. Once the garlic begins to brown a little, add the halved olives and chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Almost immediately deglaze the pan with white wine. Add a squeeze of tomato paste and incorporate well. You may choose to add a little more wine.. but remember that you’re not making soup. The liquid you’ve made should be a little thick.
Arrange the pieces of chicken in your newly created brazing liquid. Top with coarsely chopped herbs. Cover and place in a 350 degree oven.
Let it stew until the chicken is falling off the bone. About an hour and a quarter. Remove from the oven and let it rest, covered, for about 15 minutes before serving.
We eat it with a mix of brown and wild rice. It was great the other night with sauteed swiss chard.
(the thigh of the chicken is the cheapest part, and strangely, the best! We buy Murray’s free range from our local supermarket and at something like $1.59 a pound, it’s about the cheapest high quality meat you can buy. Get it with the skin on if you have the choice.)