Skinless, boneless breasts were on sale so I grabbed a couple. As I find myself often doing, I grabbed Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook out of the 50 or so I have to find something to whip up Saturday night. I was in a great mood and willing to make something that might take a bit more time. Today was my best buddy Hudson’s 6th birthday and we’d had an awesome, full day celebrating. A leisurely stroll, fun romp in the off-leash dog park (Hudson even kind of played with a friendly lab retriever—Hudson does not play as he’s usually too busy with his job finding every ball in the park), brunch at a great French bistro with awesome food, an easy, casual vibe and super dog people staff (Le Neuf Cafe), followed by more dog-off leash park time with my friend Sarah and her dog G. (Hudson’s buddy; their tail waging greetings are adorable) and hanging out on a bench by the water catching up. Oh, and it was gorgeous weather. A perfect summer day.
Anyway…I was inspired and ready to work for my dinner, but this dish was utterly simple. And by far one of the better chicken dishes I’ve ever had. It has a really rich taste despite being healthy. The only added fat is olive oil. The green olives give it such a nice flavour zing. Sooo looking forward to having that second serving during the week. I tend to like variety, but this was so good, I’d actually have it again tomorrow, LOL.
INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
- 1/2 Chicken (cut up; at room temperature) (Note: I used 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
- Coarse Sea Salt
- freshly ground Black Pepper
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 Shallots sliced into thin rings
- 1 .5 cups Chicken Stock
- 2 Garlic cloves peeled and cut in half
- 10 Green Olives large; pitted
- 1 sprig of Thyme leaves only
- 1 Lemon juice only
- Gwyneth instructs to “generously” salt and pepper the chicken on both sides. I found it a bit too salty as the olives are salty. I’ll salt less generously next time.
- Place the olive oil in a large enameled cast-iron pot set over high heat. I used a Dutch oven.
- Add the chicken, skin side down (unless it’s skinless breasts in which case any side is fine), and cook until deeply browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and let it brown on the second side, another 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Turn the heat to medium and add the shallots to the pot. Cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add a splash of the chicken stock and use a wooden spoon to loosen any bits of shallot or chicken that might be caught at the bottom of the pot (aka the best bits).
- Add the remaining stock to the pot and add the chicken, skin side up (our any side if you’re using breasts), along with any juice that’s accumulated on the plate. Scatter the garlic cloves, olives, and thyme sprigs over the chicken. Evenly pour the lemon juice over everything. Bring the mixture to a boil, turn the heat as low as it will go, cover the pot, and cook for 1 hour, or until the chicken is nearly falling off the bone.
- Uncover the pot and raise the heat. Let the pot boil to reduce and thicken the sauce until it’s the texture of a great gravy – not too thin, not too thick – 5 to 6 minutes. (Note: it took just 2-3 minutes for me).