Mediterranean One-Pan Chicken Thighs

This chicken dish reminded me a great deal of another delicious chicken dish with the briny-saltiness of green olives, Spanish Chicken. For those of you who have been following along for a while, you know Spanish Chicken was one of Brother Dear’s favorites. While the two dishes are similar, this is a simplified rendition, but just as delicious. Although warm dinner rolls aren’t part of the ingredients, they should be. I made little salty chicken sandwiches with mine – very delicious.

You know me, I played around with the original recipe. Two ingredients were left out completely. One was anchovies. Sorry folks, I don’t like those little fishes. Not on pizza, not in a salad and nowhere near my chicken, thank you. The other ingredient is one I do like, but thought it was overkill. The recipe called for capers. To me, having green olives and capers in the same pan was a battle for attention. Hubby is not a fan of either. I went with the green olives simply because they are big, easy for Hubby to skirt around. Besides, his dislike for the olives meant more olives for Kiddo and I.

This is one chicken dish we will be enjoying again soon. It’s delicious.

Mediterranean One-Pan Chicken Thighs
1 small red onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 Skinless chicken thighs
Sea salt & pepper to taste
1 cup pitted Large Green Olives or to taste
16 oz Diced Italian Tomatoes
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning Blend
2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice red onion into rings, break apart and set aside. Peel and flatten garlic cloves. Set aside until ready to use.

Heat a large oven-safe skillet, add oil and swirl the pan to coat in oil. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with sea salt and pepper to taste. Sear thighs until golden on both sides. Set chicken aside on a plate.

In the same skillet, add the sliced onions, chopped garlic and sauté for about 1 minute.

Add the olives and diced tomatoes. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning. Return chicken thighs to the skillet. Cover with a lid and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

Place skillet in the oven and bake, covered, for about 40 minutes, or just until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove from oven. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and serve hot. This chicken is delicious with crusty, warm dinner rolls to soak up the juices.

 

Chicken Provencal

provence-france-1A little research revealed the follow about this lovely dish: Chicken Provencal hails from South France – in the Provence region. The basic characteristics of Provencal cuisine are herbs, olives and slow cooking. Naturally, there is much more involved; but those are the basics in a nutshell. One look at the breathtaking charm of the countryside and it’s easy to see why. The use of Thyme, Rosemary, Marjoram and Sage are prevalent in Provencal cooking, as are olives and olive oils. Slow cooking is a must. After all, who would want to be in a hurry here? The countryside invites one to slow down, to savor and live in the beauty of the moment; don’t you think?

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Portuguese Braised Chicken

Years ago, a dear friend returning from Portugal gave Hubby and I a beautiful bottle of wine from his family’s vineyard. We decided to honor the wonderful gift by serving it with an authentic Portuguese meal. Our friend (a chef in his own right) was kind enough to share his recipe for braised chicken. It was sumptuous! Perfect for casual outdoor entertaining.

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Spanish Chicken with Mushrooms and Green Olives – A Sister’s Tribute to her Brother

I love my brother dearly – for two reasons. He’s the only brother I had and he had the biggest heart. Up until he became ill, my brother wandered around the city caring for stray cats. He fed them, made sure they had fresh water and even took them to the vet when they got sick. In an effort to cut down on the stray cat population, he captured those he could to have them spayed or neutered – all out of his own pocket. My brother didn’t make much – he worked as a delivery person for our town’s only paper by day and drove a taxi by night. As a taxi driver, he would pick one passenger each night to give a free ride to, based on conversation or circumstance. He didn’t let them know the ride was free until they had reached their final destination. Generally, he picked someone that struck a cord with him, someone he was able to relate to on some personal level. Like the young mother who wanted to surprise her Airman husband returning from a tour of duty and needed a lift to an Air Force Base in another city. She was excited to see her husband, but worried about the cost of a taxi ride. He thought of our parents when they were newly weds and liked to think that someone would have helped them. You can see why I love my brother. More than that, I admired him. In so many ways, he was and still is my hero.

My BrotherMy brother lived with Hubby, Kiddo and I for a while. When he became very ill, he moved in with our younger sister, a retired school teacher who lives in a small town two-hours north of here. She was in a better position to care for him in his final days. Our brother has been fitted with an LVAD (it’s a heart pump for transplant candidates to keep them going as they wait for a new heart). While waiting for a heart, our brother was diagnosed with cancer. Every minute we spent with him from that point forward was borrowed time that we will forever be grateful for. Every time I saw my brother, he asked the same question “What was that chicken you make with the olives? The one I really liked.” My baby brother was the pickiest eater on the planet. When he “really” liked something other than burgers and pizza, it’s high praise indeed! His favorite dish was my Spanish Chicken with Mushrooms and Green Olives. He always smiled when I answered him, remembering it fondly. Since his passing, whenever I make this dish I know he is smiling down at me. When I get to heaven, I’m going to make it for him again.

Spanish Chicken with Mushrooms & Green Olives
1 Can condensed Tomato Soup
1 1/2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 package Chicken Thighs, about 1 lb
2 Cups Fresh Mushrooms, sliced (about 6 oz)
½ Cup Water
½ cup wine red wine
¼ to ½ Cup California Pimento-Stuffed Green Olives (more to taste)

In a bowl, mix soup with Italian Seasoning, Oregano and Garlic Powder. Set aside until ready to use.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned on both sides, about 5-6 minutes per side. Remove and place on warmed serving platter, tent to keep warm. If necessary, you can brown your chicken in batches, adding a bit more olive oil as necessary. Just remember, your skillet has to be large enough to hold everything including the sauce once the chicken has been browned.

Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook mushrooms until tender and liquid has evaporated, stirring often.

Stir in soup mixture, water, olives and wine. Heat to boiling. Return chicken to skillet. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 15-20 minutes or until chicken is tender and is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Remove chicken to serving dish, keep warm. Increase heat, stirring sauce until slightly reduced and thickened, about 5-8 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

Serve with plenty of warm bread to soak up all the goodness of the sauce.

Note: This can also be made with a combo pack of breast, thighs and legs – just cut the breast meat in half to make the chicken more uniformed in size.