This one was called “Spicy Chicken” by the Food Network crew although we disagree. Giada de Laurentiis has her stamp of approval on this though and we liked it. This recipe had a little pep but not enough to rank as “spicy” in our opinion! It is however very flavorful with the olives, crushed chili flakes and capers all mixing together. We knew this one was a keeper straight off and although cooking with olives may not seem new to you, it is new to us – I only just recently made my first dish with capers in it!
Olives take this recipe back to Roman roots in a way – like the last recipe. The olive tree is one of the oldest known trees to be cultivated. History places them in Asia Minor (currently the country of Turkey) 6,000 years ago and spreading with the expansion of the Roman Empire throughout what we now know as Greece, Italy, Iran and northern Africa for starters. Olives have deep symbolism for many religions, references to olives or olive branches appear in religious texts and the use of olive oil is common throughout many religious ceremonies ranging from Christianity to Islam. Culturally also, the olive and it’s oil comes up a lot with Greek kings or winning athletes both being anointed with olive oil during ceremonies. Today, the olive is cultivated around the world, exported and appreciated much like wine is. The flavors between oils, virgin, extra virgin, etc are influenced by small things like the amount of heat applied in processing to of course big things like the soil and climate of the area where the olive was grown. There are specific ways to taste olive oil that are very like a wine tasting from appreciating the aroma to rolling a sip around the mouth. One myth to bunk is that according to Nancy (an olive oil tasting expert) , the color of the oil has nothing to do with the flavor. She even says that professional tasters use a specific blue glass for tasting so that the color isn’t apparent and no preconceived notions may be inferred just from seeing the color. Anyway, enough on olive history let’s get to it!
A Mess of Ingredients:
- 4 chicken thighs with skin and bones (I used boneless/skinless)
- 2 chicken breasts halved crosswise
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 TBS Chili Oil (recipe below)
- 1 TBS minced garlic
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 4 TBS chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 1 1/2 TBS drained capers
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
Chili Oil Recipe
- 2 cups olive oil
- 4 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes
For the oil, mix the pepper flakes and oil in a small heavy saucepan. Cook on low until it reaches 180° F or about 5 minutes. Cool to room temp for about 2 hours and then put it in a sealable bottle or container and keep refrigerated. According to the recipe this will be good for up to a month.
(I did not have time to do all this pre-oil making stuff and maaaybe this had something to do with our dish not being so spicy…I doubt it. Either way, this part isn’t critical to the dish)
Season the chicken on both sides with however much salt and pepper your family likes. Heat up the 2 TBS oil in a large pan (medium-high) and cook the chicken until golden on each side. This should take about 5 minutes per side. Take the pan off the heat before adding the garlic, olives, capers and 3 TBS of the parsley leaves. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil. Bringing the heat down to medium-low, cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked, about 10-12 minutes. Spoon some of the juices and olives over the chicken and top with fresh parsley.
This one pot dish is healthy, tasty and simple and get’s an A+ in our recipe book! As far as the Dukan Diet goes, cooking with alcohol is tolerated in moderation and preferably with the lid off so the alcohol burns away and vaporizes. I got my info here: http://www.dukandiet.co.uk/en/700-the-file-of-the-month.html. I believe that during the “bring to a boil” part of the cooking will take care of the alcohol in the wine. I’m calling this 100% Dukan Diet Worthy for phases 2 (Cruise Phase) and higher! Enjoy!!