Monday, January 09, 2006

Recipe for Chicken With Kalamata Olives

I'm having fun finding recipes in my archives (from before I entered the digital camera age) and making them again so I can update the recipe with a photo. I promised yesterday that I'd share something you could eat for phase one if you're starting a lower carb diet, and this dish is one where the sum is greater than the parts; it's really delicious. The recipe was something I made with bone-in, skinless chicken thighs the first time. Since then I've discovered the boneless, skinless chicken thighs sold in big packs at Costco, so this time I made it with those. Both were good, but if you use the boneless thighs, be careful to keep enough liquid in the pan when you are cooking this. Whichever you choose, chicken thighs need a fair bit of trimming, especially on the underneath side, where there are tendons, bits of fat, and bloody pieces that need to be trimmed away.

I save all those trimmed pieces in a big plastic tub in my freezer, and add them for more flavor when I make chicken stock, something I do about twice a month. Making homemade chicken stock feels like getting free food, since I use leftover bits of celery, outside pieces of onions, and other scraps that would get thrown away. If you don't have the inclination to make homemade stock, no worries, the canned chicken broth will be fine in this recipe.

Chicken with Kalamata Olives
(Makes 4-5 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

8-10 chicken thighs, skin removed
(can be bone-in or boneless, whichever you prefer)
1 T olive oil plus 1 tsp. butter
1 tsp. poultry seasoning to season chicken before browning
black pepper, to taste (do not add salt)
1/2 onion, diced very finely
1 cup chicken stock or broth (low salt type is best if using canned broth)
1/4 cup Kalamata olives (or use your favorite type of olives), cut olives lengthwise into fourths
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried parsley or 2 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp. white flour for thickening (optional)

Trim every bit of fat, tendons, and bloody bits from underneath of chicken thighs. Heat olive oil and melt butter in heavy dutch oven or pot. (It's best to use a pan just big enough to hold the chicken in a single layer.) Season chicken with poultry seasoning and black pepper and brown very well on both sides. Do not rush this step, the browning will take 8-10 minutes per side for really golden brown.

Remove chicken to plate. Add diced onions to pan and cook until starting to brown. Put chicken back in pan (with any juices that have accumulated on the plate) and add chicken stock, olives, thyme, and parsley. Reduce heat to very low and simmer 30 minutes or longer, or until chicken is "falling off the bone" tender. (You want the stock not completely covering the chicken to keep the top nice and brown. Adjust the level by adding a little water if needed.) Remove chicken to serving plate.

If you want to thicken the sauce, mix 2 tsp. flour with 2 T cold water, stir into sauce, then turn up heat and boil for a few minutes. I thickened this the first time I made this, but the second time I didn't think it needed it. Pour sauce over chicken and serve, garnishing with chopped parsley if available.

South Beach Suggestions
If the sauce wasn't thickened, this would be approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet. This would be great with a green salad with Cardini's Caesar dressing and Cauliflower Fried in Butter. If you're on phase two, you could replace the cauliflower with Georgette's Really Lemony Greek Pilafi or brown rice.
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  1. I like cooking chicken with the bones in as this somehow add a taste to the dish. Talking about dish, i love that green plate! I'm so into green. I like the way that you feature your dish that's been given to you. I collect dish too and a few people have given them to me over the past years - this is a great way to thank them. I've recently changed my header showcasing the dish that my friends gave me for christmas - and they're green! Lolz.

  2. What a delicious meal and the dish is beautiful too.

    I think many of my upcoming photos will be on the clay serving pieces (bowls and platters) that my daughter brought back for me from Mexico.

    I agree with you - it's not just the food, it's the presentation.

    As always, thanks for sharing.

  3. I use bone-in chicken because it adds that extra succulence - stops the meat from drying out during the cooking process.

    I also save all trimmings to make chicken stock although it really disturbs my housemates!

    This looks so good that I wanna try it even though I am not dieting. Although I should, I guess. Sigh.

  4. Kalyn-I just tagged you for a meme-challenge. Do it if you feel like it!

  5. That looks delicious. Oh my!! I love kalamata olives, never think to put them with chicken. Yum!

  6. This chicken looks really good. I love homemade chicken stock. I love homemade anything, now that I've started cooking. My cousin recently made a chicken dish where she put olives in it. Tasted good. I'll be blogging about it soon.


  7. I noticed you say this is for Phase 1 of South Beach. I didn't think you could eat chicken thighs on South Beach until Phase 2 or did you just find there wasn't much of a difference for you?

  8. Rene, I had forgotten about that. I decided that the reason South Beach said chicken breasts was because there is so much more fat in the thighs. Since I trim all the fat off so diliently I felt like it didn't make much of a difference. Of course you could also make this with chicken breasts if you wanted.

    I did break quite a few rules, especially the one about butter. It didn't seem to make that much difference as long as I avoided the "white" carbs pretty faithfully, which I did.

  9. Hi Kalyn,

    I know it's early but i didn't want to miss out on another WHB. So i've posted Sage for the weekend roundup along with a recipe. I've also linked one of yours. :-)


  10. Now, that looks really good. I believe I would eat anything with olives.

  11. Oh how I love olives! The hubby is trying to cut down on carbs so this is on the must try list! Thanks!

  12. Hi Kalyn--Another Costco shout-out! And thanks for the info about Sandee...I'm diligently gathering clues here and there to be able to guess your age! LOL

  13. Lisa, you're pretty sharp to pick up on that clue!! I had to think twice before typing it. However, even if you should happen to guess, I am not going to admit to anything.


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