Who, among us, does not remember the infamous Alan Arkin scene from LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE? If you somehow missed it, please take 14 seconds to sample this pure cinematic and culinary joy.
If you turn to the Web for your weeknight poultry inspiration, you know there are an abundance of chicken recipes online. At last count, 2,456,328, just this week! What is this, our national obsession with breasts and thighs? Is it the health benefits of avoiding the dreaded red meat? Or perhaps the insanely budget-friendly price point? (A family pack of drumsticks – that’s like a dozen legs! – goes for around four bucks.) Or is there some dark state secret about why every foodie website is struggling under the weight of fowl-inspired copy to jam up our hard drives with yet another recipe for The Fastest, Best, Easiest, Most Delicious BBQ /Lemon /Creamy /Crispy /Grilled /Fried /Poached/ Pounded/ Braised cutlet under the sun!
I like chicken. I like eating it. I like cooking it. I like that it’s kinda good for you. I like that it goes with anything. In particular, I am down with olives. Lots of olives. Gobs of them! I have not met a feathered friend of Frank Perdue who did not pair well with their fruity green goodness.
So here is my entry for the easy, weekday dinner chicken-stakes. You can probably feed a family of four for under ten bucks, no joke! If you spend more than 30 minutes whipping this up, you are overchef-ing the details. And it meets the simple two-pot criteria.
One thing, though. While I said it goes with anything, it really goes with this.
Chicken Thighs and Olives
• 1 lb. of chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
• 1 cup of green olives, chopped or sliced
• 1 white onion, diced
• 2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 cup white wine, chicken broth or olive brine
1.) Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large frying pan. It must have a lid for later.
2.) Lay thighs in a single row and brown on both sides. Maybe 5-7 minutes per side. If necessary, do in two batches. When all your thighs are browned, return to pan.
3.) Add 1 cup of liquid over the chicken and set temperature to simmer.
4.) Sprinkle olives, onions and garlic over the thighs.
5.) Cover and cook at a low simmer for approximately 20-30 minutes.
6.) You cannot overcook thighs! They can sit at a low simmer for 45 minutes or an hour. They will just get more fall-off-the-bone scrumptious. But if you savor comfort in numbers, 165 degrees is the safe internal temperature.
7.) You can serve with vegetables, any variety of potatoes, egg noodles, or merely a green salad. I favor the San Francisco Treat.