Tomato-Olive Braised Chicken


I had a glut of bone-in chicken breasts in my freezer due to a miscommunication with my husband on a recent grocery run. He doubled my request. I asked for eight breasts, and he bought eight whole breasts — in other words, 16 breasts.

He doubled my request — I asked for eight breasts, and he bought eight whole breasts; in other words, he bought 16 breasts. Honest mistake, fault on both sides. He made a delicious batch of fried chicken, and I pondered what to do with the surplus chicken.

The following preparation suggested itself, partly due to what I had on hand, and partly because my daughter was home and enjoys this flavor profile. We served the chicken over Israeli couscous, but it would be fine over rice, noodles, polenta or any grain. Don’t forget a loaf of crusty bread to sop up the tasty sauce!

Serves 4

4 single bone-in chicken breasts, cut in half and seasoned with salt and pepper
2 lemons
4 cloves garlic
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons oil
½ teaspoon salt
Generous grinding of fresh cracked pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 13-ounce box or can of crushed tomatoes
1 to 2 cups water or broth
½ cup black or green olives, coarsely chopped with brine
½ cup chopped fresh parsley, to serve

In a large skillet, heat the oil and sear the seasoned chicken on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan, scrape up any brown bits and add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano to the pan. Add more oil if needed.

Sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 1 cup of broth and the olives with the brine. Bring it to a simmer, and place the chicken back in the pan. Turn the chicken to coat it with sauce, and add more broth or water if needed — the sauce need not cover the chicken, but it should be at least halfway up each piece.

Lower the heat, cover and simmer until the chicken is falling off the bone, about 1½ hours.

Serve the dish with chopped parsley over rice or couscous.


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