Monday, December 14, 2009

Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes, Olives and Anchovies

With less than three days left before the start of my 2-1/2 week staycation, and our office Xmas lunch on Wednesday, I had to make enough food to bring to work for Monday and Tuesday. And thus, this recipe, a riff on Bittman's "Chicken Thighs Provencal-Style" - though, in retrospect, it's really a variation on a basic tomato sauce. Alas, there was no fresh basil on hand. Fortunately, our neighbor's marjoram plant is still going strong, so some fresh herb did make it into the dish, which turned out quite well -- rich and savory and almost creamy, despite the utter lack of dairy.
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 heaping tbsp.)
  • 1 28 oz. can tomatoes, chopped or crushed (I love hand-crushing them; it's very therapeutic)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock, white wine or water (used boxed stock)
  • 1 cup Kalamanta olives, pitted
  • 3 small sprigs marjoram
  • salt and pepper to taste
Put the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the chicken briefly, then set it aside.

Pour off all but 2 tbsp. of oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, till they start getting soft - about 3-5 minutes.

Add the minced anchovies and cook for a couple of minutes more.

Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two more.

Turn the heat to medium high. Add the tomatoes and cook till some of the liquid's bubbled away (about 5-10 minutes).

Add the stock, wine or water, and cook for another 5-10 minutes, till some of that liquid's evaporated.

Add the olives and herbs. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then cook for 2-3 minutes more.

Return the chicken to the skillet, turning it on each side a couple of times to make sure it gets coated with the tomato mixture. Nestle it in the sauce, skin-side up, then turn the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook till the chicken's done (anywhere from 20-40 minutes - closer to the latter for small electric burners).

Serve over the starch of your choice (couscous last night, rice today at work).

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