Braised Chicken With Green Olives & Garlic

braised chicken done
Braised Chicken with Olives + Lemon

Oh me oh my.  Gwyneth has gone and done it again.  This time with a braised chicken recipe from her cookbook that I made for dinner last night.  It was supposed to be for the family, but I forgot that my husband had his holiday work party and rather than wait until Sunday when we would all be together at dinner time again, I decided to make it for just me and my girl.  I’m so glad I did.

I keep hoping that Gwyneth will feature a recipe that I can report back and tell you was terrible.  Not because I want to cook bad food, but because little by little she is turning me from a frenemy to a friend.  At least where food is concerned.  I’m uncomfortable with that.  She’s a bazillionaire with a tenuous grasp on reality.  She thinks we all have hot pimentón spice from Spain and are down with the usage of the term “conscious uncoupling”.  I dunno, she just seems a bit untethered.  BUT.  BUT.  Up until now, her recipes are the bomb.  

Last night’s Braised Chicken With Green Olives + Lemon didn’t disappoint.  I was a bit worried about the olives.  I love love love any kind of olive.  The rest of my family not so much.  For this recipe I just kept them whole, but if you have a whole gaggle of olive lovers, I would dice them up.  I followed the recipe almost exactly because it didn’t have any insanely unique ingredients or directions.  Without further ado, I present Braised Chicken With Green Olives + Lemon:

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 chicken, cut up, room temperature (I used about 2 lbs, SKIN ON OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN)

Coarse sea salt

Black pepper

2 T extra virgin olive oil

3 shallots, sliced into thin rings

1.5 cups chicken stock (I always use Better Than Bouillon)

2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half (next time I will, like, triple this)

10 large green olives, pitted

Leaves from one sprig of thyme (I just threw the whole sprig in there intact)

Juice of one lemon

METHOD:

Salt and pepper the chicken

Heat the olive oil in a large enameled cast iron pot (like a Dutch oven)

Cook the chicken until deeply browned, about 4-5 minutes. Turn chicken over and do the same thing. They should look like this:

braised chicken 1
Browned Chicken 

Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until they soften, about another 4 minutes.

Add a splash of the chicken broth and scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add remaining chicken stock and scatter the garlic cloves, olives and thyme over the chicken.

Pour the lemon juice over everything and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat down as low as it will go and cover the pot, cooking for about an hour until the chicken is very tender. (If you have less time, be assured that I only cooked the chicken for about 35-40 minutes and it was well cooked and juicy and delicious).

Serve over rice, potatoes, or alongside a piece of bread.  I also served with roasted root vegetables.

This is the plated version which I hesitate to even show you because I put so little effort into it.  To be honest I was so excited to eat.

As always, please let me know what you think by leaving a comment.  I always appreciate a share as well!

braised chicken plated

Salmon with Clementine Cucumber Salsa

clementine cucumber relish fish

I continued on my quest of cooking every recipe in Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook It’s All Good this week.  I had some salmon in the freezer and the ingredients for the salsa already in my fridge.  My 11 year old, Reese, helped me assemble the ingredients and acted as my sous chef, which means she peeled the clementines.  Sometimes she’s more enthusiastic about being helpful in the kitchen than others.  While reading the recipe out loud to me she said “This is the first recipe I’ve seen in this book that doesn’t have some totally crazy ingredient”.  I laughed because it’s true.  Gwyneth loves a good totally obscure ingredient (gochugaru anyone?).

The recipe for this dish was ultra-easy which is perfect for a weeknight dinner.  It called for cilantro and mint, both of which I didn’t have on hand.  I firmly believe in adjusting recipes on the fly and not adhering too strictly.  I love both mint and cilantro but knew the salsa would still taste good without it.  I ended up eating the leftover salsa as a salad the next day for lunch. I got two favorable reviews from my kiddo and husband and I also thought it was really tasty. I will definitely make it again and again.

Here it is, adapted from Gwyneth’s original:

INGREDIENTS:

4 fillets of your fish of choice (I used salmon but any would be good)

1/2 cucumber, chopped

4 clementines, peeled and chopped

A few dashes of crushed red pepper, to taste

3 shallots, sliced thinly

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt to taste (I love course sea salt)

Olive oil

METHOD:

Combine the cucumbers, clementine, chili, shallot, lemon juice in a bowl, add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, and stir to combine.

Meanwhile, heat a grill or a grill pan over high heat.  Coat the fish with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Grill until firm to the touch, about 4 minutes each side depending on thickness of fish fillets.

Serve the fish with the salsa.

ENJOY!