Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mediterranean Chicken

Forgive the lack of photos of this dish (and perhaps many other recipes in the future).  The truth is by the time I get done cooking I just want to sit down and eat right away.  I am always rushed in the evenings, trying to do everything I need to do before bedtime - clean up, prepare kid's lunch, bathe her, read to her etc. , and with a young child doing these routine just takes forever.  As much as possible I would like for Sophia to be in bed by 9PM (even though ideally toddlers should be asleep at 7PM).  Taking a picture is not easy.  I only have a point and shoot camera and to get a decent shot I take many many shots until I land on an acceptable one with good angle & good lighting.

Now going back to the recipe.  I love mushrooms and things salty like capers and olives so I was easily convinced that this recipe will be good.  Besides, it's perfect  for the cherry tomatoes harvested from my garden. I stumbled on this recipe on Bon Appetit.  Mistaking on buying a whole chicken instead of the chicken breast the recipe called for, I had to tweak the recipe a bit and adjust the cooking time.  However I am more than pleased with the outcome - a comforting dish very well suited for the cold days to come.  I think hubby had 3 bowls, almost not leaving me some for lunch the next day.

1 whole chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces (about 4 lbs)
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 oz shitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, cut into quarters
3 roma tomatoes, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped shallot (or onion)
2 tablespoon drained capers
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) chilled butter
1 cup cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

  1. Heat 6 tablespoons oil in large dutch oven over high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Working in 3 batches, brown chicken parts, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Do not crowd chicken or else it will not brown.  Transfer to a plate after browning.
  2. Add mushrooms; sauté until wilted and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.  
  3. Add broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze the brown bits on the bottom.  Add chicken back to the pan and bring to a boil, simmer for about 10 minutes. 
  4. Add olives, tomatoes, garlic, and shallot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. 
  6. Remove breast pieces as they cook faster than the other parts.  Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes or until all chicken parts are cooked through.
  7. Transfer chicken to a platter and set aside. Tent with a foil to keep warm.
  8. Check to make sure the sauce is thickened.  If not, increase heat and boil until thickened
  9. Add butter and stir briskly until melted.  Add capers & cherry tomatoes; then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  10. Pour mushroom mixture over chicken and sprinkle with parsley.  
  11. Serve over rice or couscous. 

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