Saturday, January 10, 2015

Kalamata and Lemon Baked Chicken

I really like olives. I could open a can of black olives and polish them off within 15 minutes if I let myself. Since really watching the amount of processed foods I eat, I frequently grab some olives from the olive bar at Whole Foods when I need a quick snack. They are full of healthy fats and low in carbs. And pairing higher fat olives with low fat and low carb chicken makes for a great combination for your digestion. 

Because the olives are salty, the rest of the dish needs less added salt. 

Try sprinkling the chicken with some sliced almonds before serving to add some crunch.  This chicken makes great leftovers, you can slice it and add to a salad or just eat cold straight from the fridge, like I do. 

Kalamata And Lemon Baked Chicken

Makes 4 servings

2 -3 pounds chicken breasts and thighs
Freshly ground pepper
3 tsp olive oil, divided
½ cup white wine
¼ cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 garlic cloves, minced, about 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
2 teaspoons lightly chopped thyme leave
½ cup whole, pitted Kalamata olives
2 medium shallots sliced, about ½ cup
Zest of 1 lemon

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Season chicken generously with salt and pepper.

Place large saute pan over medium high heat, add 2 tsp oil and when hot place 2 to 3 pieces of chicken in pan without overcrowding. Do not move for 2 to 3 minutes to allow chicken to turn golden brown, flip over and brown the other side, about 2 more minutes. 

Place in large baking dish, and repeat until all pieces are browned, adding a little oil in between if needed.  

Turn heat down to medium and pour in the wine to deglaze, scraping off any bits stuck to the pan. Remove from heat and pour over the chicken.

In a medium bowl, combine stock, vinegar, garlic, mustard, rosemary and thyme, and pour over the chicken. Add olives and shallots tucking them into the liquid around the chicken.  Sprinkle the lemon zest over the chicken.

Cover dish with foil and place in oven for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 20 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice and a big spoon so your guests may capture the tasty sauce in the baking dish.

Alternate instructions if you want to grill the chicken:

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in a large Ziploc bag. Wisk together the stock, vinegar, garlic, mustard, rosemary, thyme and lemon zest and pour into bag along with the olives and shallots. Marinate in refrigerator for 4 hours, up to overnight. 

Remove chicken from marinade and place on a hot grill, until not quite done, just long enough to get grill marks, about 5 minutes a side. Then place in baking dish, pour the marinade over the top, and bake for 1 hour uncovered.  Before serving, zest more lemon over the top and sprinkle with chopped parsley, or more fresh thyme. 

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