Poulet aux Olives (serves 4)

Sitting outside an off-the-beaten-track restaurant in a French village, a dish similar to this went past me to another table and when I ordered it there was none left. It has haunted me ever since. This tastes like I imagine my Poulet aux Olives would have tasted and has a lovely, deep flavored sauce due to using only the dark meat of the chicken which I seared before placing it in the casserole dish. I also de-glazed the frying pan with a little broth and scraped off all the bits stuck to the bottom and poured them on to the chicken. I added slices of lemon in addition to a mixture of green and black olives. When you serve the dish the lemon slices are more than garnish – you can eat them skin and all if you like, they have a much softer taste than raw lemon. Mashed potatoes are a good accompaniment to mop up all the delicious juices.

2 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and lemon pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 4 drumsticks with skin on

1 onion – chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 1/2 cups chicken broth + a little extra for de-glazing frying pan

1 lemon – sliced with the slices cut in half

24 pitted olives – 12 green, 12 black

Place 1 tbsp. oil in a frying pan and the other tbsp. of oil in a cast iron casserole dish. When oil is sizzling place chicken pieces in frying pan and sear well, brown and soften the onion in the casserole dish then add the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes.

When the chicken is nicely browned transfer it and the juices to the casserole dish, then add a little chicken broth to the frying pan to de-glaze and remove any bits stuck to the bottom. Pour over the chicken.

Add the other 1 1/2 cups of broth to the chicken along with the lemon slices and olives.

Bring to a boil then simmer with a lid on for 45 minutes.


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