I may not be an expert of the olive, but I do know what I like – olives drowning in extra virgin olive oil with huge chunks of garlic & a delicate blend of herbs. I have, like everyone else, tried a myriad of olives – canned, bottled, from the olive bar at Whole Foods…. it’s endless. However, I never really felt passionate about olives until my friend Evelyn gave me a bottle of her own gourmet olives that she & some friends can every fall. Alfredo & I had plans to join this canning party last October which involves a mallet, rubber gloves & wine…. Alas, my beloved appendix had to be removed the day before & we missed the fun. Almost 3 months have passed with the olives cocooned in their oil & yesterday Evelyn gave me a huge bottle of my very own!!! They are soooo yummy. I immediately started flipping through my cookbooks for the perfect recipe (perfect meaning ingredients that I already have). Below is what I found.
Chicken Casserole with Olives & Tomatoes
From Food Cook Eat by Lulu Grimes
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 sm onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 4 pieces of Chicken
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 1 glass of white wine
- A pinch of sugar
- 4 lg ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 12 green beans, topped, tailed & halved
- 12 olives
Heat oil in a flameproof casserole and fry the onions for a minute or two. Add the garlic and the chicken and fry for as long as it takes to brown the chicken all over.
Add the tomato paste and white wine, along with the sugar, and stir everything together. Add the tomato and any juices, the parsley and the beans and bring everything to a boil. Turn down the heat, season well and simmer for 30 minutes
Add the olives and simmer for another 5 minutes. The sauce should be thick by now and the chicken fully cooked. Add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve with potatoes, pasta or rice.
Serves 2; takes 50 minutes
*** Note: I doubled everything except for the tomatoes (ran out) to accommodate my family, I used 4 skinless chicken breast instead of chicken pieces and I skipped the salt & pepper because the olives are already rich with flavor. I served this with rice, but in the future I will prepare polenta, a lite risotto or pasta to go with this dish.
Thank you, Evelyn, for the olives….. Olive You!!!