Spring may have sprung, but I think it left us for a while. Last week we had beautiful, sunny, crisp spring weather. Since yesterday? Rain, gloom, doom, dreary, cold and raw. What the heck?
With that in mind I decided something warm and comforting was in order for dinner. Chicken was on sale, so I picked up a package and the few other things I would need and headed on home. And of course I forgot the olives. Which I absolutely love in this dish, but I wasn’t up to running back out again to get them.
This is easily a dish that everyone in my house will eat. Chicken, tomato sauce, served over rice or pasta. What’s not to like about it!
I’m pretty much a white meat girl when it comes to my chicken. And by that I mean I will normally cook with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. But for this dish, you want chicken on the bone. It just adds to the flavor and allows the chicken to stay tender and juicy.
I took three large split chicken breasts on the bone, and armed with my cleaver, I hacked them into smaller pieces.
This was my weapon of choice for this task:
Leaving the skin on, I first sliced each breast, through the bone, into three pieces. I then took the two pieces that were a part of the larger side of the breast and cut those in half as well. So each split breast gave me five pieces of chicken. For this dish I like it smaller and easier to eat, and so do my kids.
I also rinse each piece of chicken after I have cut it. I do this because sometimes you end up with those little shavings of bone when you cut through it, and I really don’t like picking chicken bones out of my sauce. After rinsing I pat them dry and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dredge them in a little flour and then brown them on each side in a little olive oil and butter.
After they are all browned, I remove them to a warm plate, wipe out the pan with the flour and add a little more olive oil and butter. Throw in my diced onion, garlic and roasted red peppers with a little chicken broth, and let it reduce a little.
Once that’s done, add the crushed tomatoes, (you can use whole or diced if you prefer), oregano, thyme, rosemary and basil and check the seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if necessary. Stir that around, and add your chicken back to the pan.
Turn this down to simmer and cover. You can let this go for about 30 minutes, but I prefer to let it go for an hour. I love it when the chicken is just about ready to fall off the bone. About 10 minutes before I plan to take it off the stove I normally throw in the olives (you can use Kalamata). Of course since I forgot them they aren’t in this dish. But I highly recommend them if you try this out. Their briny and salty taste really adds to the dish. Serve over some rice or pasta and it’s delish!
- 3 Split Chicken Breasts, (cut each breast, with bone and skin, into 4 or 5 pieces
- 1 28 Can Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 2 Roasted Red Peppers, Roughly Chopped (or 2 Red Bell Peppers)
- 1 Medium Onion, Diced
- 1/2 Cup Kalamata Olives (optional)
- 1 Spring Fresh Thyme
- 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
- 1/2 tsp. Dried Crushed Rosemary
- 1/2 tsp. Dried Sweet Basil
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Take each chicken breast, and using a sharp knife (I use a Chinese Cleaver), slice each breast into three pieces, and then take the 2 larger pieces of the breast and cut those in half as well, giving you 5 pieces per each split breast.
Rinse chicken after cutting to remove any stray pieces of cut bone. Pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Dredge each piece into the flour and set aside.
In a large and heavy frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter together. Add half of the chicken and brown on each side until you reach a nice golden color and the skin is crisp. About 5 to 7 minutes. Remove chicken from pan to a warm plate, add the last tablespoon of oil and the last tablespoon of butter and brown the rest of chicken.
Once all chicken is browned and removed to a warm plate, wipe out any extra flour that browned on the bottom of the pan. Add in the chicken broth, onions, garlic, and roasted red peppers. Stir to combine and let reduce by half.
Once done, stir in the crushed tomatoes and add the basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary and stir well. Test for taste, and add any additional salt or pepper you think the dish needs. Add the chicken back to the pan and spoon sauce over each piece. Cover tightly and turn the heat to a simmer. Allow to cook for a minimum of 30 minutes, or up to an hour for more tender chicken. Add the olives to the pan about 10 minutes before you remove it from the stove.
Serve over rice or pasta.