Chicken with Olives and Herbs
Sage is an herb that I don't use very often in my cooking. I think it's because I only know a handful of recipes that call for it: pasta, stuffing, and hot soup. Its woodsy aroma and earthy flavor lend themselves well to these heavier types of dishes, but I don't typically associate sage with summer fare.
That is... until now!
I've found a recipe that puts sage in a wonderful pairing with the champion of all summer herbs: Basil. The recipe is called Chicken with Olives, and it comes from The Silver Spoon cookbook, which, as I mentioned before, is one of my favorite sources for good Italian recipes. In this dish, I used five ingredients from our garden: San Marzano tomatoes, garlic, and the freshly snipped sage, basil, and thyme shown in the photo above.
Chicken with Olives / Pollo Alle Olive
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 chicken, cut into pieces
3/4 cup white wine
6 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 fresh thyme sprig, chopped
4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 fresh marjoram sprig, chopped
1/2 cup pitted black olives
juice of 1/2 lemon, strained
6 fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper
I modified the recipe slightly, to use the ingredients I had on hand. For example, instead of a whole chicken, I used chicken thighs. I fried them in the olive oil for about 15 minutes, seasoned them with salt and pepper, removed them from the pan and kept them warm in the oven. Then I stirred in 3/4 cup of chicken broth, instead of white wine. I cooked the broth until it concentrated, then I added the tomatoes, garlic, thyme, and sage. (I didn't have any marjoram, so I added a bit more thyme and sage.) Return the chicken to the pan and let it cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Add the olives, lemon juice and basil. Cook for a few minutes more and serve.
What I enjoy about this dish is its wonderful stewed flavor. The herbs, garlic, lemon juice and tomatoes meld together perfectly. And then the basil adds a light, colorful, and fresh summery touch at the end. I recommend a few slices of good, toasty bread for soaking up all those flavors!
This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, which is being hosted at Anthony's Kitchen in India. Visit his site on Monday for a recap of this week's posts featuring herbs, plants, vegetables and flowers.