Chicken with Olives and Herbs

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grow sage also but never know what to do with it. Here is a good recipe that I have used sage in!

I am vegetarian so I omit the prosciutto.

Also, Great website!!! I come often.

Cannellini Beans with Herbs and Prosciutto

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
2 ounces prosciutto, coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups arugula or mixed baby greens

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the sage and thyme. Add the tomatoes. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the beans. Simmer until the tomatoes are tender and the juices evaporate by half, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in the prosciutto, being careful not to overcook the prosciutto. Season the beans, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Arrange the arugula or mixed baby greens over a platter. Spoon the beans over the greens and serve

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Yum Christa!

I am going to try this and your pics are out of this world.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Christa said...

Thank you, Coffeepot.

Louisj80, thank you for the recipe. I love cannellini beans, so I want to try this.

11:09 AM  
Blogger La Gringa said...

I came by to check out your blog and found I already have it bookmarked! This recipe sounds fabulous and if I can ever get some tomatoes, I will definitely try it. Your pictures are mouth-watering.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That looks lovely and delicious.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Gattina Cheung said...

I don't go crazy for sage in cooking, but after seeing your splendid dish, and I like olive... plus I have some marjoram, I'll try your recipe. Really look great!

8:37 AM  
Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

I really, really like sage so I'm guessing I would like this a lot. Great pictures.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Ruth Daniels said...

I used to dislike sage - found it very musty, but now that I've matured and tried it again...well, what was I thinking?

Thanks for the recipe. Definitely a keeper.

11:01 PM  
Blogger sher said...

I love sage! Your pictures are so nice. They made my mouth water as I was looking at them. Now I'm very hungry for that yummy looking dish!

2:08 AM  
Blogger Silvia Hoefnagels . Salix Tree said...

Thanks so much for the recepie! I made it from memory, the very day I read it. And forgot the most important ingrediant, olives!
Ah well, I am going to make it again, with olives!!
If you'd like to see how mine turned out, come see it on my blog..
quite different from yours, but your dish inspired me.

5:15 AM  
Blogger Christa said...

Salix Tree,

I am happy to know you enjoyed this recipe as a source of inspiration. I like how you added several things that were available from your own garden. Your version looks/sounds delicious, too!

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Si I had red wine instead of white and cherry tomatoes instread of plum tomatoes, green olives rather than black, but it still tastes rich and flavorfull. Thanks!

7:52 PM  

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