Friday, March 1, 2019

Braised Chicken Thighs with Lemon, Garlic, and Olives

Update 3-1-19:  Well, I don't know where my head was when I wrote this post but clearly I let it fall through some crack or another. When I think about it, if I think about it, I have to admit my love of blogging has taken a left turn and my not return at all.  At any rate, it would be a waste of a good recipe if I didn't post this one, it's that good and that easy.  Read on for a glimpse into my psyche in 2016.

I had thought I was finished with this blog, posting here and there over the last few years with lots of time and space in between, then falling off to one or two posts a year in a feeble attempt to keep it going.

My life changed drastically over the fall of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 and the joy I took in creating recipes and cooking to post on this blog fell to zero.

Here it is, 3 years later (now 6), and the urge to share is returning to me.  I don't promise recipes every day, or even every week, in fact I don't make promises anymore at all.  But I still do cook, and Mr. CC keeps telling me to "write it down, Sweetie."

So now I begin again.  And where better than with a dish fit for Autumn: A simple, put-it-in-the-oven-and-walk-away recipe that befits the shorter days and crispy-cool nights that promise more warm and inviting dishes from the oven.

Braised Chicken Thighs with Lemon, Garlic, and Olives
Recipe by Christine
Serves 4 to 8 people
8 skin on, bone in chicken thighs
2 teaspoons vegetable oil, such as canola
2 whole lemons (I use Meyers when I can get them)
12 cloves garlic
3/4 cup mixed olives with pits
1 tablespoon Penzey's Tuscan Sunset herb mix
1-2 cups low sodium chicken stock or a combo of stock and dry white wine
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Heat oven to 370-degrees F.
Drizzle oil in a Dutch oven or other oven-safe lidded casserole and wipe the bottom and sides with a paper towel (I used a Staub Cocotte, which I happen be lucky enough to own, but any cast iron Dutch oven works just as well).
Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper to your liking and arrange on the bottom of the pot.
Peel the garlic cloves and slice in halves or thirds, depending on the size of the cloves, and push between the chicken thighs.
Cut the lemons into quarters (or eighths, depending on size) lengthwise, then cut off the stem end and slice off the center of each wedge to release the seeds.  Remove the seeds and push the wedges between the chicken thighs.
Sprinkle the olives over the top of the chicken, then sprinkle the herb mix over all.
Pour 1 cup of the chicken stock over the chicken until it barely covers.
Cover with a lid and place in the oven on a centered rack, and braise for about 2 hours, removing the lid for the last 20 minutes.  Check after an hour or so and add more chicken stock if needed.
When the thighs are falling off the bone, take the pot out of the oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes and up to 1/2 hour.

You can pair this dish with cooked rice, polenta, or simply good sour dough bread to sop up the juices.

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