The only chicken recipe you will ever need
Yesterday morning I woke up a little late and catapulted myself out of bed with my heart racing at 100mph. I looked at the clock and figured I could just about shower, get dressed, feed the veritable farm of animals and get to work within a 40-minute time frame ó so long as everything went according to plan.
I donít function well doing admin in panic-mode (which is bizarre because I can present to a room full of people calmly while having an inner panic attack) and usually freeze. However, all was going to plan Ö until! Thereís always an until.
Just as I was feeding the bunnies, one hopped over the bowl and out of the chicken coop (because where else would you keep bunnies?) before I could blink. This was the naughty one, called Oreo, named deliberately by Belle to wind me up. (The other one is called Sugar, so Chloe didnít do any better.)
So there I was, with the clock ticking away, chasing a bunny called Oreo around the garden in a pair of heels, yelling out her name like the good nutritionist I am.
I was just about to give up when Oreo was distracted by a delicious patch of dandelion leaves and I managed to fling myself across the lawn and catch her by the back legs. I arrived at work only five minutes late, at 8.35am, with grass in my hair and poured myself a large glass of wine. The latter is not true, but I wish that it was.
On such days, the last thing you need is to try and assemble a dinner with a thousand ingredients and a million pans. Fortunately, I had everything to hand for this little gem of a recipe. You can prep it and leave it on the stove to gently bubble away while you get everything else together.
The house starts to smell amazing as it cooks and it really is totally delicious, packed full of flavour and itís great for leftovers too. I always make double and then freeze the rest.
So, if youíre bored of chicken, give this one a try. Itís a whole new level of healthy deliciousness and I promise you, youíll love it! If you donít like olives, just leave them out! Maybe throw in some baby tomatoes instead. Enjoy!
Baked chicken with green olives & lemon
8 chicken thighs or 4 breasts (preferably skinless, organic)
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs light olive oil
4 shallots, sliced into thin rings
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced into thin strips
2 cups chicken stock (I like Kallo. Avoid brands with MSG.)
2 garlic cloves peeled, crushed under the flat of your knife and cut in half
20 large green olives, pitted
Leaves from 1 sprig of thyme or 1 tbs dried
Juice of 1 large lemon
1, Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. If using thighs, trim the excess fat. If using breasts, cut each one in half widthways. Thighs are more tender and recommended for this dish.
2, Place the olive oil in a large enamelled cast-iron pan set over medium-high heat.
3, Add the chicken and cook until browned, approximately four to five minutes on each side. Remove the chicken on to a plate and set aside.
4, Turn the heat to medium and add the shallots and peppers to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, three to four minutes. Add a splash of the chicken stock and use a wooden spoon to loosen any bits that might be caught at the bottom of the pan.
5, Add the remaining stock to the pan and add the chicken, along with any juice that has accumulated on the plate.
6, Scatter the garlic cloves, olives and thyme over the chicken. Evenly pour the lemon juice over all.
7, Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat down very low to a gentle simmer and cover the pot. Cook for one hour until the chicken is nearly falling apart. I turn the chicken once in the juices during this time, but otherwise leave it alone.
8, Uncover the pan, remove the chicken and turn up the heat. Mix one heaped tablespoon of corn starch with just enough water to make a solution. Pour it into the juices while stirring gently as the sauce thickens. Pop the chicken back in and keep warm on a low heat until you serve it. Goes well with brown rice, quinoa or sweet potatoes with the obligatory half plate of steamed green veg.
ēCatherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram
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