Pollo con le Olive Verdi
Bob's Pollo con le Olive Verdi Recipe
Today’s delicious recipe is borrowed (with my modifications) from one of the six cookbooks written by the goddess of Italian cooking Marcella Hazan. If you were to own only one Italian cookbook it probably should be her Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.
The olives I used are castelvetrano from Sicily and they are extremely popular all over Italy. I buy them in bulk and un-pitted in an Italian grocery or in a larger grocery that has an olive bar. Most olives will work but, to state the obvious, you should use olives that you know you like. Jungle Jim’s might be a source.
Don’t be put off by the anchovies in the recipe. If you’re allergic to them, they can be omitted. If you don’t think you like them because you’ve only seen them lying helplessly on top of a pizza, I suggest you try them anyway. They add great flavor and you won’t actually taste them in the finished dish.
3-4 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and slightly smashed
6-8 pieces of chicken, any combination of thighs and legs
salt and pepper
½ c dry white wine
3 T red-wine vinegar
5 anchovy filets
8 oz green olives, un-pitted (or black, if preferred)
2 T parsley, chopped
5-6 basil leaves, fresh and torn by hand into small pieces
3 T lemon juice, preferably fresh
Remove the olive pits by cutting the olive meat off in pieces. Combine half of the olive pieces with the anchovies and chop both into a fine pulp. In a sauté pan (with a lid and large enough to hold all of the chicken) heat the oil over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic until it starts to turn golden then remove and discard it.
Pat the chicken dry, then raise the heat to high and brown the chicken pieces all over, starting with the skin side down. Remove the chicken to a platter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour off some (not all) of the oil from the skillet and with the heat still high add the wine and vinegar and let them reduce by half while scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the olive and anchovy mixture plus 2-3 T of water, stir well and cook for one minute.
Return the chicken to the pan, turning the pieces over a few times in the olive mixture, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with the lid slightly askew and cook for 35-40 minutes. Turn the chicken from time to time, adding a little water if the olive mixture becomes too dry. Test for doneness by inserting a sharply pointed knife into a thigh near the bone. If the juice is clear the chicken is done. Add the remaining ingredients – olives pieces, parsley, basil and lemon juice – to the pan. After adding each one, stir well and turn the chicken pieces over a few. Transfer the chicken to a platter and top with the olive mixture from the skillet. You are ready to eat.