Aunty D and her daughter came by to drop off some camping gear they borrowed. They ended up staying awhile, catching up with Mom and me. My brother had basketball practice, so Mom asked me to “heat up chicken.” I wasn’t quite sure what she meant by that, since I was sure she would say “cook” rather than “heat up” raw chicken (we had no leftover, cooked chicken). But I didn’t want to interrupt her and Aunty D, so I went ahead and pan-fried some chicken thighs.
I was reading food blogs earlier in the day, and came across The Amateur Gourmet’s braised chicken with cauliflower, olives and capers. I thought it sounded good, so I sent the link to Mom, who was intrigued as well. I channeled that recipe (minus the cauliflower; we did make broccoli later, though) while making dinner.
I didn’t want to get a cutting board and knife all chicken-y, so I just plopped the chicken into the pan. After it was golden brown on both sides, I removed it from the pan and sauteed off some onion and sliced garlic. After they were golden and fragrant, the pan seemed a bit dry. To counteract this problem, I added some vinegar and beef broth (to cut the acidity) to help deglaze the pan. After the liquid boiled off, I added some herbs de provence (I was going to use a Costco blend, until I realized it had lavender, so I opted for a French combo), chopped Pimento-stuffed Spanish Manzanilla olives, capers, Dijon mustard and chopped fresh heirloom tomatoes. After a quick toss, I piled the sauce on top of the chicken (minus one for my picky brother). The sauce ended up not as liquidy (it was more of a relish or topping) as the one on The Amateur Gourmet, but that was okay with me.
The chicken was moist (thank you chicken fat) and crispy. The sauce was fresh and bold, and evoked the flavors of a Tuscan summer well with the sweet, ripe tomatoes and the brightness from the olives. The capers added a nice pickled element to the dish. I could have eaten the sauce over rice or plain and been perfectly happy without the chicken.