Chicken with Olives and Tomatoes

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Much has happened this past week.  Last Friday our home officially went on the market.

Beginning then and through the weekend we had realtors bringing clients to show the house which meant my husband and I were “out of here”…prospective home buyers don’t feel comfortable looking at the house with the home owner within earshot, so we found ourselves having breakfast, lunch and dinner out Friday, Saturday, and Sunday…and killing a lot of time. A movie in between meals, a trip to Georgetown window shopping in between meals, having coffee in between meals, etc., and all the time wondering what was going on at home.

To say we were excited, nervous, crazed is an understatement.  I pride myself in keeping a very clean, orderly home, but the pressure of having everything perfect for whomever walks through our door knowing they will be looking in every nook and cranny is challenging to say the least!

Will that tulip which is drooping or the wrinkle in the pillow case put the kabosh on a possible sale… did we remember to put every single light in the entire house on before we left..and if we did will a bulb burn out while we’re away…did I empty the coffee grinds from the coffee maker… if yes, did the trash with the coffee grinds in it get taken out…  did my husband forget to put his slippers away since he is no longer allowed to wear shoes in the house??? You get the picture…

So you can imagine how shocked, thrilled and elated we were to find out on Sunday evening we had a couple of offers, and by Monday we had a signed contract!!!

And by Tuesday we didn’t have to eat breakfast out! 

Today I was really looking forward to making a nice dinner for the first time in a while. Last week there wasn’t a whole lot of cooking going on.

So for dinner tonight I made a recipe from The Tuscan Sun Cookbook, a holiday gift from my son and his girlfriend.

Written by  Frances Mayes’s (the best-selling author of memoirs about Tuscany ), and her husband Edward Mayes, this is her first-ever cookbook.  In it she and her husband share recipes they have enjoyed over the years as honorary Tuscans: dishes prepared in a simple, traditional kitchen using robust, honest ingredients.

Chicken with Olives and Tomatoes (serves 4)

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, cut into 8 pieces, dredged in about 1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup red wine

1 cup mixed black and green olives, pitted

1 handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1 cup chopped oven-roasted tomatoes (recipe below) (Make in advance)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and brown the chicken pieces, 2 minutes on each side. 

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Season with the salt and pepper.  Add the wine, raise the heat to high for 1 minute, and then transfer everything to a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.

In a small bowl, mix the olives, parsley, and tomatoes, and pour this over the chicken.

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Bake uncovered for  30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces, turning the chicken once.

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I spooned some of  the sauce from the chicken over spaghetti as a side dish.

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Roasted Tomato (The Tuscan Sun Cookbook)

…In summer, the trio of chopped, luscious tomatoes, olive oil, and fresh herbs, sings the national anthem.

In winter, canned or boxed tomatoes attain a new depth of flavor during a long nap in the oven.  The plump little darlings garnish a roast or chopped, wake up a last-minute risotto or frittata.

If you want heat, scatter a tablespoon of peperoncini, red pepper flakes, over the tomatoes while cooking.

Ingredients

60 or so cherry tomatoes, halved, stem ends trimmed; or 25 medium tomatoes, quartered; or 3 28-ounce cans San Marzano plum tomatoes, drained, cut into quarters.

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary or 1 and 1/2 tablespoons dried

3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves or 1 and 1/2 tablespoons dried

3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves or 1 and 1/2 tablespoons dried

5 garlic cloves, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

 Arrange the tomatoes cut side up on a parchment-lined 12 by 16-inch sheet pan.  Drizzle the olive oil over them, scatter the herbs and garlic, and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 2 hours, turning the tomatoes once.

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Coarsely chop the tomatoes for bruschette,or simply press a tomato onto each crostino.

Leftover tomatoes can be packed into jars, topped with olive oil, and stored in the fridge for a week.




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