Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pollo con Olive e Salvia

Last week I ran across this fun website and thought it sounded like too much fun, as well as a really good excuse to purchase more cookbooks (for the sake of research, of course).

Tessa Kiros is the site's current featured cookbook author.  I ordered two of her cookbooks (they all sounded divine).  I purchased "Twelve:  A Tuscan Cook Book" and "Falling Cloudberries:  A World of Family Recipes".  Shhh...don't tell my husband.  I buy and hide cookbooks like some women buy and hide clothes.  Hanging head in shame.  They magically appear on my bookshelf after an appropriate length of time.

This week's  I Heart Cooking Clubs assignment is "Under the Tuscan Sun".  Since I have not received my cookbooks yet I chose the recipe that Tessa features from her "Twelve" book.  After making this recipe my anticipation for the arrival of her cookbooks has heightened immensely.

There must be some law we're breaking by making such a elegant dish with such unpretentious ingredients.

Tessa makes this note about the olives to be used, "The olives used in this dish are sold in Tuscany as tostate (toasted), and, probably because of the way they have been sun or oven-dried, result in a delicious dry, yet almost chewy flavor.  I doubt that just any olives will be the same.  Try and find oven-dried or sun-dried olives from an Italian delicatessen, sold loose and shiny with hardly any olive oil, for this dish."

I found some good olives at Central Market.  They were not pitted.

Never fear; I grabbed my trusty cherry pitter to solve that little problem.

The main ingredients you will need are the olives, fresh sage leaves, garlic, white wine, olive oil, salt & pepper and or course your chicken.

The recipe calls for a chicken, cut up.  You can do this yourself or, here in Texas you can find it packaged as 'Pick-o-the-chick' (breast, thighs, legs and wings).  Naturally I couldn't find one so I grabbed a package of breast halves and a package of leg / thigh quarters.

Gather all of your ingredients together (I'm a mise en place kinda gal!), pre-heat your oven and put a flame to the skillet! 

It all comes together in a large skillet on the range-top then is transferred to the oven for around 30 - 40 minutes. 

And this is what you are blessed with.

The meat was succulent, the olives and garlic were perfectly cooked.  I made sure I had a little bite of olive with every bite of chicken.  Then I started eating the olives like candy, mmmmmmmm.

I would highly recommend this recipe and here it is.

Pollo con Olive e Salvia
Serves 4

1 chicken (about 1.5 kg / 3 lb. 5 oz) - interiors removed, skinned and cut into 8 portions
5 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
200 g (7 oz.) good black olives in olive oil (drained)
4 cloves garlic - peeled and lightly crushed with the flat of a knife blade
about 20 fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup of white wine

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Heat the olive oil in a large, wide saucepan or casserole dish (I used a large skillet) suitable for oven use as well. (If you do not have such a dish, you can transfer the chicken to an oven dish after it has been browned).  Add the chicken and brown on all sides (it should take 10 - 15 minutes).  Season with salt and pepper on all sides.  Add the olives, garlic cloves and sage leaves and cook for a couple of minutes more to blend the flavours.

Pour in the wine and transfer the dish to the hot oven.  Cook for 30 - 40 minutes.  the chicken should be moist and golden and the sage leaves and olives should be crisp and there should be only a little thickened, sauce.  Remove from the oven.

If you would like a little more sauce, then transfer the chicken, sage, garlic and olives to a serving plate, add about 1/4 cup of water to the pan and put the dish onto the stove top.  Scrape up the bits with a wooden spoon mixing them into the sauce, let it bubble up for half a minute or so and serve over the chicken.

I'm sharing this post with IHCC 


  1. Welcome to IHCC. I've been loving Tessa Kiros's recipes. This one looks delicious--those beautiful olives and all of that sage. Hope your books arrive soon.

  2. Oh my - absolutely gorgeous! I love your mise and the dish looks wonderful.
    I am the same with cookbooks - and now that I have decided to dive into art (as a middle age project..) I do it with art supplies too. Order/stash/order/stash.
    Sigh. ☺
    So glad you are cooking with us!
    I made my dish last night, will post tomorrow.

  3. This is a gorgeous dish...and actually on my to-make list! I almost went with it this week, but pushed it back again. I love the golden skin!

    And yeah, I'm the same way with cookbooks, except I don't even bother to hide it. It'd be futile. I just slide them onto a shelf or stack. They're never-ending and the hubs has given up caring. Cuz he knows there's nothing he can do about it... ;)

  4. Welcome to IHCC, and what a great dish to choose for your first entry. I love every thing about this dish, in fact I have virtually all of those ingredients in my kitchen on just about any day, so this is definitely bookmarked.

    As another self-confessed cookbook addict, you might like to join in with the Cookbook Sundays event over on my blog

    Sue :-)

  5. It's great to have you cooking along with us at IHCC. ;-) This looks like a wonderful dish and the photos are beautiful.

  6. So glad to have you cooking along with us:) I think you've stumbled upon a group of cookbook hoarders much like yourself :) I hide the cookbooks from my husband as well. He just doesn't understand.

    I love that you chose this dish. It looks remarkable. I'm a huge fan of olives with chicken. I think they really brighten up chicken in a terrific way. Looks gorgeous!

  7. I love olives, and their flavor is great with chicken. Nice recipe and pretty pics - thanks so much.

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