Mark Bittman’s Chicken with Walnuts, Green Olives, and White Wine

This is a recipe we have often enjoyed.
In 2004, I copied it from The New York Times, from Mark Bittman’s Minimalist column called
“Crossing Over to the Dark Side” (July 14).
My old computer still has some files (recipes, emails, pictures) we occasionally want to look at: No matter how many times I print this recipe, it gets lost. I want to post this favorite recipe on my blog so it will be easier for me to find in future. And I hope you appreciate it as well.

It was this recipe which made me aware of how juicy, tasty, and tender that the dark meat of chicken can be. Chicken thighs are very forgiving of long cooking, and are especially delicious when treated to gentle braises. Dark meat has much more flavor than the breasts, and its character can be enhanced with a variety of spices, sauces, and zesty ingredients.

Sautéed Chicken Thighs with Green Olives, Walnuts and White Wine
A variation of the recipe I first used: How to Cook Everything: Bittman Takes on America’s Chefs
serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 cup cracked green olives
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • ½ cup broken walnut pieces
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped parsley

Heat a heavy bottomed skillet, then add the oil. Turn heat to medium-high. When oil is hot, add chicken, skin side down, and brown it well turning pieces as necessary, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
With chicken skin side up, add wine and olives. Adjust heat so mixture simmers vigorously for 15 minutes.
Place sliced lemons on the chicken, and cook until the meat is cooked. Arrange chicken and lemon on a platter, and stir walnuts into sauce. Taste, and adjust seasoning, then spoon sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve.


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