Braised chicken with lemon, oregano and olives
This lovely braised chicken dish gets its zest from slowly simmered lemon. It also works well with sauteed fish such as whiting or snapper fillets, browned during cooking to give them a nice crust. Just make it as described with the chicken stock, then pour over fish.
Braised chicken (or use fish) with lemon, oregano and olives. Photo: William Meppem
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600g boneless chicken thighs, skin on
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp butter, cold
1 cup chicken stock (check gluten-free if required)
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tsp fresh oregano leaves, plus extra to serve
1/2 tsp chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup of your favourite black olives
1/2 tbsp honey
1 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
boiled rice or soft polenta, to serve (use rice for gluten-free)
1. Cut the chicken thigh pieces in half.
2. Cut about a quarter off one end of the lemon then slice very finely, stopping about a quarter from the other end. Discard the two end pieces and remove any pips.
3. Heat oil and half the butter in a shallow pan over high heat. Brown chicken on both sides in batches, remove from pan. Drain half the oil from pan and discard.
4. Add the stock and lemon slices to the pan and bring to a simmer, then return chicken to pan. Cover and simmer very gently for about 12 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked. Add parsley, oregano, thyme and olives to pan.
5. Increase heat, remove chicken and lemon, and simmer sauce until reduced by half.
6. Add remaining butter to sauce, remove from heat, and quickly start whisking. The sauce will change colour and thicken slightly.
7. Stir in the honey, salt and pepper then return chicken and lemon to pan. Simmer for 1 minute.
To serve: Check seasoning, garnish with oregano leaves and serve with rice or polenta.