Mediterranean Chicken with Capers and Olives by Jeanne Jones

by Hilary Gauntt on September 30, 2012

Jeanne Jones is known as the Dear Abby of the food section, and her mission is to show Americans that they can eat healthy and well at the same time. She has written over 32 cookbooks since 1972 and is an internationally syndicated columnist specializing in taking recipes sent in by readers and making them healthier without sacrificing flavor. My mother is a big fan, as am I.  I heard her speak years ago, and she said she was always interested in cooking but it became her life’s work after her seemingly healthy, athletic husband died suddenly; from causes that might have been controlled by a healthier diet.

This dish proves her point that healthy can taste rich and delicious.  It would be perfect to take to a friend needing dinner, as it  can be completely cooked and refrigerated prior to delivery, then popped in the oven to reheat that night or the next.

1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

6 large boneless,skinless, chicken thighs, all visible fat removed

1 large onion, thinly sliced ( 2 cups)

1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed

1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 cups chopped, peeled and diced plum tomatoes

1 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup capers

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, place the chicken in the pan and brown each piece on all sides.  Set the chicken aside on a separate plate.  Add the onion to the pan and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any bits stuck to it. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften.  Add the oregano, thyme, salt and pepper, and stir until well mixed.  Add the tomatoes and wine, and again mix well.

Return the chicken to the pan, plus any juices that collected on the plate, and bring the liquid to a boil. Cover, lower the heat to low and simmer for 20 more minutes.  Add the capers and olives, cover again and simmer for 15 more minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear when pierced with a fork.  Jeanne likes to serve each chicken thigh on a bed of couscous, spooning the sauce over the top of each serving.

Note: I have made this with skinless boneless breasts also; just make sure to reduce the cooking time quite a bit.  I didn’t bother to peel the tomatoes, and added a couple of chopped cloves of garlic towards the end of sauteing the onions -great combination of flavors.

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