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Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes and Black Olives

Served with Saffron Rice
(a generous 4)

12 Chicken Thighs
1 Aubergine
Olive Oil for cooking
2 Medium Onions
350g (12 oz.) Ripe Vine Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon Tomato Puree
1 Tablespoon Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon Sugar
Salt and Black Pepper
12 small black stoned olives
12 peeled cloves Garlic.

For the Rice:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Onion Finely chopped
2 Sticks Celery finely chopped
200g(7 oz.) Long Grain Rice
500ml (1 pt 2 oz.) Chicken Stock
Good Pinch Saffron (or substitute a teaspoon of Turmeric)

Heat the oven to 220 C, 425 F, Gas 7
Dice the Aubergine into little cubes and fry in some hot olive oil until brown outside and soft in the middle. Put to one side.
Slice the Onions and soften on a gentle heat in a covered pan for 5 to 6 mts.
Chop the tyomatoes roughly and add to the pan.
Add the tomato Puree. Vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and simmer together until the tomatoes are soft.Add the cooked Aubergine to this.
Pour this into a roasting tin or a large flat casserole.
Rub the skin of the thighs with olive oil and put them skin side up on top of the Tomatoes and Aubergine mixture.
Put the olives and the garlic cloves in between the thighs on the sauce.
Bake these in the oven for 30 mts.
The skin should be very crisp and the flesh inside well cooked and tender.
For the rice.
Soften the chopped onion and celery in the 2 tablespoons of oil until soft.
Add the rice and cook with them until transparent and shiney.
Add in the measured stock and the saffron and bring to a simmer.
If you are using a commercial stock you probably won't need to season.
Put on a lid and simmer gently for 15 to 18 mts.
Check and taste the rice at this stage, it probably will need a few more minutes with the lid off to dry out and cook further,there is no need to drain.

Serve the rice on the side and be sure and include some of the olives and the whole cloves of garlic with each serving of chicken.The garlic will have lost much of their pungency in the cooking but will have developed a delicious soft sweetness.

April 14, 2006 09:12 PM | 0 Comments
  Martin Dwyer
Consultant Chef