Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

A comfort food dinner — chicken thighs braised with mushrooms, tomatoes and black olives.


Here’s a flavor-packed dinner that doesn’t require much effort — except ripping the skin off chicken thighs. I was going to make this dish in a slow cooker like the original recipe specified, but my day got away from me and I didn’t have four hours, so I decided to try it on the stovetop.

Since I was only cooking for two, I cut back the ingredients, but I added mushrooms to the mix. Fennel would also make a great addition if you have some. You could substitute chicken breasts instead of thighs. If you cut the cooking time way back, you could substitute a sturdy piece of fish too.

I served the chicken with orzo, but any kind of pasta, rice or couscous would be good. A green vegetable and garlic bread, along with some wine, make this an excellent and easy dinner.

Braised Chicken Thighs with Olives and Tomatoes recipe | Grabbing the Gusto

Braised Chicken Thighs with Olives and Tomatoes | Grabbing the Gusto

Chicken Thighs with Olives and Tomatoes

You’ll need a large skillet with lid.

  • 6 chicken thighs, skinned, trimmed, bone-in
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium or large onion, chopped
  • 4-6 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 medium to large garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup or more sliced pitted kalamata olives
  • Optional – 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil

Pat chicken thighs dry and season them with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to the pan. Don’t crowd the pieces; do them in batches if necessary. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. When done, remove to a plate.

Pour off all but one tablespoon of fat. Turn heat to medium-low. Add onion and mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring, until just starting to soften. Add garlic to the pan, and cook, stirring, until just golden. Add wine, scraping the pan to loosen any browned bits, and cook 30 seconds.

Return chicken and any juices to the pan. Add tomato paste, crushed red pepper, thyme, oregano, tomatoes with juice and olives. Simmer, covered, turning chicken occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Stir in parsley or basil, if you’d like. Taste for seasoning.

Adapted from: Chicken Thighs with Olives and Tomato Sauce, Cooking Light, March 2009

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