Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mediterranean Chicken

No St. Patty's Day write up here- it's over, it's past, we're looking ahead. Except, not, because I've already cooked the meal I'm going to tell you about. But no matter. We can pretend.

So I made some poached (maybe braised?) chicken thighs in a pan sauce, severely adapted from Gratineed Chicken in Cream Sauce (Poulet a la Fermier) that I found over on

I was inspired by the Chicken with Lemon and Olives I once had at Marrakesh in DC, a Moroccan restaurant that serves you family style (while you sit on big sinky couches with lots of pillows).

I braised the chicken with lots of good stuff and piled it high with sliced green olives. If you pull it off, the chicken will be nice and juicy, with lots of bright lemon and contrasting salty olive flavors.

The part I didn't pull off right though, was the mashed potatoes. I was utterly flabbergasted, but my nice roomie A. assured me that it was the potatoes, not me. Uh-huh. As you can maybe see here, the potatoes resembled wallpaper paste, both in texture and flavor. Pretty awful. I learned the valuable lesson that potatoes and immersion blenders don't mix. But I was just so excited to use my new blender!


Just mash your potatoes by hand, mmkay?

Braised Mediterranean Chicken Thighs
Adapted from

1 pound chicken thighs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
3 fresh parsley sprigs
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup green olives, pitted and sliced

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.

Heat butter in medium-sized wide bottom sauce pan over moderately high heat until foam subsides. Brown chicken all over and remove from pot. Reduce heat to medium and briefly saute garlic (being careful not to burn). Add wine and deglaze pan by scraping up any brown bits.

Tie fresh herbs into cheesecloth to create a bouquet garni. Add to pan along with chicken, skin side up, and any juices that may have accumulated on the plate. Add stock and olives, and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and the juices run clear.

Before serving, add lemon juice to pan sauce and stir. Note: Because of the small amount of liquid this recipes calls for, I did have to add more stock while the chicken was cooking. If your sauce is too thin when the chicken is finished, just reduce it by heating uncovered over medium-high heat until it is half the original volume.


  1. the chicken sounds great!

    for mashed potatoes I use a ricer, I think it makes them the most fluffy and tasty.

  2. I've never seen mashed potatoes look like that, and I always used a stand mixer to mash mine! Crazy!

  3. I have never seen potatoes behave like that... wow. I got an immersion blender last Christmas and I love it for things like pasta sauce and salad dressing!

  4. See Kate, I TOLD you it wasn't (all) you! The mixer method of mashed potatoes is done ALL the time, but sometimes there's too much starch in potatoes and they get gluey. Using the immersion blender just pureed them and allowed the glueyness to become overwhelming. They were bizarre, but it wasn’t (entirely) your fault.

    Yours Nicely,

    roomie A.

  5. Oooh, sorry about those potatoes! The immersion blender can sometimes be too much of a good thing A while back I tried doing a quick hollandaise, and before I knew it the eggs had cooked. Too much heat from all the intense whirring I guess.

    Anyway, the chicken sounds great. I don't cook with olives nearly enough and just the thought of that salty briny flavor with the lemon -- I look forward to trying it.