Braised Savory Whole Chicken with Tomatoes & Olives
If we’re cooking a whole cut-up BBF Chicken, it’s most likely going to end up in a saucy, savory skillet dish like this one – tender chicken pieces nestled into a flavorful tomato based sauce with onions, peppers and Kalamata olives. This skillet dinner is an easy way to feed and impress a hungry family. And, it absolutely delivers on real flavor.
1 BBF Whole Cut-Up Chicken, completely thawed
2 Quarts Canned or frozen whole tomatoes, homegrown if possible
2 Medium Onions, cut in half lengthwise, then into fourths
Peppers – we use our homegrown large dice frozen, approximately 3 cups. If using fresh, you’ll need at least 3 or 4 sweet bell peppers
Fresh Garlic – several cloves, smashed in your mortar and pestle for maximum garlic flavor
Fresh or dried herbs – Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme – any will work or omit
Olives, pitted, plus the brine – we used organic Kalamata from Mediterranean Organic
Place chicken pieces on a baking sheet setting aside the heart, liver, 2 back pieces and the neck. We used the back pieces for stock making but you can use them in this dish if you like. They will certainly add flavor and the back pieces do have little bits of succulent dark meat.
Liberally season all chicken pieces front and back with salt, pepper and organic garlic granules or powder. This is our standard seasoning for every piece of meat we prepare. Feel free to alter to your liking although do not omit salt and pepper.
Drizzle pieces with olive oil. Heat your best large skillet (we use cast iron) until hot, add high heat safe fat and begin browning the chicken pieces. Depending on the size of your skillet, you will do this in 2 or 3 batches OR use more than one skillet. Turn chicken to brown all sides. Set chicken on plate to rest while you prepare sauce ingredients.
In same skillet, saute onions and peppers just to take the edge off – they will continue cooking in the sauce. Onions should be translucent but veggies should be slightly al dente.
If you didn’t use two skillets for browning the chicken, you may need the extra at this point. We had to use one large and one medium skillet to accommodate all the chicken plus sauce ingredients. If using two skillets, distribute peppers and onions along with the chicken keeping breast pieces together as they may require less cooking time. Add tomatoes and smashed garlic to each skillet. Sprinkle chicken with Kalamata Olives and add a bit of the brine as well. Turn heat to low and simmer until chicken is cooked through. Check breast pieces first to make sure they don’t overcook. Check for seasoning adding salt if necessary.
We served this delicious, tender chicken over creamy polenta with a few good shavings of fresh parmesean. Feta cheese would be excellent here, too. The sauce is a rich tomato broth and goes perfectly with the polenta. We added our clean chicken bones to a pot of chicken stock.