Sauteed Chicken Thighs with Sweet & Sour Salsa

Sauteed chicken thighs with sweet and sour salsa

(by Michael Psilakis, from Live to Eat)
Serves 4

This dish is in heavy rotation in my house because the preparation (chopping the garlic and herbs) takes less than 5 minutes. The rest involves cooking the ingredients in a skillet in stages—and you’re done.

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, patted dry and pounded ¼ inch thick
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ cup white wine
2 cups Sweet and Sour Peppers and Onions (**recipe below)
1 cup Divina oil-cured olives, pitted
4 teaspoons Garlic Puree, optional (**recipe below)
¼ cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (parsley, dill, mint)

Season the thighs with salt and pepper on one side and salt on the other. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Slip the thighs in and cook until the edges are opaque and the meat moves easily when you shake the pan. Resist the temptation to move them before they are properly seared. Turn over and cook until browned.

To make the sweet and sour salsa, add the sliced garlic to the pan and sauté until golden and fragrant. Add the wine and cook until it is reduced by half. Add the peppers and onions and 1 cup water and distribute evenly in the pan. Stir in the olives and garlic puree, if using. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer until the sauce thickens to the consistency of ketchup and the chicken is falling off the bone, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in the herbs. Transfer the chicken and sauce to a platter and serve warm.

Sweet & Sour Peppers & Onions
Makes 10 cups

This basic recipe, made sour with vinegar and sweet with honey, is quite malleable—so add your favorite ingredients to flavor it: Chile flakes add heat, crushed toasted nuts add texture and depth, chopped fresh herbs brighten it.

This makes far more than you will need for any one recipe, but you can freeze what you don’t use in 1-cup portions in rigid freezer-safe containers with tight- fitting lids or in resealable plastic bags. Thaw at room temperature or defrost in the microwave before using.

1⁄4 cup canola oil
4 yellow bell peppers, cut lengthwise into 1⁄4-inch-thick strips
4 red bell peppers, cut lengthwise into 1⁄4-inch-thick strips
3 large yellow onions, cut into slivers
15 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
6 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup white wine vinegar
1⁄2 cup dry white wine
2 cups Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium- high heat, combine the canola oil and peppers and sauté until just softened and fragrant and the peppers begin to release a little liquid, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and sauté just until the onions are soft; do not let them take on any color. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the vinegar and white wine and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. (The larger the pan, the faster the liquid in the mixture will reduce.)

Add 6 cups water, the tomato sauce, honey, salt, and pepper and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid thickens to the consistency of a salsa. The peppers and onions will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for 1 week, or for up to 3 months in the freezer.

Garlic Puree
Makes 1 cup
1 cup garlic confit (cook garlic cloves in olive oil & herbs at 300 degrees for 50 minutes)

Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the cloves and place in food processor, blend till smooth.

 

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