Basque Chicken With Almonds And Olives
|Skinless boneless chicken breasts||3 Pound|
|Canned italian plum tomatoes with juice||35 Ounce (Whole, Not Crushed, 1 Can)|
|Lemon zest||1 Tablespoon (Zest Of One Lemon)|
|Olive oil||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs) (1/4 Cup Plus More For Deep Frying)|
|Onion||1 Large, chopped|
|Garlic||2 Clove (10 gm), minced|
|Stuffed green olives||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Canned pitted black olives||4 Ounce, drained (1 Can)|
|Capers||1 Tablespoon, drained|
|Salt||1 1⁄2 Teaspoon (Can Use Less, If Desired)|
|Slivered almonds||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Flour||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Dried thyme leaves||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
Wash the chicken in cold salted water.
Rinse and drain well.
Cut the whole breasts into quarters lengthwise (or sixths if they're large).
Cut the tomatoes into chunks.
Use a vegetable peeler to cut the zest from the lemon, with no white pith; cut the zest into thin strips.
Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet.
Add the onion and garlic, and saute on medium heat until the vegetables are yellow.
Add the tomatoes and juice, green and black olives, capers, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon (or less) of salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of the almonds.
Cook uncovered over medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The mixture should have a sauce-like consistency.
Meanwhile, mix the flour, thyme, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, if using.
Put about a third of the mixture in a plastic bag and add about a third of the chicken pieces.
Close the bag tightly and shake it to coat the chicken.
Prepare the remaining chicken the same way, in 2 more batches.
The coating should be thin; shake off any excess.
In a second large skillet, heat a small amount of olive oil and brown the chicken lightly on both sides, in batches.
Don't crowd the pan; don't cook the chicken through.
Add oil as needed (the thinner the flour coating, the less oil needed).
Spoon half the sauce into a large roasting pan (glass or ceramic) from which you can serve.
Lay the chicken on top.
Spoon the remaining sauce over it.
Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup almonds.
The recipe can be prepared ahead to this point and refrigerated until needed.
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through but not dry.
if the casserole is cold, this may take 40 minutes.