Makes 4 Servings
- 1 ½ cups olive oil
- One 3 ½ pound fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup thinly sliced celery, about 1 stalk
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ cups dry white wine
- 3 cups chicken stock (preferably low-sodium)
- 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 15 green Sicilian olives, pitted
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped thyme leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Kosher salt to taste
In a deep skillet or pot large enough to hold the chicken pieces, heat the oil over medium-high heat until just starting to smoke. Pat the chicken dry, season it with pepper, and place it in the hot oil. When the chicken is browned turn it over and brown the other side, about 20 to 30 minutes’ total, or until cooked through. Set the chicken aside.
Very carefully, as it is very hot, pour out all but 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the celery and the garlic. Over medium-high heat, lightly brown the garlic but do not burn it, or it will taste bitter. Add the wine, chicken stock, vinegar, olives, and thyme. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the liquid for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter and reduce, about 15 to 30 minutes, adding the chicken back for the last 5 minutes to reheat. Check the sauce for seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper, or vinegar. Place the chicken, drizzle with the sauce, and serve, garnished with thyme.
** Tip**: If you can’t find Sicilian olives, other types can be substituted, but keep in mind that Sicilians are quite large and the amounts should be adjusted accordingly.