chicken, lemon and olive stew
Serves 5 to 6.
Note: Tastes even better a day or two after it’s made. From “Fine Cooking Soups & Stews,” by the editors of Fine Cooking.
• 3 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 12 thighs), trimmed of excess fat
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 to 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
• 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
• 1 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
• 1 tsp. ground cumin
• 1 tsp. ground coriander
• 1 to 2 small dried red chiles (such as chile de Arbol), stemmed and crumbled
• 1 (3-in.) cinnamon stick
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 c. lower-salt chicken broth
• Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
• 1 c. canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
• 1 c. small pitted green olives
• Cooked couscous
• 1 to 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro or mint
Season chicken all over with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Heat the oil in a 4-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, brown the chicken well all over, about 3 minutes per side, transferring each batch to a plate or bowl.
Reduce heat to medium, add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add turmeric, cumin, coriander, chiles, cinnamon stick and bay leaf, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken broth, lemon zest and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes.
Return chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot. Carefully stir in the chickpeas and olives, increase heat to medium high and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened somewhat and chicken is cooked through, another 6 to 8 minutes.
Stir in 1 tablespoon of remaining lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Serve with hot couscous, sprinkled with cilantro or mint.