Skinless, boneless chicken thighs marinated in garlic and buttermilk, lightly fried and topped with a sauce of shallot, tomato and green olives.
Full recipe and more pictures after the jump.
For the Sauce:
One Shallot (minced)
Half a small tomato (about 1/4 cup minced)
A dozen green olives (sliced into coins)
1/4 cup stock (beef or chicken)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/8 cup dry vermouth
1 teaspoon granulated sugar (It really is important)
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
Set all sauce ingredients aside and keep them at hand so you're ready to throw the sauce together once the chicken is in the oven.
For the Chicken:
One and a half pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1/4 Cup buttermilk
One clove garlic (crushed)
2 cups breadcrumbs
enough cooking oil to fill your pan to 1/4"
Cut thighs in half lengthwise Lightly salt, then marinate the chicken in a non-reactive bowl with the crushed garlic clove and buttermilk. Toss to coat the thighs. Let stand for at least 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, dredge the thighs in breadcrumbs to coat.
Pour about 1/4" of cooking oil into your heavy-duty pan and heat over medium high. You will know the pan is hot enough when a single thigh placed in the pan sizzles immediately.
Fry the thighs in the oil in batches, being sure not to crowd the pan. About 2 minutes on the first side then a minute on the second should give you the desired browning.
Transfer the thighs to an oven-safe platter or baking sheet and place in a preheated, 325 degree oven. Leave them there as you finish frying all of the thighs and while you work on the sauce.
For the Sauce:
Once the thighs are all fried and reserved in your hot oven, get out a fresh pan and add 2 generous pats of butter and a little extra virgin olive oil. Once the butter stops foaming, add your minced shallots and allow to cook and color for about a minute. Add your tomatoes and sliced olives along with the stock and dry vermouth.
Allow this mixture to reduce in the pan for several minutes until the liquid is syrupy and almost gone. Watch carefully to be sure you don't go too far and burn it.
Add your heavy cream and reduce the heat to medium low. Make sure the heat is just high enough to gently simmer the cream - you don't want the heat so high that the sauce breaks. You want the sauce to thicken and coat the back of a wooden spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste and one teaspoon of granulated sugar. (The sugar is important, don't skip it!) Taste the sauce to be sure you've gotten your balance right.
Serve as many chicken pieces per person as you wish (three was a good number for us) with a generous spoonful of sauce on each piece. The starch and the green are up to you.
We had Brussels sprouts and corn on the cob with ours last night and it was delicious.
I recommend drinking a buttery California Chardonnay served chilled, or a good English bitter with this dinner. (Of course, just about any booze at all will be lovely - said the lush.) If you're going to drink red wine with it, I recommend something French like a Cote du Rhone, rather than an American Cabernet. Cab is pretty darn heavy for this meal.
For super wine suggestions, head over to Wicker Parker who has a great palate and a wonderful way with words.