About a year before I got into cooking, my mom got me three books with the best recipes from Bon Appetit magazine. One of the recipes I made a lot was chicken with olives and oranges from the January 2005 issue. The first few times, it was actually pretty bland and my attempts to make it more flavorful didn't exactly work. So I took it out of my regular rotation and hadn't made it in years. Back in May when I was cleaning out my cookbook army, I found the Bon Appeitit book and decided to try it again. This time, I added some new tweaks and the result was a pretty tasty meal. That said, I should have served it with a salad or something. By itself it's not a large amount of food.
The trick to improving the magazine's recipe was to add a bit of lemon juice and some extra olives. I halved the recipe to make it for two people but didn't halve the amount of olives. I also seasoned the chicken with more black pepper than usual. The result was a tangy, salty (in a good way, it wasn't overkill) chicken dish that is relatively healthy. The recipe below is heavily adapted from the original.
Chicken with Olives and Oranges
Adapted from the January 2005 issue of Bon Appetit
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into large chunks
~1/2 cup sliced shallots, or about 2 shallots
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup medium sherry
1/4 cup low salt chicken broth
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 orange, cut into 6 wedges
the juice from half of another orange
1/3 to 1/2 cup brined green olives such as picholine
1.5 teaspoons honey
salt and pepper
1) Preheat your oven to 425 F. Heat the olive oil in an oven proof skillet over high heat. Season the chicken with salt and lots of black pepper. Brown the chicken and then remove it from the skillet.
2) Reduce the heat to medium high and drain all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings from the skillet. Add the shallot and cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
3) Add the sherry and reduce it by half. Scrape up all the brown bits in the skillet. Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, and orange juice and bring to a boil.
4) Return the chicken to the skillet and add the olives and orange wedges. Put the skillet in the oven and braise for about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
5) Remove the skillet from the oven and transfer chicken to serving plates. Bring the sauce to a boil and add honey. Cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Then pour the sauce with the olives and oranges over the chicken.