I woke up today thinking about olives. It was 4:00 a.m., my usual time to wake up thinking about something. This morning it was olives, and lunch. Confession: I often wake up thinking about lunch.
A fond reminiscence in our family is how food-oriented my father-in-law was; well, a better word is obsessed. He too often awoke with food on his mind and began planning the mid-day meal before his head even left the pillow. He would turn to Rose, my mother-in-law, and say to her, whispering quietly so as not to disturb her rest, “Ro, do you think we should defrost that chicken for lunch today?” It pissed her off. He too, I should add, was inclined to wake up early. She would harrumph, Sta Zitto, Gigi. Che piaga! Translating roughly to: What a pain in the ass you are. He would roll out of bed and head for the kitchen.
A few days ago I made a mental note: remember the olives. I opened a can of pitted black olives for one of the grandboys. He ate 4-5. These olives I had stored in the pantry with chicken in mind, for kind of a cacciatore preparation of some skinless boneless thighs. In 45 minutes they’re ready. And they’re good.
In a soft saute of onion in olive oil, thighs seasoned with salt and pepper, lightly browned on both sides, a little white wine and fresh rosemary, and a handful of olives that, if they’re from a can, I cut in half: this chicken cooks covered medium low for 30 minutes and is ready to eat.
Another option is a little red wine instead of white, and a dab of tomato. These are sauces you’d like to drag a chunk of bread through.