Chicken Thighs with Saffron, Green Olives & Mint
When I was living in New York I would rush home from work everyday to watch Molto Mario, even though he always seemed like a prick, he had such an immense body of Italian food knowledge that I was hooked. I realized shortly after moving to the West Village that we actually lived around the corner from one another, I would often see him walking up 5th Avenue with a scowly look on his face walking towards Union Square. Too shy to say anything to him, I would just shuffle behind him wondering what he was going to buy from The Union Square green market.
I finally broke down and bought one of his cookbooks, and after having a go at one of his recipes I am very happy that I did. It was delicious, though the Roman friend that we had over for dinner did question whether it was an Italian recipe. Again, Italians aren’t really that into chicken, but whether it is some nonna’s recipe from a small town in Emilia Romagna or just a recipe that Mr. Batali created himself, it is simply delish!
Chicken Thighs with Saffron, Green Olives & Mint from Mario Batali’s Molto Italiano
- Flour for Dredging
- 12 chicken thighs (2½ to 3 lbs), rinsed and patted dry
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large red onions, thinly sliced (I used one yellow onion)
- ½ tsp saffron threads (I have it in powder and used two envelopes of saffron)
- 1 cup small green olives
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
Spread the flour on a plate. Season the chicken thighs liberally with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over high heat until smoking. Add 6 thighs at a time and brown well on all sides. Transfer to a plate.
Add the onions and saffron to the pot and cook until the onions are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the olives, carrot, and stock and bring to a boil. Return the chicken thighs to the pot, arranging them in a single layer, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot tightly, and simmer for 15 minutes. (I turned the heat to low and let it simmer for about an hour, the meat was falling off of the bone and since it was cooking in chicken broth, extremely juicy.)
Remove the lid and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste and add the mint leaves. Pour the sauce over the chicken thighs, and serve.