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Published May 22nd, 2024
One dish chicken with herbs, greens, and olives
Chicken on polenta Photos Susie Iventosch

With home gardens starting to produce vegetables and herbs, this chicken and veggie recipe is a perfect choice for a garden-fresh dinner. Made with scallions, Swiss chard, collard greens, cilantro, parsley, and olives, it is so delicious and easy to make in just one pot or pan. You can prepare most of the ingredients ahead of time, so it's easy to assemble once you're ready to roll for dinner.
I especially love the addition of lemon zest and lemon juice to brighten everything up, and the combination of lemon and olives gives the dish a delightful tangy and salty contrast. As the dish bakes, it creates a wonderfully flavorful sauce, so I like to serve it over a base of creamy polenta to soak it all up. You can also serve it with rice, French bread, mashed potatoes, or even a soup spoon for mopping up the sauce.
The polenta recipe I like for this dish is remarkably simple and easy to prepare. Just sauté your shallots ahead of time, and when it comes to making the polenta, simply bring water, milk (or cream) and the shallots to a low boil, and slowly add the polenta or cornmeal, whisking as you go. The polenta thickens up very quickly. For this recipe, I make it with regular cornmeal for a creamier texture and a quicker polenta, but if you like the coarser polenta grind, that will be just as delicious.
Serves 6
12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 + cup olive oil, split (some for veggies and some for chicken - may need more for browning the chicken thighs)
5 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced (use both green and white parts)
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1 cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
1 cup diced Castelvetrano olives
1 large bunch collard greens (use 2 small bunches if you can't find large)
1 large bunch Swiss chard (use 2 small bunches if you can't find large)
2 lemons (one juiced and zested and one sliced into 6 wedges)
1 can chicken broth (14.5 ounces)
Prepare your veggies. Slice the onions, mince the garlic, coarsely chop the herbs. Clean and trim the stems of the collard greens and Swiss Chard. Coarsely chop or tear into 2-3 inch pieces. Zest and juice the lemon. Set all of the prepared ingredients aside until ready to use. This can all be done several hours ahead of time.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Blend 1/4 cup olive oil with the garlic, salt, and coriander. Rub this mixture on top and bottom of each chicken thigh.
Heat a little of the olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven. Cook over medium high heat until thighs are nicely browned. Turn thighs over and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes. The second side does not have to be as browned. Remove chicken to a plate.
Heat a little more oil and cook the onions until translucent and just beginning to brown. Add chopped olives, cilantro, parsley, and lemon zest and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat to medium-low, and slowly add the chopped greens a handful at a time, until all of the greens fit into the pan, tossing them with the onions and olives in the bottom of the pan as you go. Don't over cook the greens, just cook them enough to fit them all into the pan. They should just be beginning to wilt. Gently toss greens, onions, and olives together.
Nestle chicken thighs back into the pan among the greens. Pour chicken broth and 2 tsp. lemon juice over the top and bake for about 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and tender.
To serve, spoon the greens over a bed of the polenta and place two chicken thighs on top. Serve with a lemon wedge on the side.
Creamy Caramelized Shallot Polenta
2 large shallots, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cups water
1 cup cream or milk
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or similar cheese
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add shallots and cook over medium heat until beginning to caramelize. Add water and cream (or milk) and stir to incorporate shallots. Bring the mixture to a slow boil and slowly add the cornmeal a little bit at a time, whisking with each addition to combine. Once the cornmeal is added, bring mixture just to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in grated cheese. If you want to make the polenta ahead of time, reheat when you're ready to serve and you may need to add just a little more liquid to make it soft and creamy again.

Susie can be reached at suziventosch@gmail.com. This recipe can be found on our website: www.lamorindaweekly.com. If you would like to share your favorite recipe with Susie please contact her by email or call our office at (925) 377-0977. Or visit https://treksandbites.com

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