I Miss These Chickpeas Stewed in Chicken Fat More Than My Childhood
This is a reprint of the first edition of my TinyLetter newsletter that goes out every Sunday evening. If you want to test out new recipes with me each week, you can join in on the fun here. If you're too shy or hate managing email, you can stay where you are and wait for me to post them here when I feel like it.
I really wanted to write about these Loaded Nachos that I made on Super Bowl Sunday because my dad loves nachos more than the Spice Girls' 1996 album, but something earth-shattering took unexpected precedence over a pile of 'chos.
I was in search of an easy weeknight chicken-braising recipe that involved artichokes and olives because all of those things combined sounded like an elixir that would cure the world divided (and my sinus infection), so I googled "chicken braise recipe olive artichokes America cure." Epicurious pulled through with this guide to making Braised Chicken with Artichokes and Olives from The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods.
An indefinite raincheck for the editorial meeting concerning that book's subtitle was certainly penciled in with invisible lead.
Despite my "youth," this promise of longevity subconsciously provoked me to double the required amount of chickpeas, artichokes, and green olives. I also used parsley instead of mint or cilantro because that's all I had in the fridge.
The cooking process was pretty seamless until the last step when my meaty thighs weren't even close to being cooked five minutes after they were returned to the pot, per the instructions. Anyway, it didn't feel right calling the dish "a braise" at this point since it didn't really stew. The flavors hadn't melded and I didn't receive the audible satisfaction of hearing little "blup, blup" noises from the stove. Everything was wrong even though I had what I wanted, doubled, right in front of me, so I covered the pot and let it simmer for another 45 minutes.
In the end, surrendering was the right decision. The chicken was good and all but guys. Guys. The chickpeas, the olives, and the artichokes all up in the chicken juices was a savory ambrosia signed, sealed, and delivered by a drone straight from heaven. The best part was that I had an excess of just the stewed chick-choke-olives because I was greedy with those ingredients to begin with. Hand on a nondenominational sacred text, I swear to you that and ate it every day from that day forward. It cradled my eggs, it lounged on my salad, it might have made it as an ice cream topping if I had a tub of pistachio handy, but ultimately, my gluttony two-timed me. I never stopped to take a picture, so I memorialize it with this GIF from A Walk to Remember.
We shall meet again, my savory olive-choke salvation, perhaps with white fish or sausage instead. I'll be the one with a purple flower in my hair and a napkin tucked in my shirt to catch my dribbles as they drop.
Olive Digest Rating:
Can you brown chicken? Can you defrost frozen artichokes according to package instructions? Yes. Yes you can.
Likelihood of Trying Again: 5/5
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