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woensdag 27 juni 2012

Pollo con le olive thanks to a loving grandmother

We were going to have friends over for a barbecue today. Were because I just received the message from my mum that the people we invited postponed their visit. 
A pity, because it's just marvelous weather: finally the sun broke through the clouds and we actually get temperatures higher than 20°C all day!

But in life you don't have time to regret for long: it'll be pollo con le olive instead. A dish originally from Siena, Italy.

The inspiration comes out of an old cook book I got from my grandmother just yesterday.
My sister and I felt like making a bicycle tour, and we could visit our grandparents in the meanwhile. It's been a long time since we've been there because of school, exams, ...
They were very happy to see us. 
My grandfather began talking about the TV he has in his room - the TV that was formerly ours, by the way ^^ - and how it could be put on and off, how to change the channels, et cetera. We felt that he liked us being with him, even though he didn't have much to say himself. 
My grandmother made us tea and put a whole table full of biscuits and chocolates, in case we were starving. I just love her!

When we were just about to leave, they both insisted we took a look at some things they  liked us to have. I was shown a whole stack of cook books (my grandmother knows I love cooking. I learned to love it because of her, so it's a common interest). My sister had to look at a rather nineties-looking raincoat, which she had trouble with declining.
My eyes immediately fell on this Italian cook book which mentioned classic dishes. taking it with me wouldn't harm and the fact that I chose it made my grandmother happy too. 

Ingredients for 4:
- 1 whole chicken of about 1,5 kg
- 5 fresh sage leaves
- 150 grams black olives
- extra black olives for serving
- olive oil
- 5 cloves of garlic
- pepper and salt to taste
- 800 grams peeled tomatoes
- French loaf or rice for serving

How to:
Cut the chicken in several pieces (the legs, the wings, the breast pieces). Sprinkle them with pepper and salt. Wash the sage leaves and dry them with a towel. Cut the sage leaves and the garlic in very small pieces.
Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the sage and garlic.

Then add the chicken pieces. When they have browned on all sides, pour in some of the wine.
Now put the tomatoes in too. When the tomatoes have cooked along for a while, you can pour in the rest of the wine. Cover the skillet with a lid and let it all simmer for at least 15 minutes on low heat. That's what the recipe says, but I doubted the chicken would be ready in only half an hour. I put it on the fire for about 1 and a half hour. In that way the sauce will be much more tasty, I reconed. 
I guess my skillet was slightly too small for the chicken in it, quite messy looking! 

Cut the olives in half and remove the stones. Stir them under the sauce of the chicken. Simmer with the lid on for again 15 minutes at least. My cutting in half of the olives wasn't very successful: the stones were unremovable unless I cut round them ;)

Serve with the French loaf or rice and some left over olives.

It was delicious. It was the very first time I used sage in something I prepared, and it made it really good! 

Buon appetito!

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