Everyone knows that olives and olive oil from Calabria is the probably the best there is. The climate of course is to blame; a perfect blend of sun and climate that creates the perfect blend of taste in an olive.
Price per serving for two: $3.37
You will need to buy a package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (depending on your guests). For the tow of us, I picked up a package of six small free range chicken thighs for $3.74. You should have on hand, tomatoes, rice, green olives, purple pepper (s), garlic, fresh rosemary and fresh dried herbs:oregano and mint. To begin this wonderful Southern Italian dish, you will need to marinate your thighs by pressing them in a simple wash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkled with sea salt, fresh dried herbs and fresh chopped rosemary. This needs only to sit for about 1 hr.
Last week, my granddaughter Lilly visited me and she made a lovely chicken stock which I am going to finish up using today to make my risotto as a side dish. So, while the chicken marinates, I take the remaining stock and set it to boil. Then I add 2 cups of rice and simmer on low heat. Once the rice has absorbed the stock almost completely, I add diced tomato and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Cover and let it continue to cook on the lowest heat, stirring to prevent sticking. In fact, you could turn off the heat and just let it sit on the stove covered.
Now, for the chicken. Take your covered skillet and pour in 4-5 tbs. of olive oil and heat on med. Add one whole chopped purple pepper (just harvested the first from my garden) and one clove fresh garlic. Saute on med heat until edges brown. When you see the browned edges, lay in your thighs herb side up and sear the meat on just one side, moving the meat around to keep it from burning. Turn down the heat to low and cover for 5-6 min.
To the chicken, you can add 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes and a few green olives. I don't add all my olives since I like them served on the table firm and juicy.
About now, you are ready to dish out your risotto into a separate serving bowl and the chicken with olives onto a large low lipped serving platter.
Garnish and say "tutti a tavola" ~ everyone to the table.