Spezzatino di Pollo alle Olive (Chicken morsels with Olives), is a great rustic dish that brings nothing but flavor and texture to the table. Who doesn't love crispy sauteed chicken in a white wine, lemon, and black olive sauce? A great course to add to any feast and hey, Easter is just around the corner!
Song of the day: "What's the Buzz!" from The Musical Jesus Christ Superstar.
Spezzatino di Pollo alle Olive (Chicken Morsels with Olives) highlights incredible ingredients and tried and true cooking techniques to achieve a moist, caramelized, earthy deliciously aromatic and flavorful end!
[This post is sponsored by The Italian Centre Shop. We’ve been compensated but -as always- all opinions are our own.]
Spezzatino is how Italians call a stew or hot pot. Usually, a protein cut into pieces stewed in some type of sauce. For me when I hear spezzatino I immediately think of these trattorias in a small town in Italy where you can feast on course after course of delicious Italian food at very little expense to your wallet. The feast usually starts with an antipasto (appetizer), which you gorge on because usually, you are so hungry from the aromas when you get there. The next course, the primo (first) course comes hosting a type of pasta which you easily indulge yourself on because it is that damn good. By this time you are feeling pretty full and in a bit of a food drunk, but it's not over till the fat lady sings figuratively speaking as the secondo (second course) comes, a platter of chicken, lamb, beef, and pork usually in spezzatino form graced with contorno (sides) of verdura (greens), roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables. By this time your stance has changed from a straight back vibrant can't-wait-posture to a slouch and drop OMG as the weight in your stomach has gravity working on you really hard. Then a strange phenomenon happens to end this great meal, it is called dessert. You may be feeling quite full but there is always a little room for something sweet but not without some anxiety feeling that maybe your pants might split when you get up, or the waist button may pop and hit the waiter in the eye. Or maybe the buttons on your shirt are at maximum tensile strength ready to fail and your shirt will flail open, but dessert prevails and what happens is what it is and well worth the risk. Now, that's being Italian.
What you will need to create this Spezzatino
For this dish, I highly recommend an organic free-range chicken. I truly believe and from tasting both worlds, happy chickens that are humanely raised taste so much better. Do you truly want to ingest a chicken that has grown in a box and force-fed, all that nervous negative energy, a good recipe for indigestion! The rest of the ingredients are pretty simple, a lemon, vegetable stock, white wine.
This Spezzatino has some very interesting notes coming from some freshly sliced chilis and freshly chopped fennel tops, and yes another sermon coming your way: olive oil, get a good quality extra virgin cold-pressed. This base for the chicken to cook with will provide a nice base to help elevate all the flavors and make a wonderful Spezzatino! To conclude, and what will give an amazing taste to this dish, sun-dried black olives! I used a cast iron pan and if you too decide to do so watch the heat so you do not burn the dish. Also don't grab the handle unless you are wearing oven gloves or have a towel to wrap around it, trust me I know from experience and it is not pretty watching a 200 and some pound guy looking at his hand with a bitter beer face and a tear running down his cheek as this squeak eeks out of his mouth, lol.
Look at the colors. The chicken is beautifully golden with those delectable crispy bits. Those wonderful red pops of color from the chilis, that mysteriousness of the black olives. You can smell the white wine and that happy fresh scent of lemon zest and juice, the pungent earthiness of the black olives, and I just love that sweet and robust scent of chicken that has been browned in a nice pan.
The flavors are stupendous. The chicken crispy yet succulent, moist and tender with a good ratio of light to dark meat. The backdrop of white wine and lemon juice marry well with the depth of the black olives and those hits of heat from the chilis keep us intrigued and entertained. The black olives pungent earthy nature and the fragrance and taste of the fennel tops play beautifully with all the other players in this dish. This is purely a classic rustic Italian dish and one that you will find people going back to morsel after morsel not being able to stop until it is gone and even then if you are in Italy there will be those who take the bread and soak it in the juices at the bottom of the plate. Now, that's Italian.
I know Easter is right around the corner, and you may not have any ideas on what to make. Why not try this Spezzatino di Pollo alle Olive (Chicken Morsels with Olives). It can be done in 30 minutes and I know your family or friends will truly enjoy its uniqueness and amazingly wonderful flavors and incredible aroma and texture.
A very Happy Easter to you all from us at SugarLoveSpices!