Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekly Lunch: Chicken Thighs with Olives in Tomato Sauce

Lunch is a tough meal for me during the week. I get tired very quickly of the typical lunch fare: sandwiches, soups, salads. While I like those things I currently have no desire for them at lunchtime!

Cooking Light is my favorite cooking magazine. I LOVE CL!! However, I often see very delicious looking recipes in there that I never try because there are ingredients included that I know Jesse doesn't like.

Well, I've decided a great way to spice up my lunch routine AND get to try recipes Jesse might not like is by making the recipe on the weekend and portioning it out for lunch! This way every weekend I can try a new recipe and have a week's worth of yummy lunch. The change each week will keep things interesting.

So this is the first week of my new plan (we'll see how long it lasts) and I picked CL's Chicken Thighs with Olives in Tomato Sauce (from March 2009 issue).

You can get the details of the recipe at the link above. Below is a pictorial guide to this fantastic recipe!

First, I had to de-skin 8 chicken thighs. I don't normally buy chicken thighs but I gave them a try since the recipe called for it. After dealing with them for this recipe I believe I will just use boneless-skinless chicken breast next time. The thighs are good, but a pain to deal with and added a bit more fat.

Browning the thighs before they go in the slow cooker:

The next step calls for making the wine reduction. I didn't have fresh garlic so I simply added garlic powder to the slow cooker but still cooked the wine. This step was SO fast that I didn't get a picture. Here is the wine I used, though.

Other ingredients needed:

The crushed red pepper adds great spice to this recipe! If you like it hotter go for 3 tsp. More mild, toss in 1 tsp. I'm an in between type of girl when it comes to spiciness so I put in 2 tsp.

A little tomato paste and then the diced tomatoes:

Then just let those thighs cook for 4 hours! That's the bulk of the recipe. How easy is that? Just a few minor steps left.

After close to 4 hours of slow cooking on high I prepped the olives and parsley:

Four hours is up! Into the cooker they go:

I grabbed my bowls to get ready and separate out my lunch portions. The parsley and olives cooked in for a few minutes.

As I began making my portions I noticed that the meat was soooo tender that I could easily pull out the thigh bones. Great! I really didn't want to mess with bones at the office.

I was left with just the tender meat and all the tomatoey, olivey goodness. I couldn't resist, I made myself a little bite to try!

Mmmm! Good! Spicier than I expected, but great! I really wanted to eat a bowl of it right then and there but knew I shouldn't.

I finished up my lunch portions and was done. Such an easy recipe! I couldn't wait to try it at lunch.

I'm happy to report that this recipe was awesome for lunch today! It reheated well and contained all the flavor. The spiciness was still there although a bit tamer after being in the frig overnight.

I can't wait for lunch tomorrow. This recipe is definitely a keeper!


  1. You're ridiculous. All this good food you make is making me want to do some more cooking(I've been watching foodnetwork lately), before long I will be in yur freezer nomming your foods.

    I may try this one actually, maybe with less red pepper I like spice, but it's not all I want to taste. I can't believe you used garlic powder, the cloves would've been really tasty in the wine reduction! BAD MEEHSEELL

  2. Yeah I'm discovering how much I like cooking. :)

    Hey I didn't have garlic! Do what ya gotta do. hehe

  3. That looks absolutely delicious! I'm not much of a raw tomato gal, but I'm starting to like tomatoes more in my meals. I guess I need to bite the bullet and buy a slow cooker and food processor if I'm going to be serious about cooking decent meals.

  4. These tomatoes were pretty mild since they were canned. You may like it.

    I have a combo food processor/blender. It's a nice way to have both without taking up a lot of space. I have an extra slow cooker you can have. I'll bring it to work tomorrow.

  5. Cool! Thanks! You're the bestest Michelle!

  6. I love Cooking Light too. And yeah, I end up eating a lot of sandwiches for lunch.

  7. Enjoyed reading this. I must get around to adding some new recipe to my routine.

    I'll at least give you credit for not substituting garlic salt for the fresh garlic!

  8. I do like sandwiches and get on kicks but it just seems like I'm a bit burned out at the moment. Of course maybe I just need to make my sandwiches more interesting. :)

    Ok ok, I'll get fresh garlic next time!

  9. Tomatoes suck!
    Garlic salt rules!

  10. You better watch it, buddy. Next time I'll make this for dinner! =P