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We’re in full swing here readying (or maybe steadying) ourselves for the arrival of Santa Claus.  Both boys received letters from Santa in the mail yesterday and they were thrilled.  My oldest said: “This is really special.”  And I have to admit that I thought it was special that he was so excited and still believes that Santa is really going to slide down our chimney and eat up some of our yet-to-be-baked Christmas cookies.  And before you ask…yes, we leave out carrots for our visiting reindeer.  They’re hungry too, right?

My younger kiddo was excited to have me start reading his letter, but as soon as I had read the line that clearly stated he had made it onto the “good list,” he threw is hands into the air and shouted: “Yes!”  He didn’t stick around to hear the part about the Baby Jesus being born in the manger or leaving a snack out for the reindeer (I had to fill him in on those at bedtime).

If you can tear yourself away from the preparations and traditions of Christmas, I wanted to share with you a fantastic recipe for chicken thighs.  You know that we have those quite frequently in this household.  You can find another terrific recipe here.  I discovered this recipe in a copy of the Rachel Ray magazine which my Mom passed onto me.  It has an earthy, mediterranean quality that I think you’ll enjoy.  And, it’s a bit of a break from sampling lots of  cookie dough and nibbling on those mini candy canes.  Plus, it’s very adaptable especially for those that do not like olives.



Chicken with Lemon and Green Olives


2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

2 tomatoes, cored, seeded and peeled and cut into small pieces

1/2 cup pitted green olives, quartered lengthwise


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Working in batches, add the chicken to the pan and cook until golden on one side, about 5 minutes; turn and cook for 1 minute more.  Transfer to a plate.  Add the onion and garlic to the pan, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 6 minutes.

Return the chicken to the pan and stir in the tomatoes, olives, lemon juice and 1/2 cup water.  Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.

Serves: 4

Kitchen Note: I made some changes to the original recipe, for example I omitted parsley.  I also used olives that were stuffed with pimento for color.  For the tomatoes, I blanched them in boiling water to remove the skin first.  In the magazine, they served the chicken with couscous, but I served mine with wide egg noodles.