Chicken with Salami and Olives

A big hunk of salami was taking up space in the fridge, so Frank and I decided to find some recipes that would put it to good use (not that slicing up salami and just eating it isn’t a good use). This serves 4:

Chicken with Salami and Olives

  • 1½ to 2 pounds (750g-1 kg) boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 ounces (113 g) salami, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup pitted, halved olives, preferably a mild green olive like Castelvetrano or Picholine
  • ½ tablespoon cold unsalted butter
  • Honey to taste (optional)

If you’re using chicken breasts, pound to an even ½” thickness with a heavy skillet or meat pounder.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the pan, add the chicken to the skillet and cook until browned underneath, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until cooked through, 2 to 5 minutes. (Breasts will be done before thighs.)

While the chicken is cooking, place 1 cup of water near the stove. (You’ll need it in the next step.) Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate, leaving the skillet on the heat.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the salami and a few generous grinds of pepper. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until brown and crisp. Add the shallot and cook until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the water, increase heat to a simmer and cook, scraping up browned bits, until reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the olives, chicken and any juices from the plate. Simmer until the chicken is warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to serving plates. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the butter until incorporated. Taste the sauce; if it’s too salty, add honey or brown sugar to taste. Spoon the sauce over the chicken. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict:

This was pretty good, I served it on a bed of polenta. I think the sauce needs a bit of work, but it’s a dish that you could play around with different types of salami or chorizo, and assorted olives, even a few capers and maybe serve over a small pasta like orzo.

On an ongoing (and so far unsuccessful) search for hot Italian sausage in Nice, we’ve found ourselves with some interesting picante options. This big hunk of salami was one of them and it worked well in this dish. Because it was already spicy, I skipped adding pepper to it.

Next time I’d deglaze the pan with some chicken stock to give it richness. This time I used about 1/3 cup rosé that was in the fridge and water for the balance.

Since kosher salt doesn’t exist in France (or I haven’t found it yet), I’ve been using sea salt to taste in recipes–use what you have and taste as you go. The olives and salami you use will also have varying degrees of saltiness.

I’m trying to add in metric measurements, but it’s a work in progress. Please comment if you see errors, or if you think it’s good or annoying.


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