My little balcony herb garden has been going strong over the autumn, I’m sure in part due to the continued warm weather. The only problem is pests – aphids invading the basil and caterpillers munching on my sage! It was getting to the point where I think the caterpillers had used more sage than I, something I had to remedy. Enter Neil Perry’s Chicken with Olives and Sage recipe from a recent Good Weekend. Perfect!
This is a pretty simple recipe, and my changes were minimal. As you can see above I was using huge chicken marylands, including the spine and tail, as they are sold this way at my local markets. I was happy to leave them intact like this for cooking (because bones = flavour), but it did make them awkward to work with! My one deliberate change was selecting pitted olives from my favourite market supplier.
This recipe is serious bang-for-buck in terms of both visual appeal and flavour compared to the effort involved. There are only a few ingredients, so it’s simple to put together, but I’d have no hesitation serving something looking like this to a crowd! Sometimes simplicity is best. The only issue I had was an excess of oil/fat in the sauce. Although I roughly trimmed excess skin and fat from my marylands, and reduced the oil compared to the recipe, I still had to skim oil before reducing my sauce. Next time I’d reduce the oil even more — down to just enough for browning the chicken well. As a final note I’d advise care with seasoning, just keep in mind the olives are very salty (for this reason I added no extra salt to the sauce at the end, and it was a wise omission).
Thanks to the Neil Perry and the Good Weekend for a tasty recipe simple enough for a weeknight yet impressive enough for guests!