Did some actual cooking today. I've been back in the kitchen doing small quick meals here and there (nothing I posted on) but this was first in a while where it involved more than three ingredients, ha. Herbs even. ;) A relatively easy chicken dish that I had to dust off my trusty Le Creuset Tomato for. Stewed many a stuffed cabbage rolls and braised pork with. But anyway the Japanese family I learned this dish from said it was Mediterranean inspired, I'll have to take their word for it. In fact I think the original directions didn't involve any olives which I added later.
You basically place a few chicken thighs, skin side down on the bottom of an oiled heavy lidded pot. With bone or not but must still have the skin on. Enamel cast iron cookware works really well and three medium sized thighs happen to fit this casserole pot perfectly. Sizzle away on medium heat to render the skin for about five-minutes or until you start to smell a nice aroma like roasting chicken.
At this point the top of the thigh pieces are still completely raw. You then layer on some nice 1" thick slices of onion, tomato and bell pepper. Should be done in that order. Very lightly S&P in between. Throw in any fresh herb you have at hand (I happen to use Thyme), couple dried chili peppers and 1/2 a bouillon cube. Douse with a little olive oil. Close the lid. Set to low or very low for a quiet simmer and don't touch for around 40 ~ 45-mins.
When the time comes and you finally take a peek, you might be surprised to see liquid past half way up the pot. This all came from the vegetables. If it seems watery I like to simmer off and reduce this a little. Today came out good right away and had with some bread that's great to sop up the juices.
I forgot to mention the olives but they're optional. I added too many today and it made the meal a little bitter. The chicken skin will be like caramel, in fact first timers may burn it a little, sticking to the bottom of the pot. It'll look like hell on your plate but still taste pretty good. It's all part of the good simple flavors of this rustic dish.