Chicken With Olives

Recipe courtesy of Barbara Bensoussan

Serves 6
2 tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil
1 onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
3-4 pounds chicken pieces (bottoms work well, but you can use the whole chicken)
Salt, pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon za’atar (optional)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 can green olives
½ lemon, cut into about six pieces
¼ cup fresh parsley or cilantro

Saute onion in the oil for a few minutes over medium high heat, until transparent; add garlic. Add the turmeric and blend until the oil is uniformly yellow. Raise the heat slightly and add the chicken pieces, browning them on each side (2-3 minutes a side). As you brown the pieces, sprinkle them with the salt, pepper, cumin, thyme and za’atar.
Now add two cups of water, the tomato paste, the drained olives, and the lemon pieces. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for one hour, until the chicken is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated (add more water if it evaporates too fast and begins to burn). Sprinkle with parley or cilantro and serve over rice or couscous.

Note: If you want to be really authentic, you can use preserved lemon pieces instead of fresh ones.

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