I joined SlimGenics for the food.
It’s true! I wanted to lose weight, but I also knew that I needed to enjoy the same flavors and cuisines that I had always enjoyed, otherwise I would feel hopelessly deprived. For me, deprivation equaled failure.
Being in the food business, I always thought that I knew a lot about food and nutrition. It wasn’t long after I started the SlimGenics Program that I realized that I didn’t know as much as I needed to. For example, I had always considered basic canned tomatoes to be a healthy thing. I never realized how much salt and sugar is added to tomatoes during the canning process. Reading the labels was fairly shocking to me, and it seemed that a lot of my old shelf staples had to go. I’ve since learned how to prepare my own, on-plan version of these staples!
I really didn’t mind using fresh tomatoes but sometimes I missed the richness and convenience of a good quality canned tomato. This past week I was shopping at the grocery store and came across a boxed product, imported from Italy, of diced tomatoes (the brand was Pomi). The product I found indicated that there was nothing in the package except for tomatoes: no salt, no sugar, no fat, and nothing else but rich and ripe diced tomatoes. Hopeful that I could use this product, I immediately emailed SlimGenics. The answer I got was, yes, I can use this product on occasion. Have I become quite the label reader, or what?
It seemed only right to grab the garlic and get to work on a classic Italian style braised chicken dish. Chicken thighs are perfect for a braised dish like this because they don’t dry out and get stringy when cooked low and slow. It’s possible to use chicken breasts with this recipe, just use caution to avoid cooking them for too long. Whether you use fresh tomatoes or a healthfully packaged alternative like these Pomi tomatoes (I actually used half and half in my recipe), the finished product is delicious enough that you just might start speaking Italian.
Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes and Olives Recipe
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
- 1/4 teaspoon light salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 15 Kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
Season chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, swirling pan to coat bottom. Add chicken thighs. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until just browned. Turn and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until browned. Remove chicken thighs from pan and set aside on a plate deep enough to catch any juices. Do not remove pan from heat.
Add onion to pan and cook for 5 minutes, until softened and beginning to brown. Add tomatoes and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and vinegar or lemon juice and cook for another 5 minutes. Add olives, basil, and thyme. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper, if desired. Stir well.
Return chicken thighs and any accumulated juices to skillet and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until chicken is done, about 20-30 minutes. I know you’ll enjoy this savory tomato dish so be sure to try our Roasted Chicken Breast with Tomato Pan Sauce also. Both are magnifico Italiano!
Makes 4 servings.