Rainy Saturday night cooking….

Through Pinterest, I have found a fabulous blog written by Kristina Johnson titled “Former Chef.”  The recipes she shares are easy to follow and the food images she captures will make your mouth water.   A few weeks ago I found her sherry braised chicken thighs with Meyer lemon and olives and have been thinking about it ever since (the link to her recipe will follow – but I have also given you the ingredients we used, below).  I am a HUGE olive lover and although my husband wasn’t when we first got together, he too now loves these addictive little orbs.

While this particular recipe called for pitted green olives, we opted for Castelvetrano olives..mostly because we had them in the fridge already but partially because they are much more buttery then green olives.  For those of you poor humans who think you don’t like olives…..I promise you will actually enjoy the rich Castelvetrano olive, especially in this dish!

This recipe also calls for sherry – an alcohol I am not that familiar with.  Because Kirstina doesn’t talk about the sherry she used, I will share our choice.  I avoided ‘cooking sherry’ which sounds like cooking wine to me….and cooking wine is NOT good.  So I went to the liquor store and kinda went mid-range with a dry sherry from Spain called Alvear Fino.  And although Kristan’s recipe calls for 1/3 of a cup – we probably used closer to half….a cup (not the bottle silly people).  I will say that we did try the sherry all on its own as the bottle suggested and both of us agreed. It is awful!!

We made a few other alterations….like finishing off the sauce with a big dollop of butter, and instead of couscous we made quinoa…I also think this dish would be really good on rice, pasta, or even pureed cauliflower. Hell, it would probably be just fine in a bowl, all on its own.  The flavors were stunning and paired perfectly with Prosecco; a sparkling white wine from Italy.  But, I think it would also go well with any crisp white.  Oh, and one other thing.  The recipe says it serves 4.  However, between Gord and I we managed to eat the works.  Not sure what to even say about that except DAMN….it was so SO good!

My pictures are not near as gorgeous as Kristina’s but hopefully they will inspire you to try this recipe and peruse the Former Chef blog.  I don’t think you will be disappointed.


This is the sherry…can’t say we will do anything with it other than cook.

Gorgeous color….just before we popped it into the oven.

AND after…with the sauce reduced.

Plated.  Stunning.  This almost captures the flavors.  Almost. 🙂

Prosecco of choice but most are amazing…


Ingredients (we used):

1 Tbsp olive oil
1.5-2 lbs boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
2 each Meyer lemons, one juiced, one sliced in rounds (you can use regular lemons too)
1/2 cup (2.75 oz wt.) castelvetrano olives, pitted
5 each garlic cloves, cut in half (make sure your partner eats these as well)
1/2 cup sherry wine (Alvear Fino)
1 cup chicken stock
fresh thyme and oregano (about a handfull), chopped (in my opinion, fresh is important)
salt and pepper to taste (and finish sauce with a dollop of butter prior to serving)

Former Chef:




6 Comments on “Rainy Saturday night cooking….”

  1. Lana says:

    yes, the former chef recipes look amazing…she’s my fave for recipes. Now to find the time to actually choose and make one of them! glad you had a lovely saturday! 🙂

  2. Kim says:

    I want to be your neighbour… You know the annoying ones that happen to drop by for dinner every time you cook something yummy!!

  3. Kristina says:

    Wow, thanks for the lovely write up and the link to my blog (I found you via the pingback link). I’m so glad you are enjoying it. I agree 100% that Castelvetrano olives are amazing. I love them too and they are perfect for this dish. As for the Sherry, I used an Amontillado Sherry (never, ever cooking sherry!). This is slightly darker than a Fino. Sipping sherry pairs well with olives and almonds and if you travel in Southern Spain, you’ll often get a little plate of one or the other when you order a glass. Sorry you didn’t like it on it’s own. Maybe try another kind someday? Oh, and the butter is a good addition to the sauce. I would do that too, but I was trying to keep it healthy, you know? 😉

    • mereslops says:

      Hi Kristina!

      I think part of the reason we didn’t like the sherry was due to the temperature. Its says to serve well chilled – it was cool at best…and kinda reminded me of the first time I tried grappa. Not a good experience. But, I would definitely be open to trying it again – or the one you recommend. Next time!

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