It was my daughters idea to add the zucchini noodles (Zoodles) to the dish. It’s fabulous. Of course, my husband, who has mental issues with anything squash, avoids the zoodles at all cost. I have to cook the baby a separate bowl of Orzo pasta so he doesn’t cry, which is just as tasty, but then doesn’t qualify for the above mentioned diets.
If you are vegetarian, vegetable broth can be substituted in place of chicken broth as well as adding a bounty of vegetables in place of the chicken.
You will need:
2 1/2 – 3 lbs boneless chicken thighs, trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade or purchased organic low-sodium)
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
Zest from one lemon
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2-3 zucchini’s, spiralized or julienned
salt and pepper to taste
Begin by prepping the vegetables.
Finely dice the onion. Set aside.
Chop 2 garlic cloves. Set aside.
Slice 1/2 cup Kalamata olives in half, if desired. Set aside.
Using a potato peeler, slice the zest off of a lemon.
Make sure you only cut off the zest and none of the white peel, which can be bitter.
Finely julienne the zest. Set aside.
Dice 1 cup of tomatoes. I used three small tomatoes. If fresh tomatoes aren’t available, canned may be used by rinsing the tomatoes through a strainer. Cherry tomatoes, halved, may be used. Set aside.
In a large pot or dutch oven heat 3 tablespoons olive oil.
Salt and pepper the chicken. I used thighs because I wanted to cook for a longer period in the oven. A whole cut up chicken may be used as well.
Brown the chicken in the oil on both sides.
Remove from pot and set aside.
Add diced onion.
Cook for about 5 minutes or until translucent.
Add garlic and cook another minute or two.
Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
For some strange reason I lost about 5 photo’s. Poof they just completely disappeared. So insert in your mind the following additions.
Return chicken to the pot.
Add: olives, capers, fennel, lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste.
Top with chopped tomatoes.
Cover with a lid.
Place in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 1 1/2 hours.
My daughter gave me this vegetable spiralizer. It’s awesome and makes up zucchini noodles in no time. You can find them on Amazon or Williams-Sonoma. WS had beautiful red ones at Christmas time. I thought a red one would make a great Christmas gift, but the only person I knew that would get excited about it was ME!
I used two 7-inch zucchini’s for this batch.
If you don’t have a spiralizer, just juienne the zucchini.
Set aside while chicken is baking.
After 1 1/2 hours of baking time, remove the lid and add the zoodles.
Cover and return to oven for 10 minutes.
Remove pot from oven.
To serve, spoon chicken, vegetables and broth into shallow bowls.
Top with zucchini noodles.
Braised Chicken with Olives, Capers and Zucchini Noodles
This is a perfect Whole30 meal and is also easily customizable. I love zoodles and the fun texture they add.
- 2 1/2 - 3 lbs boneless chicken thighs trimmed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 4 cups chicken stock preferably homemade or purchased organic low-sodium
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives sliced
- 2 tablespoons capers drained and rinsed
- Zest from one lemon
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 2-3 zucchini spiralized or julienned
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large heavy pot heat olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken thighs. Add to heated olive oil and brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add diced onions to the pot and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add chopped garlic and continue to cook an additional 2 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer scraping up any brown bits that may be on the bottom of the pan. Return chicken to the pot and add olives, capers, lemon zest and fennel seeds. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with chopped tomatoes. Cover and place in oven for 1 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare zucchini noodles using a vegetable spiralizer or juienne with a knife. Set aside while chicken is cooking. After 1 1/2 hours remove lid and top with zucchini noodles. Cover. Return to oven for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, spoon into shallow bowls and serve.
*Inspired by a recipe from Williams-Sonoma