- 6 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thick end lightly pounded to make the breast even throughout), or up to 12 boneless skinless thighs (the goal is to be able to fit everything in one pan)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons unrefined cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil or unrefined avocado oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1⁄2 cup pitted spanish green olives
- 1⁄4 cup capers drained from brine
- 8 prunes, halved
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (the original recipe calls for red wine vinegar, which works here as well)
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro for garnish (optional)
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large (at least 12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken (the oil should be sizzling) in one layer without crowding and cook until browned on the underside, about 2 1⁄2 - 3 minutes. Turn over and brown the other side, about 2 1⁄2 - 3 minutes. You don’t need to cook the chicken through at this point.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside. Finish cooking the remaining chicken and remove from the pan. Add the garlic, oregano, olives, capers, prunes and bay leaves to the skillet and sauté for a minute. Pour in the vinegar, maple syrup, and stock and scrape the bottom of the skillet to deglaze the pan. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Add the chicken back to the skillet and cook over medium heat until the cooked through, about 5 minutes, flipping over at about the 2 ½ minute point.
- You can put a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken sideways to check the temperature. If you want to eat it right away, wait for it to get to 165 degrees. If you are going to let the chicken rest for a few minutes, you can turn off the heat when the temperature is 155-160. Serve with the pan juices and garnish with parsley.
Patting animal protein dry with paper towels before searing ensures you will achieve a nice brown color and good flavor. If protein is wet, you will end up poaching or steaming it.
If breasts are very large (more than 12 ounces) split them lengthwise to make two thinner cutlets from each breast.
For searing animal protein, consider getting a splatter screen for your skillet to prevent oil from creating a huge mess all over your stovetop. Cooking and eating are fun. Cleaning grease off your stovetop is not!