Sautéed Chicken with Green Olives and White Wine

Makes 4 servings
Time: 45 minutes

I actually cooked this in a skillet over a grill, since Gary already had the grill going for his quail, but it's truly a stovetop dish. Like Gary, I concentrated on the flavors of the California wine country and, like him, I benefited from local produce, using olives, olive oil, wine, and walnuts -all from Villa Mille Rose. Of course, these are ingredients you can find anywhere these days, so the recipe is easily replicated.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (3- to 4-pound) chicken, cut up into serving pieces, for sauteing
Salt and black pepper
2 cups white wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup green olives, the flesh lightly cracked with the side of a knife
1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds picked out
1/2 cup broken walnuts
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh
parsley or tarragon leaves

1. Put the oil in a deep skillet or casserole, preferably non-stick; turn the heat to medium-high and wait a minute or so, until the oil is hot. Add the chicken, skin sides down, and brown it well, rotating and turning the pieces as necessary; the process will take 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper as it cooks.

2. With the skin sides up, add the wine, balsamic vinegar, and olives. Adjust the heat so the mixture simmers vigorously and cook until the chicken is almost done, another 10 to 15 minutes.

3. When the chicken is almost done, add the sliced lemon to the mix and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Arrange the chicken and lemon on a platter and stir the walnuts into the sauce; taste and adjust seasoning, then spoon the sauce over the chicken, along with the parsley or tarragon. Serve hot.