Chicken in Marengo Sauce

4 large chicken thighs without skin
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound cremini or shiitake mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned and sliced
1/4 cup finely minced shallots
1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup dry white wine or reduced-sodium and fat chicken broth
1 can (14 1/2-ounces) peeled and diced tomatoes, undrained
1/3 cup water or chicken broth
1/4 pound mixed olives, pitted
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Either remove skin from chicken completely, or trim excess skin and fat from the underside of the thighs. Dredge in flour, shake off the excess and set aside. (Reserve 1 teaspoon of the flour.)

Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Pour oil into the pan. When hot, place the chicken skin-side down and brown well, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook another 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to a small baking pan and season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and bake 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, place the skillet back on medium-high heat. Put mushrooms, shallots and garlic into the pan and stir 1 minute. Deglaze pan with wine or broth, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom. Whisk the reserved teaspoon of flour into a little of the juice of the tomatoes. Pour tomatoes with juices, water or broth and flour mixture into the pan and bring to a boil, stirring well. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

Put olives into sauce and simmer 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Stir in parsley. The sauce can be spooned over the whole pieces of chicken. Or slice the chicken from the bone, put back into the sauce and simmer gently for a few minutes to blend the flavors.

Serves: 4