Olive Tapenade over Pulled Chicken with Cucumber, Tomato, and Onion Salad

Olive Tapenade over Pulled Chicken with Cucumber, Tomato, and Onion Salad (Serves 4-5)

Tapenades are popular in the South of France as a topping or spread on bread. The base ingredient is olives, but tapenades may be flavored with capers, garlic, herbs, anchovies, and lemon juice. My simple Olive Tapenade is a mixture of green and Kalamata olives and some capers. I might get around to experimenting with additional flavors in the future, but like this one so much, I’m not especially motivated. This tapenade adds great flavor to Pulled Chicken, fish, pork carinatas…

Olive Tapenade
Prep and Cook Time: 5 minutes
Ingredient list:

20 green olives, pitted
20 Kalamata olives, pitted
2 tablespoons of capers

Directions: Add all ingredients to a food processor and chop them into small bits. If you don’t want to dirty the food processor, lay all ingredients across a cutting board and chop into small bits with a big knife. That’s it.

Notes: Many recipes call for adding olive oil when assembling a tapenade. I prefer to drizzle olive oil on top of my tapenade after serving it.

If you don’t use all your tapenade at once, store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I bet it would be good for two weeks, but mine has never lasted more than two days before I ate it on top of something.

Pulled Chicken
Prep and Cook Time: 50 minutes
Ingredient list:

1 whole young hen (mine are often 4-5 pounds)
Ground cumin
Garlic powder

Directions: Remove chicken from packaging and giblets (package including the heart, liver, and neck) from the body cavity. Freeze the giblets to use in making chicken stock later. Rinse chicken and add the whole bird to pressure cooker (alternate method noted below). Dust generously with salt, garlic powder, ground cumin, and turmeric. Add enough water to almost submerge the chicken. In my case that was about 10 cups. Lock top on pressure cooker. Increase heat to high. After achieving high pressure, reduce heat to the lowest level consistent with maintaining high pressure. Cook under high pressure for 20 minutes. Turn off heat under pressure cooker, use the slow-release method to bring pressure down, and remove top. Remove chicken from pressure cooker with tongs (because it is hot!) and transfer to a large mixing bowl. If the chicken falls apart, remove the pieces as best you can with tongs and scoop the rest out with a slotted spoon. Leave the broth in the pot while you continue. Use a pair of tongs to separate the chicken from the bones and skin and transfer it to another large bowl. Once you have all the chicken separated, pull the chicken apart with a pair of forks.

Discard the bones and skin. Let the broth cool for 30 minutes to an hour and then transfer to plastic containers. Keep what you need for cooking over the next 4-5 days in the refrigerator and freeze the rest.

Notes: You can boil a whole chicken in a Dutch oven or stock pot for about 40 minutes and get about the same result as pressure cooking a whole bird 20 minutes. I prepare a whole chicken every week now because I can think of so many things to do with pulled chicken and homemade broth.

I love my Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Top Pressure Cooker 7.4-Quart that I ordered from Amazon.com. After reading a bunch of pressure cooker reviews, I decided to spend a little extra to get the one the New York Times described as the Mercedes-Benz of pressure cookers. Kuhn Rikon is a Swiss company. Pressure cookers are so popular in Switzerland that the average household has three!

Cucumber, Tomato, and Onion Salad
Prep and Cook Time: 10 minutes
Ingredient list:

2 cucumbers
6 Roma tomatoes
1 sweet yellow onion
Apple cider vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Garlic powder
Black pepper

Directions: Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise and then slice the halves into bite-sized pieces. Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise and then slice into bite-sized pieces. Chop onion into bite-sized pieces. Combine all of the cucumber and tomatoes in a bowl and add one or two handfuls of chopped onion according to desired taste. Dust the vegetables with salt, garlic powder, and black pepper to taste. I like a nice dusting of each. Add a generous splash of olive oil and apple cider vinegar and stir all ingredients together. Don’t be stingy with the oil or vinegar as they add great taste. Let sit covered in the refrigerator for an hour before serving to let flavors combine.

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