Season the chicken on both sides with 1 teaspoon of salt.
Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet (or a large, wide pot) over medium heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, turn each piece and cook another 5 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat and remove the chicken from the skillet. Place it on a pan or plate and keep warm. Cover the chicken loosely with a piece of aluminum foil, and/or place the pan in the microwave. It will stay warm away from drafts.
Place the skillet back over medium heat. The oil should still be hot, but if it’s not give it a minute or two over the heat.
Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the garlic, tomato paste, ½ teaspoon salt, oregano, cumin and black pepper to the skillet. Cook for 1 minute while stirring constantly.
Carefully add the wine, to the skillet. Stir, while gently scrapping the bits off the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook for 1-2 minutes until most of the liquid has cooked out.
Add the tomato sauce, water and the bay leaf, stir.
Add the chicken to the sauce, including any juices collected on the plate. Arrange them so that they are not overlapping.
When the sauce comes back to a simmer, lower the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet. Cook the chicken for 15 minutes. Keep the sauce at a simmer, if it’s boiling too vigorously lower the heat a bit.
Give the skillet a quick shake occasionally, to make sure the chicken isn’t sticking to bottom. Stir the sauce about halfway through the cooking time.
Uncover the skillet, give the chicken and sauce a quick stir. Add the potatoes and the olives. Give everything a good stir to combine. Arrange the ingredients so they’re not mounded.
Raise the heat a little if the sauce does not come to a simmer right away. Cover the chicken fricassee and cook for another 15-20 minutes. Keep the sauce at a simmer, lower or raise the heat as necessary. Give the skillet a quick shake occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking.
The potatoes should be fork tender and the chicken at least 165°F. Stir gently with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon so the potatoes do not break apart.
Use tongs to remove the bay leaf and discard. Taste the sauce and add salt if needed. As a reference we did not add any to ours. Serve the fricassee on a bed of white rice, or with bread or crackers, if desired.