Sicilian Braised Chicken

chickensalamiThis is an utterly delightful dish, quite spicy, but not in a hot way.

It can be salty so I’ve adapted the recipe a bit to cut down on that, and hopefully preserve the individual flavors of the various ingredients.

You can make this with a whole chicken but I only used four thighs and cut down on the rest of the ingredients make it work.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 chicken thighs,
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  •  1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 rosemary branch, about 8 inches
  • 1 cups diced salami (see note)
  • 3/4 cup pitted green olives, rinsed and cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2  cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sear chicken in 2 batches until golden brown, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer cooked chicken to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or another large, shallow casserole.

2.  Add onions to skillet and cook in the rendered chicken fat until brown, stirring, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, fennel, rosemary branch,  oregano and red pepper flakes. Pour in wine and simmer to reduce, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring to incorporate, for another 2 minutes.

3.  Pour in chicken broth in batches and stir to incorporate. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in bay leaves and lemon juice.

4.  Pour sauce over the chicken in the baking dish and roast in the oven, basting every 30 minutes, until chicken is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours.  About 30 minutes before dish is finished, add the salami and olives. Return to oven to heat through. Discard bay leaves and rosemary. Serve chicken warm, with plenty of sauce. Works well over noodles, rice or potatoes.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: Use the very best olives you can get. They will be less salty. The salami choice is up to you. A Genoa or Sopressata works well.

SOURCE: Adapted from a recipe by Don Link in the NYTimes

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