Braised Chicken with Peppers, Olives and Capers
Fresh rosemary, spicy pancetta, rich olives and tart capers turn a simple stew into a popular weeknight meal. Use a mixture of red and yellow peppers for color, and spoon the stew over bulgur wheat or rice to complete the meal.
- 1 chicken, about 3 1/2 lb., cut into 10 pieces
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary
- 2 large red or yellow bell peppers, seeded and sliced
- 1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced
- 1 1/2 oz. pancetta, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes with juices
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives
- 2 Tbs. capers, rinsed
Pat the chicken dry and season on both sides with salt and black pepper. In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the rosemary and then the chicken pieces, in batches if necessary. Cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Add the bell peppers, onion, pancetta and red pepper flakes to the pot. Season with salt and black pepper and sauté until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, the wine, olives and capers and bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the pot, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the breasts are just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer the breasts to a plate. Cover and continue cooking the dark meat for 10 minutes more. Uncover and simmer until the dark meat is tender and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 15 minutes more. Return the breasts to the sauce and simmer to heat through.
Divide the chicken and sauce among 4 warmed plates and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Quick Tips: Organic chickens have a purer flavor than their nonorganic counterparts. Using a sturdy large knife or cleaver, cut each breast in half crosswise so each person can have 1 piece of white meat and 1 piece of dark meat. For a new meal the next day, cut the leftover chicken meat into bite-size pieces, return it to the sauce, reheat gently and mix it into hot cooked pasta.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh & Fast, by Kristine Kidd (Williams-Sonoma, 2011).