Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Mediterranean Chicken and Potato Stew (Poulet et Patate a la Provencal)


At the farmers market last Saturday I bought Cherokee Purple tomatoes. I used much of those in a tomato gallette that was the subject of my last post. I diced the parts of the tomatoes not suitable for the gallette. I also bought some fingerling potatoes at the same market. I have thyme, rosemary, and sage in my herb pots and I have bay leaf in the pantry. If you add Nicoise or Kalamata olives, capers, anchovy paste, white wine, and chicken stock to a braise, what is not to love?

Ingredients

4 chicken thighs with or without skin and bone
2 or 3 fingerling potatoes for each piece of chicken
1 onion diced (about 1 cup)
2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced sweet bell pepper
a rounded handful of pitted Nicoise olives or Kalamata olives.
1 Tbs. capers
1 rinsed anchovy or its equivalent in anchovy paste
1 Tablespoon flour plus more as needed for dredging
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 sprig rosemary and 1 large sprig thyme (2 tsp. each of rosemary and thyme dried herbs)
1 large sage leaf
1 bay leaf
3 large cloves garlic roughly chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
Sufficient chicken broth to half submerge the chicken.
salt and crushed red pepper flakes to taste

Method


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Small dice the onion, celery, and sweet pepper.


Large dice the tomatoes (You may substitute Muir fire roasted diced tomatoes with juices)


Rough chop the garlic.


Measure the olives and capers


Wash and pat dry the chicken pieces.


If bone in with skin, salt and pepper well. If boneless and skinless, salt and pepper well and dredge in flour. In a heavy bottomed skillet or in the bottom of a dutch oven brown the chicken pieces well on both sides in a Tablespoon of olive oil and a large pat of butter. Set the pieces aside. Note: if using bone in with skin pieces, remove the crisp skin. It has served its purpose and will only turn rubbery in the braise.


Empty all but a Tablespoon of the fat from the pan, but do not wipe the pan. Saute the onion, celery, and pepper in the hot pan. As the  vegetables soften add 1 Tablespoon of flour and mix well into the vegetables.

Add the garlic, olives, tomato paste, capers, and anchovy to the pan. If using anchovy paste add the equivalent of one anchovy.

Add the wine to the pan and simmer until reduced by half. Nestle the browned chicken and potatoes among the vegetables (or place in the braising vessel and add the vegetables over them) and add a tied bundle of the herbs in the middle.



Add enough chicken stock to have cover the chicken and potatoes. Cover and set on the middle rack in the oven. Bake 50 minutes. Remove the cover and bake an additional 30 to 50 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half.

Serve in warmed bowls with a blanched green bean salad.



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