Food Adventures

Friday, September 22, 2006

How many ways can you cook a chicken and still make it interesting? Well, I have at least one new way that adds spice to chicken (both literally and metaphorically). It's Mario Batali recipe for spicy Sicilian chicken in the Molto Italiano cookbook, which (deservedly) won the James Beard Award. The recipe is easy to make, quick (it can all be done in about an hour, including the chopping), and flexible enough to allow for modifications should you find yourself without eggplant or anything to substitute for it, like I did.

I omitted the eggplant and this spicy, rich stew still tested great. In addition to a whole chicken (cut up), there are potatoes, carrots, onions, bell peppers, black olives, capers, tomatoes and eggplant as well as the requisite red wine and olive oil. First, you brown the chicken in olive oil, then you take it out of the pot, and add all the vegetables and the wine. After a couple of minutes, you add the chicken back in, lower the heat and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Voila! With some crusty Italian bread and the rest of the red wine you used for cooking, you have a perfect fall meal.

I do not often see recipes for chicken cooked in red wine and, having tried this one, I wonder why. The combination is perfect and the red wine lends the stew a richness and robustness that makes it the perfect comfort food. The red pepper flakes add a kick and make the stew more interesting, perfectly complementing the saltiness of the olives and capers.

Not to even mention the fact that this one-pot dish, with a variety of flavors and textures, is perfect for reheating.

1 Comments:

At 10:41 AM CDT, Anonymous Erika said...

I was in desperate need of an update! Thanks for the review of the chicken dish. That sounds so good and comforting!

 

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