Sunday, January 3, 2010

Chicken with olives

For two

1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 chicken legs and thighs (attached)
1 cup fruity white wine
2 Tbsp grainy mustard
3/4 cup hot Syrian olives, mixed (or subs. miscellaneous olives with a slice of - preserved, if you have it! - lemon and a hot pepper)
2 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground, hot red pepper (I used 'Halaby' aka aleppo pepper, from Sahadi)
3 bay leaves
salt and pepper

In a casserole, over medium heat, sweat the shallots in some olive oil, add the garlic cloves and cook until their skins gleam, about a minute, add the tomato paste and stir....

Add chicken, pour over wine, add olives, mustard, sugar, hot red pepper, bay leaves, salt and pepper, stir.

Add water to just reach the top of the chicken pieces, bring to a bubble and put in a 350'F/180'C oven, covered, for about an hour and a half. The liquid should have reduced by about two thirds, and the chicken browned and falling-apart tender. If it has not, remove the lid and put back in the oven.

Cook some large-boned (?) pasta and spoon some of the sauce over the drained pasta just before serving. Serve chicken pieces on the top. Eat.

This was a very successful supper. I had nothing in the fridge. One shallot left. Bay leaves. A lot of garlic. Tomato paste - and I really wanted a full, meaty-tasting sauce for pasta. So I used ALL the tomato paste, added the olives to make it look better and the mustard as an after thought. The hot red pepper rounded things off wonderfully.
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