Monday, March 2, 2009

Reen's Slow and Easier Chicken Provençal

This yummy recipe was made for me by my sister Reen. She and Billy brought it to me recently when they stopped by for a visit. I'm SO grateful that she typed up the recipe for me, (despite having a finger injury).
Thanx Been!

Hey Joey-
This recipe is from my "Slow & Easy" cookbook, but I tweaked it a bit to make it "Slow & Easier." There's a little comma thing attached to the C in "Provençal," but all you need to know is that it is a soft C, as in "Sal", not a hard C, as in "Kal." Those French have a different word for everything.
Since, by shredding the chicken, I turned it more into a stew, I served it over pasta (rotelle) instead of as an entree.
It's not as complicated as it looks and, if you remove the chicken skin, it's low-fat too. Bon Appetit!

4 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (I used split breasts)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra as needed
1 medium onion, minced
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs. minced fresh thyme (which I used, because I had the thyme and the time)
1 tbs. minced fresh oregano (I used dry, because I didn't have fresh and didn't have the time)
1 tsp. Herbes de Provence (optional, but I recommend it)
1 anchovy fillet, rinsed and minced (didn't use, but would have, if I had it)
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tbs. tomato paste
1 tbs. flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp. grated zest from 1 lemon
1/2 cup pitted nicoise olives (I didn't have the olives, so I used 1/2 cup capers instead and loved it that way. Olives, capers - salty, green, same thing)
1 tbs. minced fresh parsley (had it, used it, loved it)

1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbs oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until smoking (the chicken, not you). Brown half of chicken on both sides, 7-10 minutes. Transfer to large plate and repeat with remaining half.
2. Pour off all but 1 tbs of fat in pot, add onion , 1/4 tsp. salt and cover until softened, 5-7 min. Stir in garlic, thyme, oregano, Herbes de Provence, anchovy, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste and flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the wine, scraping up the browned bits, then slowly whisk in the broth until smooth. Stir in the tomatoes and bay leaves and bring to a simmer.
3. Nestle the chicken, along with accumulated juices, into the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the chicken is fully cooked and tender, about 1 hour. (I did this part in a crock pot, put it on low for 4 hours, because, again, I didn't have the time.)
4. It says to transfer the chicken to a serving platter, but I pulled the chicken off the bones and shredded it. Tent loosely with foil while finishing the sauce. Skim off the fat from the liquid. Stir in 1 tsp. lemon zest, bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened slightly, 4-6 minutes. Discard bay leaves, stir in olives (capers) and shredded chicken, and let sit for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, toss with remaining 1/2 tsp. zest and parsley.

Tip from Joey:
If you choose dried herbs instead of fresh ones, just use half as much, since dried herbs are more potent. I'd highly recommend choosing fresh flat leaf parsley, though, instead of dried. There's just no comparison.

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