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Sunday Supper & More

Braised chicken with tomatoes, herbs, and olives

(Sally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe)
December 1, 2010

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Serves 4 with leftovers

16 chicken thighs (skin and bones intact)
Salt and black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 red onions, sliced
3 large yellow or orange bell peppers, cored, seeded, and sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon each dried rosemary, dried marjoram, dried thyme, and dried fennel seeds
3 bay leaves
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 can (14 to 15 ounces) diced tomatoes
Grated rind and juice of 1/2 orange
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees.

2. If you like, remove the skin from the thighs. Sprinkle them all over with salt and black pepper.

3. In a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add enough chicken to make one layer. Brown it for 3 minutes without moving. Turn and brown the other sides for 3 minutes more. Remove from the pan. Brown the remaining thighs in the same way and remove from pan.

4. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons oil from the pan. Turn the heat to medium and add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, fennel, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften. Add the wine and stir to loosen the brown bits at the bottom of the pan.

5. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, orange rind and juice, and olives. Bring the liquid to a boil. Return the chicken to the pan, skin side up.

6. Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and black pepper, if you like. Set aside 1 cup vegetables with their sauce and 4 chicken thighs for the pressed sandwiches. Serve the chicken over rice.

Sally Pasley Vargas