This Provence Style Braised Chicken is fabulous. Its not hard to make and the ingredients are simple yet flavorful.
1 whole chicken – 5-6 lbs., cut into 10 pieces (save bones for chicken stock)
We used a French Breed called a Red Ranger.
How to cut a chicken into 10 pieces from FRESH FAST:
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large fennel bulb, cored and sliced thin, (about 2 cups sliced fennel)
1 large red pepper, cored, destemmed and sliced thin (about 1 – 1 1/2 cups)
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed(a little)
1 bunch fresh thyme, maybe 15 stems
1 cup Screamin’ Onionz, Mild or Medium
1 - 28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes – we used Mutti brand
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced, lengthwise into ½’s or ¼’s, depending on the size
4 cups chicken stock
2 Tbsp capers
2 teaspoons salt, Maldon Sea Salt if possible (for seasoning chicken)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, (for seasoning chicken)
After braising the chicken, you may season with salt and pepper if you’d like
1.Preheat oven to 325°F and place your rack in the second from the bottom position.
2.Pat the chicken dry and season with the salt and pepper. In a large braising pan or Dutch oven, set on medium-high heat, place 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add 1/2 of chicken, brown on all sides and place in a large bowl when done. Brown second half of chicken adding 2 tablespoons of oil before you add more chicken. Set aside chicken for later use.
3.Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the empty Dutch oven then add the fennel. Stir constantly, picking up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. The moisture from the fennel will help to release the bits and incorporate that flavor into the stew. Stir for 8-10 minutes or until the fennel softens.
4.Add the red pepper and sauté for 3 minutes. Add garlic and thyme. Stir until incorporated.
5.Make a circular clearing in the bottom of the pan and add 1 cup of Screamin’ Onionz and let simmer for one minute. Stir ingredients until incorporated.
6.Add whole peeled tomatoes, one at a time, squeezing carefully to break apart the tomato (but not to squirt tomatoes all over the kitchen). After tomatoes are all in the pot, stir in the tomato juices from the can until fully incorporated. (You can save time by pre squeezing the tomatoes and adding them to the juice).
7.Add olives, chicken stock and capers, one at a time, stirring after each is added.
8.Add seared chicken, one piece at a time, fully submerging them and being careful not to splash the hot liquid.
9.Place cover on Dutch oven and put in preheated 325°F oven for 1 ½ hours. Check doneness of the chicken at the one-hour mark.
11.When chicken is done, you can remove the chicken and cook down the braising liquid to thicken if you prefer.