This chicken doesn’t need a lot of introduction.  Based off one of my favorite pasta sauces of all time (one that has a pretty interesting history), this chicken embodies comfort and simplicity, but is also perfect for serving to guests.  Due to the braising method used to cook this chicken, it is extremely tender and I’m not sure why one would ever cook chicken another way.  Sure, it takes a while, but there truly is nothing like the smell of this bubbling goodness filling the kitchen for a few hours.  The sauce is perfectly tangy with a nice aftertaste of heat, and it literally warms your whole body as you take each forkful.  I made this for three hungry boys who really enjoyed it, although looking back I wish I had kept it all for myself cause lets face it I can eat a lot.  The great thing about this dish is that it can be served over any kind of grain, plus the leftover sauce is PERFECT for pasta.  And we all know how much I love that.

Tomato Braised Chicken Puttanesca 

Serves about 4

  • 8 chicken legs, bone in, skin on (you can also use CHICKEN THIGHS!)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Seasoning for chicken: salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne (I hate using spice measurements – season to your liking)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
  • about 1/2 bottle of wine (plus more for drinking, obviously)
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1/3 cup capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
  • Spices, in order of most used to least used: cayenne, paprika, pepper, salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Season your chicken legs on both sides with the salt, pepper, cayenne, and paprika.  Heat up the olive oil in a large, deep pot.  Over medium high heat brown the chicken on both sides, then remove to a plate.
  2. With the oil still in the pot, cook the onions over medium high heat until soft.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 4 minutes.  Add the 1/2 bottle of wine, and scrape up the brown bits that are on the pan.  Cook until wine is halfway evaporated, then return the chicken to the pot.
  3. Add in the diced tomatoes, olives, anchovy paste and capers and stir.  Bring the mixture to a boil, making sure it covers the chicken completely.  If it doesn’t, pour some more wine in the pot.  Add the spices to the pot (salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika) and adjust according to your taste.
  4. Make sure the chicken is flat on the bottom of the pot, then put a tight fitting lid on the top of the pot (it is important for the lid to fit tightly in order for the chicken to braise).  Transfer the pot to the oven, and cook for about one hour, or until chicken is falling off the bone and no longer pink.
  5. Remove the pot from the oven, then serve the chicken on plates, spooning the sauce (it should be nice and chunky) over the chicken.  For a more substantial meal, serve over rice, pasta, couscous etc.  ENJOY!

simple is good

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