Source: Nonni ca. 1980’s.
Stewed Chicken in Tomato Sauce
This is a wonderful peasant style dish from Italy. It gives you many possibilities when the dish is finished to serve it with rice, spaghetti, polenta, or to accompany a brilliant risotto. My mom used to make this dish on the weekends, when we had family dinners. As I always say, the success of this dish has everything to do with your brilliant tomato sauce. Once finished, this dish shows deep hues of red, and accumulates a wonderful flavor that the chicken releases into the sauce. It’s simply delicious, warm and satisfying! In fact, for this occasion the sauce was almost gone. When I went to snap this picture, I had only the bottoms left. A compliment to the Chef, but not so good for the photo. An addition to this dish is the fact that you might have some left over chicken. When this chicken is finished and cooked properly, the meat just pulls off the bone, thus giving you a few options for tomorrow's meal...a chicken salad, a chicken soup, or a side dish in itself. I highly recommend this dish. Flavor it up with Italian herbs, let it stew and be proud to serve this very Italian dish.
- 4-6 lb chicken cut up into parts
- tomato sauce home made
- Italian herbs
- 1/4 cup red wine for the sauce
- parmesan cheese to garnish
- 4 TBS olive oil to brown the chicken
Begin with a nice size whole chicken. You are going to cut your chicken up in to about 6-8 pieces. If you do not know how to cut a chicken, watch a quick YouTube video on how to do so. It’s a very essential thing to learn in cooking.
Once chicken is cut up (bones in, skin on), sauté in a stock pot (same pot which you will cook your tomato sauce in) until golden brown on both sides. The term is also called braising, but this is a method which will lock in flavor, and begin to prompt the cooking process in meats.
Once chicken is nice and golden brown on both sides (maybe 10 min. each side), remove chicken and place on a plate aside.
Begin to make your tomato sauce. You can keep it simple by adding an onion and garlic to the oils just cooked by the chicken. Then add your paste, and (fresh) 2 cans of tomatoes, wine and seasons, cook for about 15 min.. Once you like what you see, add the chicken parts back to the pot. Bring to a med/high cooking point, then simmer and cover for about 1-2 hrs. The longer, the better. Your chicken will be so soft and moist, that it will almost just fall apart.
Decide what you will accompany it with (polenta, risotto, pasta), cook this dish and then pour pasta, or polenta, etc. into a platter, then scoop the rich hearty sauce over, meat and all.