We had to head back to Rochester for a few days, and I for one, get so tired of restaurant food, it is fun to cook and have something truly good to eat, once we get home.
This dish is SO good, I do hope that you will give it a try. The chicken literally melts in your mouth! And don't let all of the steps discourage you, it really does come together quite smoothly.
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees.
*A note about the chicken. You are going to need 3 lbs. of boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs, trimmed and cut into approx. 1 inch pieces. Don't use chicken breasts because you will wind up with dry, chewy meat. Also, if you can't find boneless, skinless chicken thighs, then you are going to have to do what I did. I took off the skin, then lightly browned the whole thighs. I then removed them from the pot, let them cool a bit, and sliced the meat off of the bone. It is a lot easier that trying to cut it cleanly off when it is still completely raw.
Before you begin cooking,
Trim and quarter 1 lb of White Mushrooms, that have been wiped clean.
Chop 2 medium Onions, and mince 6 cloves of Garlic. (note to self. Don't use yellow bowls next time. Garlic got lost in the photograph)
Rinse and mince 1 Anchovy Fillet. (Don't omit, unless you are on a low sodium diet. You won't be able to taste it, but it enhances the flavor of the meat)
Heat 1 Tblsp. Olive Oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the minced anchovy, and stir it around until it becomes little glazed bits in the bottom of the pan.
Add your chicken pieces, stirring frequently to brown on all sides. Remove chicken and place in a bowl.
Turn the heat down to medium. Add another Tblsp of Olive Oil, and add the mushrooms and onions. Cover and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid, and the onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until the mushrooms have lightly browned. Scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pot.
Stir in the garlic, and add:
1 Teaspoon Herbes de Provence (the fragrance is heavenly when it hits the heat!)
1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Stir thoroughly, and add:
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste (I use the paste you find in a tube, but you can use the can variety if you prefer), and
2 Tablespoons unbleached, all purpose Flour.
Cook for 1 minute. Slowly stir in:
1/3 Cup of your favorite Dry White Wine. Continue to stir, scraping up any browned bits.
Gradually stir in 2 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth, either home-made, or low sodium commercial brand.
Stir in 1 - 14.5 ounce can of Diced Tomatoes that you have drained, and 2 Bay Leaves. Add the browned chicken. Bring to a simmer. Cover and place the pot in the oven, for and hour, or until the chicken is very tender.
While the chicken is cooking, drain and rinse 1 - 15 ounce can of Cannellini Beans, otherwise known by some brands as White Kidney Beans. You can then set them aside in a bowl.
Rough chop 1/2 cup pitted Nicoise Olives. These are a dark, slightly sour olive, and if you can't find them, you can substitute Kalamata Olives, Please don't use the commercial black olives that you find in a can. You need a more subtle flavor for this dish.
Also, chop 1/4 cup fresh Parsley, and grate 1/2 Teaspoon fresh Lemon Zest, being careful to not get the bitter white pith underneath.
Remove the pot from the oven, and remove the bay leaves. Stir in the beans and olives, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
Stir in the parsley and lemon zest. Season with freshly cracked Black Pepper, and Sea Salt, to taste before serving.
We enjoyed our meal with some crusty bread and a nice glass of wine!
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