Chicken, onions and herbs braised with wine make a warming meal for a cold evening. Serve the chicken over polenta or rice, or set out some crusty bread to absorb the flavorful juices. Sauteed greens make a colorful accompaniment.
Braised Chicken with Onions, Rosemary and Sage
3 1/2 lb. (1.75 kg.) large chicken breast halves and thighs, breasts cut in half crosswise
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 large onions, 1 finely chopped and 1 cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm.) pieces
2 oz. (60 g.) pancetta, chopped
2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh sage
3 small bay leaves
4 whole cloves
1 1/2 Tbs. tomato paste
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) dry white wine
2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml.) low-sodium chicken broth
Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels, and sprinkle on both sides with salt and pepper. In a heavy large, deep drying pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the chicken pieces and cook until brown on both sides. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Pour off the fat from the frying pan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the chopped onion, onion pieces, pancetta, rosemary, sage, bay leaves and cloves. Saute until the onions begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the wine and bring to a boil, stirring up the browned bits.
Return the chicken to the frying pan with any juices accumulated on the plate. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken breast pieces are cooked through, frequently spooning the cooking liquid over, and turning, about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken breast pieces to a plate. Continue cooking the thighs until tender, about 15 minutes longer. Return the breasts to the frying pan and simmer until heated through, about 3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve right away. Serves 4.