Braising chicken in white wine instead of red results in a lighter, brighter flavor, which in this recipe is heightened with piquant olives and capers. Serve with a good loaf of bread so you can soak up the flavorful braising liquid.
Braised Chicken with Olives and Capers
1 chicken, about 3 1/2 lb. (1.75 kg), cut into 10 serving pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 Tbs. olive oil
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) white wine
2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz./625 ml) chicken broth
3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g) olives, such as Kalamata, pitted
Zest of 1 lemon, peeled into strips using a vegetable peeler, then julienned
3 Tbs. capers
2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 cup (6 oz./180 g) cherry tomatoes
Preheat an oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches, brown the chicken on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer the chicken to a plate and carefully pour the fat from the Dutch oven.
Add the butter to the Dutch oven. When it has melted, add the onion and sauté until translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute more.
Add the wine and cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom, until the wine reduces slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, olives, lemon zest, capers and fennel seeds. Return the chicken to the Dutch oven and top with the tomatoes.
Cover, place the Dutch oven in the oven and cook until the chicken is tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When the chicken is cooked, transfer the chicken pieces to a plate and place the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook until the braising liquid is thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and return the chicken to the Dutch oven. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen