Orange zest and juice add a subtle bright flavor to this simple braised chicken dish. Serve with softly cooked polenta, your favorite variety of steamed rice or just a good loaf of bread to soak up the flavorful braising liquid.
Braised Chicken with Olives and Orange Zest
1 chicken, about 3 1/2 lb. (1.75 kg), cut into 10 serving pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 tsp. paprika
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp. fennel seeds
3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) red wine
2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) chicken broth
1 can (14 oz./440 g) diced tomatoes
3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g) Kalamata olives, pitted
Zest and juice of 1 orange, zest peeled into strips using a vegetable peeler
1 cup (6 oz./180 g) roasted red bell pepper slices
Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the chicken all over with the paprika.
In a large, deep fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of 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 pan.
Add the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil to the pan and warm over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute more. Add the fennel seeds and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the wine and cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom, until the wine reduces slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, diced tomatoes with juices, olives, orange juice and orange zest, and bell peppers. Return the chicken to the pan.
Transfer the pan to the oven and cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes. When the chicken is cooked, transfer the chicken pieces to a clean plate and place the pan on the stovetop 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 pan. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen