This sweet and sour sauce, bursting with the flavors of garlic and tangy orange juice, is called ‘‘agrodolce’’ in Italian cooking. Serve it with rice pilaf, buttered orzo or warmed Italian bread to soak up all the delicious sauce. When braising chicken, you want to use pieces on the bone so the chicken will remain tender; thighs or breasts also work well with this one-pot recipe.
Sweet and Sour Drumsticks with Squash and Red Onions
2 Tbs. olive oil
8 chicken drumsticks, about 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) total
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes (2 cups/10 oz./315 g)
1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2/3 cup (5 fl. oz./160 ml) red wine vinegar
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) fresh orange juice
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbs. toasted pine nuts
2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Season the drumsticks all over with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook, turning as needed, until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Do not wipe the pan clean and keep it over medium-high heat.
Warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil in the pan and add the butternut squash and onion. Season well with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté just until soft, about 1 minute.
Stir in the vinegar and orange juice, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Nestle the drumsticks in the sauce, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover the pan. Simmer gently until the chicken is opaque throughout, about 25 minutes.
Using tongs, transfer the drumsticks to a serving platter. Stir the pine nuts and parsley into the sauce and raise the heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour the sauce with the onion and butternut squash over the chicken and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
For more fresh ideas about how to prepare chicken, whether for a
quick family meal or an impressive weekend spread, check out our
Chicken Night: Dinner Solutions for Every Day of the Week.