10 August 2016

Corsican Chicken

I had to look at a map to really get a good understanding of exactly where Corsica is located after I read about the description of this chicken recipe. It comes from a slow-cooker cook book that I have called The French Slow Cooker. It turns out that Corsica is a pretty large island in the Mediterranean Sea that is southeast of Nice, France and west of the Italian coast (and Rome). It has a long history of conquest by everyone from the Romans to the Brits to the Germans, to the French. Nowadays, it is an official part of France ... and the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. So there.





Back to the chicken dish, though. This is a lovely plate of braised chicken thighs - no skin, no bones. I do think having the bones in would be a nice way to build flavor and character and in all fairness, the recipe calls for chicken parts (legs and thighs- bone in). This dish pays homage to the Italian roots of the island. It's a slow stew of olive oil, garlic, chicken thighs and a bunch of rosemary sprigs. Add to that strips roasted red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes with some of the herbed oil that they soak in, a bit of white wine and chicken broth. Finish the juices by saucing them up with a thickener (I used cornstarch and water) and adding a huge handful of basil strips and generous black pepper. It was simple and very rich. Suitable for having with crusty bread or a small bowl of linguini. 

I'm sure this platter of chicken might have benefited from other additions - oil-cured black olives, maybe some artichoke hearts, small roasted potatoes to roll around in that sauce ... that's the beauty of a simple dish like this. It can be adapted so easily into something else ... bon appetit.

Beginning the dish - if you have a heavy Dutch oven, it's perfect for cooking this dinner. Use a simmering plate beneath the pot to really diffuse the heat and let the stew bubble slowly. The cook book has you use a slow cooker and really stew these for hours on a low setting, but it's summertime and I was all about keeping the heat to the minimum in my kitchen, so the Dutch oven and an hour of cook time is what I allowed for the little chicken thighs that I used. You can do what you like ...




Corsican Chicken for Two
adapted from the Michele Scicolone recipe


Ingredients:

5 boneless chicken thighs
2 small cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
5 sprigs fresh rosemary (not too much - look at the second photo)
2 roasted red peppers, cut to strips
1/2 c. oil-cured sun-dried tomatoes, cut to strips
2 tbsp. the herbed oil from the sun-dried tomatoes jar
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. dry white wine
1 tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in about 1/4 c. water
a handful of fresh basil leaves, cut to strips

Making the Dish:

1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs. Salt and pepper them. Let them begin to brown just a bit.

2. Add the garlic and let it become golden in the oil and meat juices.

3. Add the chicken broth, tomato oil, tomatoes, red peppers, and rosemary sprigs. Flip the chicken thighs. Cover the pot, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes.  Add a bit of water if the juices cook down too much. 

4. Just before serving, remove the stems from the rosemary sprigs. Add the white wine and the cornstarch mixture. Stir to thicken. Correct the seasonings (more black pepper and a bit of salt, maybe). Add the basil and let it wilt into the sauce.

5. Plate the chicken, scrape the pot bottom and spoon the sauce and vegetables over and around the meat. Garnish with a bit more fresh basil. 

6. Slice some crusty bread and serve alongside the chicken with a crisp green salad and a good glass of chilled white wine.






3 comments:

  1. oooh, that looks so lovely and i've always wanted to visit Corsica!

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  2. Your presentation is always amazing. This is a recipe I'd love to try, thanks Susan. Hope u r having a nice summer.

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  3. I've always heard of Corsica but, like you, never knew exactly where it was located...until now! That dish looks and sounds delicious. I would think a Dutch Oven allowed to do its thing in a low oven would work as well, though maybe once summer has passed. I can't wait to play with this recipe.

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