If Italian food gratifies your taste buds and you’re a fan of tomatoes and chicken, this surely is the recipe you were looking for! A famous Italian classic; best made in the autumn when there’s a glut of red, ripe, full-flavoured tomatoes, but it’s still good for all seasons, since there are now some well-flavoured varieties available. Either way, the tomatoes need to be very red and ripe.
Ingredients for this lip-smacking delicacy are:
1.35 kg of traditional free range chicken, jointed into 8 pieces
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and thickly sliced
700 grams ripe red tomatoes
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 level tablespoon tomato purée
1 level tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves (Mehndi Ke Patte), bruised and finely chopped
1 Bay leaf (Tej Patta)
275 ml of dry white wine (optional)
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly powdered black pepper
You will also need a lidded flameproof pan with a capacity of 3.5 litres.
First of all heat the Olive oil in the pan over a high heat and season the chicken joints with salt and pepper. When the oil gets really hot and begins to shimmer, fry the chicken – in 2 batches – make the pieces brown on all the sides: remove the first batch to a plate while you tackle the second; each joint needs to be a lovely golden-brown colour all over. When the second batch is ready, remove it to join the rest.
Now add the onions to it, turn the heat down to medium and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until they are softened and nicely browned at the edges. Meanwhile, skin the tomatoes. To do this, pour boiling water over them and leave them for exactly one minute before draining and slipping off their skins (protect your hands with a cloth if they are too hot), then chop them into very small pieces.
When the onions are browned, add the garlic to it, let this cook for about 1 minute, after this add the tomatoes, tomato purée, rosemary, bay leaf, white wine and white wine vinegar. Now add some seasoning and bring it up to the boil, then let it bubble and reduce (without covering the pan) to about half its original volume, which will take about 20 minutes. Now add the chicken pieces, stir them around a bit, then put the lid on and allow the dish to simmer gently for 40 minutes, until the chicken joints are cooked through. This dish is good served with green tagliatelle, noodles, rice or a simple vegetable.