I’ve braised veal and lamb shanks, pork shoulders and chuck roasts. But I had never braised chicken for longer than 30 minutes. When I read the original recipe from Food52 I was intrigued by the addition of salami in the braising liquid. Loved the olives just didn’t know what the salami would cook into. The results were sublime. I tweaked it a little for my family’s taste using harissa in place of tomato paste and I cut back the amount of chicken stock. The first time I made it I didn’t use the fennel and didn’t notice the difference the second time when I included it. So if you don’t like cooked fennel, not to worry, leave it out. I used the Castelvetrano olives which are my favorite and hold up to the longer cooking time not just in texture but color. Cut the salami in small dices but you prefer you could use pancetta. Just make sure you brown your pancetta first.
- 8 chicken thighs, skin and bone or what I call “fully loaded”
- 2 t Sous Salt Porcini Mushroom (but our Olive Thyme or Sun Dried Tomato would do)
- 3/4 pepper
- 3 T olive oil
- 2 shallots
- 5 garlic cloves, or 3 large ones
- 1/2 fennel bulb sliced
- 1 rosemary branch
- 1 cup diced salami
- 1 c Castelvetrano green olives, pitted and halved
- 1 t dried oregano (I used the mexican oregano)
- 1/2 t red pepper flakes
- 1/2 c white wine
- 2 T harissa (or tomato paste)
- 2 T all purpose flour
- 2 c chicken stock
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 lemon quartered
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Remember this is low and slow.
Season the chicken with the Sous Salt and pepper and let the chicken sit for 30 minutes while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skill and sear the chicken starting skin side down until you get a nice brown on the skin, apx 7 minutes on the skin side and just a couple on the second side. Transfer the chicken to a bowl to wait until the braising liquid is finished.
Add the shallots to the skillet with the rendered chicken fat. Let them soften for a few minutes. Add the fennel, garlic, salami, olives, oregano and red pepper flakes. Simmer for just 2 minutes and then add the wine. Reduce the wine by half, scraping the bits off the skillet. Stir in the harissa (or tomato paste) and cook for about 4 – 5 minutes until it caramelizes a bit.
Add the flour and cook together for 2 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and simmer until slightly thickened about 2 minutes. Add the bay leaves and lemon.
Take the chicken thighs and nestle them down into the skillet. Don’t submerge the chicken below the sauce so the skin will stay crispy. Just put them on top of the sauce. Cook for and hour to an hour and a half depending on what type of oven. A convection oven won’t need more than 60 minutes. A regular oven an hour and a half. Sprinkle with some fresh parsley and you are ready to go!
I served ours on pasta but gnocchi is wonderful too. As long as you have something to soak up the sauce.