Thursday, October 11, 2007

My tummy rejoices at the glory of the chicken!

Tonight I made the most glorious dish I have ever cooked. Oh, the Sage and Saffron Risotto was impressive. The Chicken la Bodega was scrumptious. But this, Garlic Chicken and Peppers with Beans is in a world of its own. I must give it a zippier name.

I found it online when I was looking for a way to use up some chicken stock and white wine I had opened for another recipe. I wasn't sure I'd like it. I'm not that big on cooked red peppers. Correction: I wasn't very big on cooked red peppers. I am telling you, people! This is one to try.

Garlic Chicken and Peppers with Beans

1/4 cup olive oil
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces (3 1/2 pounds) [They're crazy. I used 2 lbs. of thighs and had 5 servings.]
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
6 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon dried sage leaves, or 8 large fresh leaves, snipped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 can (15 ounces) white cannellini beans [aka white kidney beans], rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) small red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup (packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Heat the oil in a deep 6-quart flameproof casserole over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers, cover, and cook over low heat until tender, 5 minutes. While these are cooking, remove the skin from the chicken pieces (except for the wings, where it is just too hard).

Push the peppers to the side and add the chicken. Cook over medium heat just to stiffen the flesh, 2 minutes on each side. Remove the breast pieces from the casserole and set them aside. [if you're just using thighs, just leave them in.] Add the wine, broth, garlic, and sage and bring the liquid to a simmer. Add 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Cover, transfer the casserole to the oven, and bake for 30 minutes.

Return the breast meat to the casserole, and add the white and red beans. Continue to bake, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through, 15 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, coarsely chop the parsley.

Serve the chicken in deep bowls, sprinkled with fresh parsley and swimming in all its lovely fragrant juices. Or, using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken and beans to a serving plate. Boil the juices down until only 2 cups remain, 3 to 4 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, stir in the parsley, and ladle the sauce over the chicken and beans.

Time: 15 minutes preparation. 1 hour no-work baking time.

Makes 4 servings. [Again I say, 2 lbs. of thighs yielded 5 big servings.]

Try it, people! Your house will smell fabulous, and it will be the most flavorful, juicy chicken you've ever had.

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