Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chicken with red onions, white wine and tomatoes

Various ways of cooking chicken stews have been almost as strong an obsession on this blog as has cooking rice. Here's another, enabled by the ability of my shallow oven dish to sit above a flame on the hob as well as in the oven. Serves 3.

2 red onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
Oil for frying (I used sunflower)
1 bay leaf
1/2 chicken stock cube (optional - but it does add savouriness, in my opinion)
1 glass white wine
3 chicken thighs, 3 drumsticks
2 plump tomatoes, skinned and chopped


Over a gentle flame, soften the onions and garlic in a tbsp or two of oil (enough to stop them catching). Five to 10 minutes.

Pour in the wine, with the bay leaf and stock cube (if using), and bring to a simmer. Place the chicken pieces in the sauce - you don't need to brown them first, because they will brown in the oven. Put the dish in the oven at gas mark 6/200C, for about 30 to 45 minutes, or until much of the wine has evaporated. Turn down the heat if the liquid is bubbling too fast, or if the chicken is browning too quickly.

To skin the tomatoes, bring a pan of water to the boil. Turn off the heat, and drop in the tomatoes. Drain them after about 20 seconds. The skin should slip off easily. (If you need to skin them right away, cool them under the cold water tap.) Chop them up, and add them to the stew. Put the dish back into the oven for another 45 minutes, taking it out for occasional stirring.

If the sauce is too runny, strain it into a saucepan - returning the chicken to the oven meanwhile - and boil it until it arrives at the consistency you like.

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