Baccala "Monastery" Style: Baccala alla Cappuccina

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Intermediate
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds baccala (dried, salted codfish), soaked for 48 hours, water changed at least twice daily
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 salt-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pint brown chicken stock, recipe follows
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons sultanas or golden raisins, soaked in water to plump them
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • Brown Chicken Stock:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/2 pounds chicken wings, backs, and bones
  • 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 4 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 bunch parsley stems
Directions

Drain the fish, pat it dry, and break into pieces. Toss the baccala pieces in the flour to coat. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large saute pan, combine the olive oil and butter, and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until very soft and browned, then add the anchovies and fish pieces. Cook over medium-high heat until the fish is nicely browned and the anchovies have fallen apart, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the chicken stock, bay leaves, pine nuts and sultanas and cook over high heat for 10 minutes. Top with the bread crumbs and cook in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are browned. Serve hot.

Brown Chicken Stock:

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over high heat until smoking. Add all the chicken parts and brown all over, stirring to avoid burning. Remove the chicken and reserve. Add the carrots, onions, and celery to the pot and cook until soft and browned. Return the chicken to the pot and add 3 quarts of water, the tomato paste, peppercorns, and parsley. Stir with a wooden spoon to dislodge the browned chicken and vegetables bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring almost to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a low simmer until reduced by half, about 2 hours, occasionally skimming excess fat. Remove from heat, strain, and press on the solids with the bottom of a ladle to extract out all liquids. Stir the stock to facilitate cooling and set aside. Refrigerate stock in small containers for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.

Yield: 1 1/2 quarts


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