Chicken with Sweet Peppers: Pollo con Peperoni
- 1 (3 1/2 pound) chicken, giblets removed, rinsed and patted dry
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Spanish onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 4 bell peppers, either red or yellow or a combination of both
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 ounces dried porcini, reconstituted in hot water to cover, drained, liquid reserved
- 1/2 pound ripe tomatoes
- 1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/4 cup
Cut the chicken into 8 serving portions (4 breast pieces, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks). Generously salt and pepper each piece.
In a 12-inch saute pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over a medium-high flame until hot but not smoking. Working in batches if necessary so as not to crowd the pan, brown the chicken pieces, skin-side first, until all the pieces are golden brown on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from the heat.
In a 14-inch saucepan, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil over a medium-high flame until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic and bay leaf and let cook until the garlic is soft and light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped onion and continue cooking another 5 minutes.
Clean the bell pepper, removing any seeds and interior ribs. Cut into 1-inch wide strips. Add the pepper strips and the wine to the onion mixture and continue cooking at a boil for 15 more minutes, letting the wine evaporate. Add the porcini mushrooms.
Roughly chop the tomatoes, removing any seeds, and add the tomatoes to the pan with the peppers and onions. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes begin to soften, about 5 minutes more.
Add the browned chicken, skin side up, to the pan with the tomatoes and peppers. Begin adding the reserved porcini liquid, bit by bit, to keep the pan moist. Let simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 6 to 7 minutes. Serve immediately, the chicken atop the pepper mixture, with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
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