Chicken: Corsican Chicken

posted by Andy 03-25-103 5:01 AM

from "Fast & Fresh Cookbook" by Lucy Waverman.
"A wonderfully flavoured, exciting dish that is great for buffets. This dish can be prepared a day ahead, then baked when needed. Serve with Butterfly Pasta with Basil."

Corsican Chicken

1 head garlic
6 single boneless chicken breasts, with skin on
1/4 cup all purpose flour
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh rosemary (or 2 tsp dried) *divided - 1&1*
3 Tbs olive oil
2 oz. smoked ham
1 large red onion, thickly sliced
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped black olives
3 Tbs brandy
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400°.

Separate the garlic cloves and add to a small pot of water. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, drain and peel the garlic cloves.

Cut each chicken breast into thirds.

In a shallow dish, combine the flour with salt, pepper and just *1* Tbs rosemary. Coat the chicken pieces with the flour.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on high heat. Brown the chicken in batches, 1 or 2 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon to a large ovenproof casserole.

Turn the heat to medium-low. Pour off all but 2 Tbs fat from the skillet. Add the ham, onion, garlic and remaining *1* Tbs rosemary.

Sauté until the onion is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, olives and brandy. Bring to a boil.

Scrape the contents of the skillet over the chicken breasts and add the bay leaf. Cover and bake at 400°for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with the parsley before serving.

Serves 6.

Andy's notes: A head of roasted garlic can be substituted for the unusual boiled garlic used in this recipe, if desired, although the boiled garlic works well (and the water can be saved and added to the pasta or for boiling potatoes for all the garlic-lovers). For anyone concerned about the amount of garlic, boiling or roasting garlic seriously reduces the raw garlic flavours and gives you a much more acceptable milder garlic flavour. I have never made this with skin-on boneless chicken - I use skinless, boneless. Use a good quality piece of smoked ham for it's smoky flavour (I often buy a 1/4"- slice at a deli), or possibly a smoked European sausage (like a Hungarian Debreziner) as a substitute. Kalamata olives (hot or not) give much more flavour than canned black olives. If you want a dish that doesn't require the use of a knife to eat it, cube the chicken in bite-size pieces before browning.

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