Fricasseed chicken with Piennolo Tomatoes and Taggiasca Olives

The first person we looked to for cooking advice after our first shipment of Taggiasca Olives arrived was Victor Hazan. He told us that “Marcella had a fricasseed chicken recipe that called for olive taggiasche. It was one of her many beloved chicken dishes. It’s on page 273 of MARCELLA CUCINA.”

We were especially excited about this recipe because it is amazing with our Piennolo Tomatoes, which require very little cooking. In fact, in her Introduction, Marcella says, “It seemed to me that I could capitalize on the brief cooking time cherry tomatoes require to achieve flavor that was fresh and sprightly.” She also says that for this recipe, “I chose taggiasche olives, the small, mellow ones of the Italian Riviera.”

The following recipe is an adaptation of Marcella Hazan’s Pollo all’abruzzese coi pomodorini e le olive, which can be found in the book Marcella Cucina.

Ingredients

3 ½ pound chicken; cut into 8 pieces
Extra virgin olive oil
4 or 5 whole peeled garlic cloves
2 teaspoons rosemary leaves, chopped very fine
Sea salt
Chili peppers, 1 teaspoon or to taste
½ cup dry white wine
1 jar Piennolo Tomatoes
1 dozen Taggiasca Olives

Preparation

  1. Wash all the pieces in cold water and pat dry with kitchen towels.
  2. Choose a skillet or sauté pan that can contain all the chicken pieces in one layer without crowding. Put some oil, garlic, and rosemary and turn the heat to high. Add the chicken, the skin side facing down. When that side has been well browned, turn the pieces and do the other side. Sprinkle with salt, add the chili pepper, and with a wooden spoon turn over the contents of the pan three or four times.
  3. Add the wine to the pan and as it bubbles scrape loose with the wooden spoon any browning residues sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Put a lid on the pan and turn the heat down to low. Cook for about 35 minutes, turning the chicken over from time to time. If you should find that the juices in the pan have become insufficient to keep the meat from sticking to the bottom of the pan, replenish them when necessary with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water.
  5. When the chicken is very tender – the meat should come easily off the bone – add the tomatoes and the olives. Continue cooking just until the tomatoes soften. Serve.