Chicken with Olives, Raisins, and Onions
- SERVINGS: 12
Mirroring the history of Spain, this dish shows Jewish, Arab, and Spanish influences. Sephardim serve the chicken with polenta or rice, although Ashkenazim forbid these foods during Passover.
- 6 chicken breast halves on the bone
- 6 whole chicken legs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/3 cup pure olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
- 1 1/2 pounds cipolline onions, peeled but with root ends kept intact
- 1 1/4 pounds green olives, pitted
- 1 1/2 cups golden raisins (about 7 ounces)
- 4 to 6 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- Two 2 1/2-inch-long cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 3/4 cup pine nuts (4 1/2 ounces)
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a very large enameled cast-iron casserole, warm the olive oil. Add the chicken pieces in batches and brown over high heat, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken to a platter and discard the oil from the casserole. Add the wine and vinegar and boil over high heat, stirring, until reduced by half, about 6 minutes.
- Return the chicken to the casserole and add the onions, olives, raisins and enough stock to cover two-thirds of the chicken. Tie the cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and peppercorns in cheesecloth and add them to the casserole. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat and cover. Cook over very low heat until the chicken and onions are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Skim off the fat. Taste the cooking liquid and, if necessary, remove the solids and boil it down until it is full-flavored. Return the solids to the casserole and season with salt and pepper.
- In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderately low heat until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle the chicken with the pine nuts and serve.
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