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.
Make Ahead Let the stew cool, then refrigerate overnight. Skim off the fat before bringing to room temperature and rewarming over low heat.