Italian Sweet-and-Sour Chicken

Mario Batali’s delicious chicken gets its sweet-and-sour flavor from a mix of orange juice, vinegar and capers.


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  • Servings: 4

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  • One 4-pound chicken, cut into 10 pieces (each breast split crosswise)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dry light-bodied red wine, such as Chianti
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

How to make this recipe

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the chicken and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and pour off the oil.

  2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the sugar, wine, vinegar, orange juice, capers and almonds and bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up. Cover partially and simmer over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 35 minutes.

  3. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Boil the pan sauce over high heat until thickened, about 3 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Return the chicken to the skillet until warmed through. Transfer to a plate, spoon the sauce on top and serve.

Serve With

A salad of bitter greens.

Suggested Pairing

Smooth Malbec.

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos Published February 2012

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