- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 3 1/2-pound chickens, each cut into 8 pieces
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bouquet garni: 6 parsley stems, 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried, and 1 bay leaf
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 3 1/2 cups canned tomatoes with their juice (28-ounce can), chopped
- 1 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup black olives, such as Nicoise or Kalamata, pitted
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
How to make this recipe
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over moderately high heat until very hot. Sauté the eggplant until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove.
In a large pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons over moderately high heat. Add about a third of the chicken and brown well on both sides, about 8 minutes in all. Remove. Brown the remaining chicken in 2 more batches and remove. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the fat and reduce the heat to moderate.
Add the onion and fennel. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the bouquet garni, wine, the tomatoes with their juice, the stock and salt and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any brown bits. Add the eggplant, the chicken with any juice that has accumulated and the olives. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat, reduce the heat and cook at a bare simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the bouquet garni and stir in the pepper, lemon juice and parsley.
A rose from the Côtes de Provence or a red wine from one of the French seaside towns, such as Bandol or Cassis, is ideally suited to the bold Mediterranean flavors of this dish.