The wonderful flavors of the Mediterranean—garlic, fennel, eggplant, tomatoes, and black olives—are captured in this savory chicken stew.Plus: More Chicken Recipes and Tips
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.