Sweet & Sour Sicilian Braised Chicken (Pollo Agrodolce)
FineCooking / Erica De Mane
John and I devoured this chicken. It was east to make and was so delicious!! I served this with rice. Enjoy!
4 whole chicken legs, cut into thighs and drumsticks (3-1/2 to 4 lb total)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flour for dredging
1/3 cup olive oil; plus a drizzle of your best extra-virgin oil to finish the dish
1 small onion, cut into small dice
1 small rib celery, cut into small dice
1 small carrot, cut into small dice
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons good-quality white-wine vinegar (you might need a bit more, depending on the strength of your vinegar)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 Tablespoon capers, preferably salt-packed Sicilian capers, soaked in cool water and rinsed
A few large sprigs fresh mint, leaves lightly chopped (about 2 Tbs); plus a few sprigs for garnish
Pat the chicken pieces dry, season them with salt and pepper, and dredge them lightly in the flour, tapping off any excess. Heat a large sauté pan fitted with a lid over medium-high heat and add the 1/3 cup olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces (in batches, if necessary), browning them very well on both sides. When browned, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Pour off all but about 3 tablespoons of the fat from the pan.
Turn the heat to medium low and add the onion, celery, and carrot. Sauté until they are soft and fragrant, about 6 or 7 minutes. Add the sugar and vinegar to the pan and let it bubble for about 1 minute. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them over the vegetables once or twice to coat them. Increase the heat to medium and add the wine, letting it boil until almost evaporated. Add the chicken stock and bay leaf, cover the pan, and simmer on low heat until the chicken is just about tender, 30 to 35 minutes, turning the pieces once or twice during cooking. Ad the raisins, pine nuts, and capers and simmer to blend the flavors, about 5 minutes longer. The sauce should be reduced and thickened but still pourable. If it looks too dry, add a splash of chicken stock or water. Taste for seasoning. It should have a nice balance between sweet and sour but not to be too aggressive. Add more salt, pepper, a splash of vinegar, or a pinch of sugar to balance the flavors.
Arrange the chicken on a large serving platter. To the pan, add a drizzle off your best-extra-virgin olive oil and the chopped mint and mix it into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with mint-sprigs.