Poulet à la Niçoise

Chicken Cooked with Onion, Tomato, Olives, and White Wine

This is an uncomplicated dish that is light and refreshing. It can be made ahead of time and reheated, so that all the flavors are absorbed by the chicken. Serve it with Fenouil Braisé, Courgettes Râpées, Févettes à la Verdure or Épinards aux Pignons.

Ingredients

  • 1 4-pound chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped lean salt pork
  • 4 onions, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 5 tomatoes, quartered, or 1⅔ cups canned
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup black olives (Nice’s unpitted olives or pitted oil-cured olives)
  • ½ cup chopped parsley or basil

Method

Dry the pieces of chicken thoroughly and sprinkle with lemon juice, thyme, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan. Add the salt pork and chicken. Sauté for 15 minutes, turning the pieces on all sides with tongs. Remove the pork and chicken from the pan with a slotted spoon and add onions, adding more oil if necessary. Cook over a low flame for 10 minutes. Add the garlic cloves, tomatoes, bay leaves, and wine and cook for 10 minutes. Return the salt pork and chicken to the pan and cook slowly, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes, basting frequently. Check the seasoning.

Five minutes before serving, remove the bay leaves and garlic cloves and add the olives. Sprinkle with the parsley or basil and serve at once.

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