The flavours in this screamingly simple stew - chicken, garlic, red pepper, tomato and ham - are so in tune with each other, that they fuse into a whole almost without you doing anything. We like that in a dish. Serve on a bed of fine tagliatelle tossed in butter and chopped parsley.
Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frypan and add chicken pieces. Brown well on both sides, leaving them on the first side without moving them for over 5 minutes before turning. Drain off excess fat as it renders from the chicken.
Add garlic and ham or bacon and cook for 5 minutes. Add white wine and allow to bubble and evaporate. Add tomatoes and red peppers, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Check the amount of liquid in pan, and add half a cup of hot water if dry.
Add salt and pepper, cover and cook gently for 20 to 30 minutes until chicken is tender. Stir in parsley and serve.
© 1998 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.