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Playing Chicken in Chianti


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 small ribs celery with leafy tops, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 bottle Chianti wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dried figs, chopped or a fat handful of sultanas
  • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds or toasted pine nuts
  • 10 to 12 sage leaves, very thinly sliced
  • Crusty bread for mopping


Serves: 4


Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Brown chicken in 2 batches to avoid crowding the pan until well-browned. Remove cooked chicken piece to a plate. Add vegetables, garlic, red pepper flakes and bay leaves to the pot and sweat to soften, 7-8 minutes. Add wine, bring to a bubble then add chicken pieces back to the pot and simmer, 35-40 minutes uncovered—you should have about 1 cup of liquid left. Add the stock and dried fruit, and simmer 8-10 minutes more to plump the fruit.

Garnish dish with nuts and sage, and serve in shallow bowls with bread for mopping.