This dish is best served with your favourite pasta or gnocchi.
There is much to be said for cooking with an older chook – the ones sometimes called broilers, which have passed their egg-laying prime and are lean and flavoursome from running around the barnyard.
- 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1.2 kg (2 lb 10 oz) chicken (preferably a whole broiler), washed, patted dry and cut into 12 pieces
- 2 tsp sweet paprika
- ½-1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- sea salt
- 2 small rosemary sprigs
- 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) dry white wine
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 80 ml (2½ fl oz/⅓ cup) boiling water
- grated parmesan, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20–30 minutes until soft and starting to fall apart (don’t let it brown), then add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Meanwhile, place the chicken pieces in a bowl and toss with the paprika, pepper and about 1 teaspoon of salt. Rub the spices into the chicken pieces. Add the chicken pieces to the onion mixture, increase the heat to medium and cook for a few minutes until browned. Flip them over and cook for a few more minutes until nicely browned all over. Add the rosemary and half the wine and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the wine has evaporated. Add the remaining wine and cook for another 10 minutes or until the wine has evaporated again.
- Dissolve the tomato paste in the boiling water, add to the pan and stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 1½ hours (or 1 hour if you are using thighs and drumsticks), stirring regularly. The chicken should release quite a bit of liquid, especially if you are using thighs and drumsticks, but feel free to add a bit more water if it looks dry. Taste the sauce and add salt if needed.
- The sugo is ready when the meat is tender and falling off the bones. Remove any smaller bones from the chicken pieces (especially if you are using a chopped whole chicken), then serve topped with grated parmesan.
Recipe and images from Adriatico by Paola Bacchia, Smith Street Books, RRP $55.00