Fricasseed chicken with Piennolo Tomatoes and Taggiasca Olives

The first person we looked to for cooking advice after our first shipment of Taggiasca Olives arrived was Victor Hazan. He told us that “Marcella had a fricasseed chicken recipe that called for olive taggiasche. It was one of her many beloved chicken dishes. It’s on page 273 of MARCELLA CUCINA.”
We were especially excited about this recipe because it is amazing with our Piennolo Tomatoes, which require very little cooking. In fact, in her Introduction, Marcella says, “It seemed to me that I could capitalize on the brief cooking time cherry tomatoes require to achieve flavor that was fresh and sprightly.” She also says that for this recipe, “I chose taggiasche olives, the small, mellow ones of the Italian Riviera.”
The following recipe is an adaptation of Marcella Hazan’s Pollo all’abruzzese coi pomodorini e le olive, which can be found in the book Marcella Cucina.

Ingredients

SERVES: 4-5 people
TIME:  About 1 hour

A 3 1/2 lbs (1.5 kg) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
4 whole peeled garlic cloves
3 teaspoons rosemary leaves, chopped very fine
Sea salt
Chili peppers, 1 teaspoon or to taste
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup of Piennolo Tomatoes (half jar)
1 dozen Taggiasca Olives

Preparation

  1. Pat dry the chicken pieces with paper towels and season with sea salt.
  2. Choose a skillet or sauté pan that can contain all the chicken pieces in one layer without crowding. Heat EVOO on medium-high heat, add the chicken, skin facing down, and cook until browned (approx. 4 minutes).
  3.  Turn the chicken to the other side and add rosemary, chili pepper, and garlic. Brown for 3 more minutes.
  4. Pour the wine and as it evaporates deglaze any browning residues sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Put a lid on the pan and turn the heat down to low. Cook for about 30 minutes, turning the chicken a couple of times.
  6. When the chicken is very tender – the meat should come easily off the bone – add the tomatoes and the olives. Continue cooking just until the tomatoes soften (10 minutes). Serve.