This week's featured cookbook is Biba's Italian Kitchen by Biba Caggiano. This was the last cookbook my Mom bought me. When she gave it to me there were slips of paper with recipe names and page numbers stuck in the book. She said that those were recipes she would like to try. I still have the papers in those pages.
Chicken Stew with Puttanesca Sauce was the most delicious dinner I have made in a very long time. Wow Wow Wow! The sauce was delicious. Not as spicy as it could have been but I had to stop myself from taking a third slice of bread to sop up the sauce. The meat was so tender. I was happy. Chris was happy. And the cats were happy. Yes, we gave them a little of the chicken meat. It was so good we had to share it. Chris said this recipe can be put in regular rotation. Using one whole cut up chicken we have enough for 2 meals.
Chicken Stew with Puttanesca Sauce from Biba's Italian Kitchen
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
One 4 pound chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces, washed and tried on paper towels
Salt to taste
4 anchovy fillets, chopped
2 - 2 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
Dried red pepper flakes to taste
8 - 10 pitted black olives, thinly sliced
2 tbsp capers, rinsed
Heat the oil in a wide bottomed casserole over medium heat. When the oil is very hot, slip the chicken pieces without crowding them. Cook until the chicken is golden on both sides, 5 to 6 minutes. You may have to do this in batches depending on your pan size. Transfer chicken to large platter.
Discard half of the oil in the casserole. Add the anchovies and stir quickly a few times. Add the tomatoes and bring to a gentle boil. Season with salt and red pepper flakes. Return the chicken to the casserole, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pan partially. Simmer 40 to 50 minutes, turning the chicken pieces and stirring occasionally. Add the olive and the capers, and simmer 5 to 10 minutes longer. If the sauce is a bit thin, transfer the chicken pieces to a large platter, rise the heat under the pan, and boil the sauce down to a thicker consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve.