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Pollo alla Cacciatore
(Braised Chicken with Black Olive and Anchovy Sauce)

3 lb chicken cut up
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1 Teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 Tablespoons wine vinegar, preferably white
1/2 cup chicken stock, fresh or canned
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon slivered black olives, preferably Mediterranean style
3 flat anchovy fillets, rinsed in cold water dried and chopped

Wash the chicken quickly under cold running water and pat the pieces
dry with paper towels. Season the pieces with salt and a few
grindings of pepper.

In a heavy 10 to 12 inch skillet, heat the olive oil until a haze
forms over it. Brown the chicken a few pieces at a time, starting
them skin side down and turning them with tongs. Transfer the
browned pieces to a plate. Now pour off almost all of the fat from
the skillet, leaving just a thin film on the bottom. Add the onions
and garlic and cook them over moderate heat, stirring constantly,
for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are lightly colored. Add the
wine and vinegar and boil briskly until the liquid is reduced to
about 1/4 cup. Then pour n the chicken stock and boil for 1 or
2 minutes stirring constantly and scraping in any browned bits that
cling to the pan. Return the browned chicken to the skillet, add
the oregano and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Cover the skillet,
reduce the heat and simmer, basting occasionally. In about 30
minutes the chicken should be done; its juice will run clear when
a thigh is pierced with the top of a sharp knife.

To serve, arrange the pieces of chicken on a heated platter.
Discard the bay leaf and boil the stock left in the skillet until
it thickens slightly and has the intensity of flavor desired. Stir
in the black olives and anchovies and cook the sauce for a minute
or so longer. Pour the sauce over the chicken.


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