11 May 2012

Braised Mediterranean Chicken with Red Currants & Passito di Pantelleria



Che buon odore!  Stai cucinando col Marsala, Mommy?  (What a good odor!  Are you cooking with Marsala, Mommy?)

My son greeted me with this surprising question as soon as he opened the door to the house.  I was pleasantly surprised that he can already understand the ingredients I use in cooking with a mere whiff of it.   He loves my chicken cooked with Marsala wine and his ideal chicken recipe is my Lemony Chicken Marsala

He peered in the pan and saw the red currants, tomatoes, olives and lemon cooking with the chicken.   I told him that this time I was using another kind of wine.  Passito di Pantelleria

Evviva!  Sara' buono!  (Great!  It will good!)


Chicken, the thighs especially, is a big part of my cooking.  My son loves it and will even give up pizza at times to have a good chicken dish.  From such a pizza lover, that is something.  So that passes me the responsibility to whip up good chicken dishes as frequently as I could.  


Whenever I don't have an exact recipe to follow, I go for the Mediterranean blend.  It is one thing that my husband and I agree on in cooking because of its use of simple and fresh ingredients available to us.   Most importantly, it's very healthy.  Whatever I have in the kitchen, whether it's fish or meat, I usually put together a handful of fresh tomatoes, fresh herbs, olives, lemon and sometimes sun-dried tomatoes & capers when I want an extra strong flavor. 


I had a punnet of fresh red currants in the fridge that I didn't know what to do with. I took them out and scattered them on chicken.  It was a beautiful, colorful dish with splashes of brown, green, yellow, orange & red and the smell of the Passito di Pantelleria was so inviting.  

Have a good weekend!

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Braised Mediterranean Chicken with Red Currants & Passito di Pantelleria

Ingredients:
Serves 2
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika 
  • salt
  • pepper 
  • extra virgin olive oil  
  • 1/2 cup Passito di Pantelleria (can be substituted with Marsala wine or any similar straw wine.) 
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced + a couple of slices for garnishing when serving
  • 8 fresh cherry tomatoes
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped coarsely  
  • sprigs fresh thyme + a twig for garnishing when serving 
  • 50 g. fresh red currants + garnishing when serving
  • 8 olives (I used Gaeta olives.)
Directions:
  1. Make a couple of slashes on the side of the chicken with the skin to cook the inner part better.
  2. Rub the chicken with the crushed garlic, paprika, salt & pepper.  Leave for 15 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  4. Over medium flame, in a cast iron pan with extra virgin olive oil, cook the chicken with the skin side down. Brown for about 10 minutes then flip to cook the other side.  
  5. Pour the Passito di Pantelleria and put up the fire until the alcohol evaporates.
  6. Add the lemon slices, fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, olives, cranberries.  Cook for 5 minutes together.  Pour the sauce on the chicken and other ingredients while cooking.
  7. Transfer the pan to the pre-heated oven.  Cook for 45 minutes or until the chicken turns golden brown.  While cooking, pour the sauce on the chicken. 





40 comments:

  1. Beautiful Dish Rowena, I bet it smelled wonderful cooking but even better eating! Your photos are always beautiful and make my mouth water. Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. It had a nice homey lingering smell that led my kids to the kitchen. It created a nice atmosphere. It came out well too even when reheated! Thanks and have a good weekend too!

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  2. In our family, we love chicken thighs and legs, too! It's the dark meat that goes first! Beautiful styling and photography, Rowena! It embodies a good Mediterranean dish!

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  3. Such pretty colors in your dish, I can only imagine the aroma in your kitchen;-) Have a wonderful weekend;-)

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    1. The kitchen aroma was wonderful. Have a good weekend too Patty!

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  4. Beautiful, Rowena! I can only imagine how flavorful this must be! It's hard to go wrong when you're cooking with wine!

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    1. Precisely Laura! Wine makes the food complete doesn't it?

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  5. Can't go wrong with those Mediterranean staples and I agree with Patty--the colors in dish are spectacular. I bet the flavors are amazing!

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    1. Thanks Jean. Mediterranean plus wine is always flavorful.

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  6. Rowena, I've been admiring your blog, your cooking style and photos. Just wanted to tell you your chicken dish looks absolutely gorgeous!

    Marie

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    1. Hi Marie! I'm very flattered, thank you very much!

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  7. Love your son, how sweet!! This chicken looks amazing, what great flavors together!

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    1. That little boy knows his way around his food and it's so nice to see that he knows what he's eating. Thanks Erin!

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  8. Those little red berries just JUMP off the page and I bet they made this chicken dish just spectacular! This recipe is a keeper and just pinned! Happy Mother's Day!!!!

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    1. I agree. Those berries really made a difference both in taste and looks. Thanks!

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  9. This looks beautiful and delicious.

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  10. Aww, your son sounds so sweet. This looks delicious and it's definitely very visually pleasing. I've bookmarked this and the lemon chicken Marsala dish that you linked to. I can't wait to try them!

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    1. Thanks Erin. I hope you'll like both recipes.

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  11. Wah... You made the chicken so "beautiful"... I love your styling Weng! I really want to make this!!! Must be so delicious. Happy Mother's Day!!

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    1. The effort to make this was well worth it because it was everyone loved it. That's the prize of cooking, isn't it? Happy Mother's Day too Nami!

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  12. What a beautiful post...and photos are truly stunning! I love your presentation too! No worries if you made a little mistake, i think even cranberries would make this dish delish! I hope you enjoyed your mother's day with your beautiful munchkins..
    Have a great week ahead!

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    1. I think cranberries would be very good too. Thank you very much Sandra and Happy Mother's Day to you too!

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  13. Your son is ADORABLE, a gourmand in the making! This is beautiful, the colors, the sauce, it's making me hungry all over again (and I just finished dinner!).

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    1. He's a funny little guy. His food is quite limited but he knows what is good. Thanks Liren!

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  14. Visually stunning, and with Marsala, fresh red currants and lemon, I'm imagining the flavors, knowing it's as delicious as it looks!

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  15. Beautiful pictures and I'm sure it was absolutely delicious! I love Passito!

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  16. Rowena, I LOVE the look of this recipe! I can't wait to try it :) I just have a quick question... I live out in California, and it's practically impossible to find fresh currants. Is there anything you would recommend to replace them with? (should I try dried currants instead?)Thanks so much for the wonderful recipes!

    Tais

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    1. I don't know about dried red currants. They should be sweet. The fresh ones are sour. Try cranberries, fresh or juice. I can't think of anything else right now. Replace them with fruits that are tart with a touch of sweetness. I was thinking plums can go too. If ever you tried this recipe with a different fruit, do tell me because the red currants I used were not grown here. They were imported and I cannot find them all the time. Our plums will be ready soon, maybe I can try them. Thanks Tais! Hope to hear from you again.

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  17. My husband and I made this dish tonight for dinner. It was so good and we will be making it again soon! The photograph is what drew me to the dish and I'm so glad we made it. I'm definately going to try out your other recipes because the first experience was amazing!

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    1. It's so nice to know that everything worked out well! And I'm very happy that you liked my recipe. Thank you for informing me. It means a lot!

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  18. Anonymous22 July, 2012

    I am making this right now and it smells amazing! Can't wait for the finished dish. Any suggestions on what starch to serve it with?

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    1. I was trying to reply to you as soon as you posted this but I had a problem with the line. I think any would go well here. Potatoes, rice, bread, whatever you like to accompany it with really.

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  19. I do not know if you will get this in time to respond. I am going to make this tonight. and I might be silly but, the sauce you are speaking of is the one that you make with the wine and juices from cooking, right?

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    1. I'm sorry if I wasn't as clear as I should have. Yes, you''re right. The sauce is the juice that comes out from cooking the chicken, the wine and other ingredients. I hope you'll like it!

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  20. Your pictures are so colorful and beautiful. Recipe looks delicious. Saving this one to try for this week. Yum

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    1. Thank you Shari! I hope you will like it!

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