Provencal Chicken Stew
by Kathleen Inman, Owner and Winemaker, Inman Family Wines
This recipe was inspired by the flavors I have enjoyed on my visits to the South of France. You’ll enjoy them as much as I have, I’m sure.
- 8 to 10 boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4 carrots, diced
- 4 ribs celery, chopped
- 3 leeks, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bulb fennel, chopped (save fennel fonds and fennel seeds to add later)
- 2 pinches saffron
- 4 anchovy fillets smashed with a fork or mortar
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 to 6 sprigs of thyme
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 2 cups free-range chicken stock
- 2 cups dry, high-acid white wine (or more if chicken and mirepoix are not covered).
- 1 red pepper, cut into thin, two-inch strips
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Sea salt to taste
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup salt-cured black olives or nicoise olives
In a heavy-bottomed pot, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil and add the mirepoix (carrots, leeks, celery, and garlic). Cover and let mirepoix sweat for about 5 minutes, then add chicken.
To mirepoix add saffron, smashed anchovy fillets, bay leaf, thyme, roasemary, chicken stock, and white wine. Place lid on pot and simmer for one hour. (If you wish to use a slow cooker, this is the time to move it to the slow cooker.)
Add red pepper, chopped parsley, fennel fronds, cayenne pepper, and sea salt. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Remove any woody stems from the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup salt-cured black olives or nicoise olives. Simmer further until ready to serve. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a little more minced parsley.
Pairing: Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.