Chicken in the Pot with Red Wine

Chicken in the Pot with Red Wine

A Fresh Taste of ItalyWhile exploring Treviso, an old city with a medieval center, frescoed houses, and canals instead of streets, we stayed nearby at the Villa Condulmer. Once a private home, the sprawling villa has been converted into a comfortable hotel with a swimming pool, tennis courts, and two golf courses. When the concierge learned that we were Americans, he proudly showed us his autographed photo of President and Mrs. Reagan, who stayed at the hotel. For lunch the chef prepared this chicken cooked in red wine with raisins and pine nuts. I serve it with Fennel Mashed Potatoes.
-Villa Condulmer
Zerman (Veneto)

1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces (about 3 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled
6 fresh sage leaves
Crushed red pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1. Rinse the chicken pieces and pat them dry. Trim off the wing tips.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the chicken pieces, garlic, sage, and red pepper. Cook until the chicken is browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Tip the pan and spoon off the excess fat. Sprinkle the chicken with salt. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the broth, raisins, and pine nuts.

3. Cover and cook, turning the chicken occasionally for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is very tender and the juices reduced and slightly thickened. Add a little more broth or water if necessary to keep the chicken moist. If there is too much liquid, remove the chicken and reduce it over high heat.

4. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.

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Excerpted from A FRESH TASTE OF ITALY by Michele Scicolone Copyright© 1997 by Ouida Sebestyen. Excerpted by permission of Broadway, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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