Serving
(click to enlarge)

Chicken Nicoise
France - Provence
  -   Poulet Nicoise
Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
3 main  
***
1-3/4 hrs  
Yes
A simple but surprisingly tasty chicken dish typical of Provence. I've added a dusting of rice flour which helps with frying, and added a little stock to compensate which gives a little more sauce, which is how I like it.




1-1/2
1-1/2
12
2
2
ar
3
------
2
1
1
1/3
1/4
1
------
1/4
1/2
1
#
#
oz
oz
cl

T
---



t
t

---
c
c
t
Chicken (1)
Tomatoes
Tiny Onions (2)
Olives, black (3)
Garlic
Rice flour (4)
Olive Oil
-- Seasoning
Thyme sprig
Sage sprig
Bay Leaf
Salt
Pepper
Saffron pinch
---------
Stock
White Wine
Lemon Juice
Prep   -   (30 min)
  1. Cut CHICKEN into largish bite-size pieces. If using whole bone-in joints, cut the large ones into two pieces. A razor sharp Chinese cleaver knife and soft faced mallet are perfect for this.
  2. Boil up plenty of water and scald the TOMATOES for 1 minute, then refresh in cold water. Pour the ONIONS into the same boiling water for 1 minute, then refresh in cold water.
  3. Peel Tomatoes and cut into about 3/4 inch cubes.
  4. Cut tips from Onions, peel down the skins and cut off as little of the root end as possible so they hold together well.
  5. Peel GARLIC and crush lightly but leave whole.
  6. Pit OLIVES and cut in half crosswise.
  7. Squeeze Lemon Juice.
Run   -   (1-1/4 hrs)
  1. Lightly powder the Chicken pieces with Rice Flour (emphasis on "lightly"). In a heavy iron skillet heat Olive Oil (Pure or Pomace, not Virgin) and fry chicken until lightly browned all over. Fry in batches for quick browning, add extra oil if needed and drain on paper towels.
  2. Fry peeled Onions until spotted brown.
  3. Move Chicken and Onions to a stew pot. Mix in All Seasoning items, Tomatoes, Garlic and Stock.
  4. Pour off any excess oil and use the White Wine to deglaze the skillet. Pour wine into the stew pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 3/4 hour or until chicken is tender, turning occasionally.
  5. Fish out Herbs and Garlic. Stir in Olives and simmer a couple of minutes, then stir in Lemon Juice and take off the heat.
  6. Serve with rice or French bread.
NOTES:
  1. Chicken:   Weight is for skinless, boneless chicken. If you use whole, bone-in parts - thighs, legs, breasts and the main joint of wings, you'll need 2-1/4 pounds for the same amount of meat. The pattern recipe calls for a whole 3 pound chicken cut up into frying pieces. I prefer thigh over breast for better flavor.
  2. Onions   Select the smallest boiling onions you can get. From 1 inch to 1-1/2 inches diameter is good.
  3. Olives   These should be Mediterranean salt/oil cured black olives, not salad olives from a can (which are awful).
  4. Rice Flour:   The dusting you use for frying will also thicken the sauce. Rice flour or all purpose flour (browns more) will work. Potato starch and tapioca starch don't work as well here.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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