James Beard’s Farmer’s Chicken
This recipe from the eminent American food writer came to The Times through the chef Andrew Zimmern, who was a frequent guest at James Beard’s legendary Sunday and holiday open houses when he was a child. The savory combination of red peppers, onions, raisins, almonds and green olives was new and exciting to him in the 1970s, and still tastes fresh today.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 3 ½to 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (or a combination of thighs and drumsticks)
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1tablespoon olive oil
- 1yellow or white onion, minced
- 1red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
- 1tablespoon dried oregano
- 1tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1cup dry white wine
- 2cups chicken stock
- 1cup mild green olives, such as manzanilla or Castelvetrano, pitted
- ½cup dried currants or raisins
- 1tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice
- ⅓cup minced fresh parsley
- ½cup toasted sliced almonds (optional)
- Cooked rice or orzo, or garlic-rubbed toast
Step 1Pat chicken pieces dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Step 2In a wide skillet with a lid, heat oil over medium. Working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the pan, brown the chicken, rotating as needed, until the skin is golden and releases easily from the pan, at least 5 minutes per side. Adjust the heat to avoid scorching. As the pieces are browned, transfer them to a plate.
Step 3Once all the chicken is browned, add the onion and bell pepper to the skillet. Sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring, until softened and beginning to brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in the oregano and paprika.
Step 4Add the wine and simmer, stirring up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the pan is almost dry, about 5 minutes.
Step 5Stir in stock, olives and currants, and bring to a simmer. Carefully return the chicken pieces to the pan. Cover and let simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, stir and let simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is tender and the liquid reduces slightly, about 15 minutes. (The sauce will be quite loose.) Taste the sauce for salt and pepper. (Recipe can be made up to this point and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
Step 6When ready to serve, heat through and stir in lemon zest and juice. Divide among shallow bowls and sprinkle with parsley and almonds (if using). Serve with rice, orzo or toast.