One 3 to 3 ½ pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
vegetable oil (45 ml)
½ leek, sliced thin (1 ¼ cup sliced) (310 ml)
onion, diced medium
carrots, peeled and diced
celery stalk, sliced thin
sage (45 g)
½ bulb fennel, diced small
dried figs, diced small (250 ml)
grappa (125 ml)
red wine (125 ml)
black olives, pitted (60 ml)
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Dried chilli flakes, to taste
Splash of chicken stock to cover chicken
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cut the chicken into 8 pieces (4 pieces from the breast, 2 thigh pieces, 2 drumsticks). Season with salt and pepper.
3. Heat oil in a large sauté pan or (alternatively cook in a Dutch Oven and then can go straight to the oven to braise) over high heat. Brown chicken well on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to small roasting pan.
4. Keep about 1 tbsp. of oil in the pan and discard the rest. Add the leek, onion, carrots, celery and fennel and garlic to the pan. Sauté vegetables until soft and caramelized, about 4 minutes. Add the figs and sage. Sauté for an additional minute. Add the black olives, lemon zest, lemon juice and chilli flakes. Remove pan from heat, deglaze with grappa and return to heat. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. When the grappa has reduced by half, add the wine and bay leaves. Bring back to a boil. Remove from heat and pour contents of the pan over thechicken in the roasting pan. Add a splash of the chicken stock just to moisten. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the centre of the oven.
5. Braise for 45 to 60 minutes or until the chicken is tender and comes loose from the bones when pan is shaken. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 4.