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Gino's Italian Escape

Chicken with anchovies, olive and chilli

Chicken, anchovies and olives are a classic Italian combination dating back hundreds of years. Here Gino uses anchovies preserved in olive oil as they are perfect for this recipe and don’t need rinsing.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

– 3 tablespoons plain flour
– 8 chicken pieces (drumsticks and bone-in thighs), about 1.2kg in total, trimmed
– 6 tablespoons olive oil
– 4 anchovy fillets in oil, drained
– 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
– 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
– 2 bay leaves
– 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
– 100ml balsamic vinegar
– 100g pitted green olives, drained
– 200ml passata (sieved tomatoes)
– Salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Put the flour on a large plate and season with salt and pepper. Dust the chicken with the seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish over a medium to high heat. When very hot, add half the chicken and fry for about 5 minutes each side or until golden brown all over. Transfer to a large plate using a slotted spoon and set aside. Repeat for the remaining chicken.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the anchovies, garlic, rosemary and bay leaves and fry for 2 minutes, mashing the anchovies with the back of a spoon, then stir in the chilli flakes.

Increase the heat and pour in the vinegar. Bring to the boil and let it bubble rapidly for 1-2 minutes, stirring and scraping from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the olives, passata and 100ml of hot water. Season with salt.

Return the chicken and its juices to the casserole, pushing the chicken into the sauce to submerge as much as possible. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 30-40minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.

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