Tuscan Hunter's Chicken

A delicious riff on the "slow cooked meat with wine and herbs" theme of cooking

1 large chicken, jointed into 8 parts, or 8 assorted chicken pieces, skin on (and optionally bone in)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 bottle of white wine
6-8 tablespoons olive oil
3 ounces pancetta, thick prosciutto, or thickly cut bacon
1 medium to large onion, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1-2 stalks celery, finely chopped
6 fresh sage leaves
1 1/23 cups chicken stock
2 cups black and/or green olives, pitted
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 handful, chopped fresh parsley
YIELD: 4 to 6 hungry Etruscans
COURSE: Chicken & Other Birds
CUISINE: Italian
  1. Pat the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel. Mix the garlic, chopped rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in a small bowl. Rub well into the chicken. Cover and let marinate, 2 to 8 hours.
  2. Pour the wine and the rosemary sprigs into a saucepan and boil until reduced by half, then set aside and let cool.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large, deep sided fry pan or stove proof casserole and add the pancetta, onion, carrot and celery. Fry until just beginning to colour, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken pieces, stir everything up and continue to saute until the chicken is just browned.
  4. Add the sage leaves, then pour the infused white wine in using a strainer to catch the rosemary bits. Add enough chicken stock to bring the level up to just cover the chicken joints. Bring to a boil and then half cover and simmer very gently for about 45 minutes, turning the chicken a couple of times.
  5. Add the olives and continue cooling for 10 more minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley. Serve with rice, polenta or beans.