First, lets talk about capers. While on the island of Pantelleria, I met the guy who grew and processed the capers and also was the only wine producer at that time! One evening, I was taken to a doorway and sent into the room with the lights off and told to just smell. Well the ‘stench’ was eye wateringly overwhelming! I was asked to guess what was in the room, but I couldn’t! The lights were flicked on and I was in a cellar full of large tubs containing salt and capers being prepared to be shipped abroad! I of course left with several large bags of said capers!!! We also spent an evening in the wine cellar with the wine vats. I was given a stool and wine glass and we sat and drank wine straight from the wine vats! All of the wine was good! I remember the most humongous spider walking across the floor and me standing on the stool whimpering while the guys removed it!!!!
Anyway, this recipe is great on a summer evening a with a side salad and focaccia bread (homemade of course).
WINE NOTE: Verdicchio with it’s lovely citrus and herbal flavours is one of my favourite Italian whites. The saltiness of the dish will ease the bitterness of the wine!
1 pinch of saffron threads
8 chicken pieces on the bone (legs and thighs)
6 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion finely chopped
6 tbsp capers (drained if from a jar)
2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
250ml/ 1 cup chicken stock
80ml/ 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Put the saffron in a small bowl and add 125ml/ 1/2 cup of warm water and leave to soak
Season the chicken . Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium/ high heat. Add half of the chicken skin side down and brown- approx 5 minutes each side. Place on a plate and brown the next batch.
Reduce heat to medium and add the onion, capers and parsley and cook for 5 minutes stirring
Deglaze the pan with the red wine vinegar and stock then add the saffron water. Place the chicken into the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for approx 40 minutes, turning approx 3 times, until the chicken is cooked.
Season and serve.