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Tuscan Chicken by Katie Caldesi – In your element on demand

Tuscan Chicken by Katie Caldesi – In your element on demand
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Tuscan Chicken by Katie Caldesi – In your element on demand

My husband Giancarlo is from Tuscany and together we run two Italian restaurants in the UK. He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes almost 10 years ago. We changed our way of eating to a low-carb diet and he has reversed his diabetes.

We still love our traditional Italian dishes and this is a perfect example of Tuscan cooking where the meat becomes so tender it falls off the bones and the sauce is rendered down to an intense, umami-filled goo at the bottom of the pan. The recipe is from the area of San Gimignano and is usually made there with rabbit. I like to use chicken legs and thighs as I feel they are underrated and economical. Once slow-cooked they are easy to eat and have much more flavour than the breast. We like to eat this with our fingers wiping up the brown bits from the pan as we eat. We have it with a side of salad or sautéed spinach.

Serves 6

1.6 kg (2 lb 5 oz) chicken, jointed
10 g (½ oz) rosemary needles plus a couple of sprigs to serve
2 fat garlic cloves, peeled
1½ teaspoons salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
400 ml (13 fl oz/13/4 cups) dry white wine, such as Vernaccia
50 g (2 oz) Kalamata or other flavourful black olives, stones in

Trim any loose pieces of fat away from the jointed meat.

Finely chop the rosemary, garlic, salt and black pepper together on a board to make a battuto.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, add the battuto and cook for just 1 minute, then add the chicken and fry for 10–15 minutes, turning the meat until it is lightly golden on all sides.

Add the wine, cover with a lid and leave to cook over a medium heat for 1 hour or until the wine has evaporated down to around 100 ml (3½ fl oz/scant ½ cup). If it is too watery, remove the lid and boil for longer. Add the olives, cover the pan again, and cook for a further 30 minutes. Serve with extra rosemary, sautéed spinach or a mixed salad.

By Katie Caldesi

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