LEAN CHICKEN CANZANESE STYLE ("Pollo Canzanese Magro")
A chilly night called for comfort food, and with a fat chicken on hand, I turned to Ed Giobbi's excellent "Eat Right, Eat Well -- the Italian Way" for inspiration. Found it, too, in this tasty simmered-chicken dish, in which cut-up chicken parts are simmered with lots of herbs until the herbal flavors infuse the falling-off-the-bone meat. I made substantial changes in Ed's original, but it's still in the same spirit. Definitely yummy, to use a technical term, and requires little more than an hour to prepare, most of it low-maintenance time in which the chicken simmers without needing any attention.
Cut up a 3 1/2-pound frying chicken and remove the skin. Using just a bit of the chicken fat as sauteeing medium, quickly brown the skinned parts. Remove the browned chicken to a Dutch oven or casserole, pour off excess fat, and deglaze the skillet with a bit of water, scraping over heat to save all the good crunchy bits. Pour in 1/2 cup dry white wine and 1/2 cup chicken broth, bring to the boil, and pour over the chicken parts in the casserole. Add 1 sprig fresh rosemary, 1 sprig fresh sage, 2 bay leaves, and 4 to 6 smashed cloves of garlic. Sprinkle with a rational amount of dried red pepper flakes and freshly ground black pepper; salt to taste. Cover, reduce heat to very low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is infused with the herbal aromas and falling off the bones. At serving time, off heat, add the juice of 1/2 fresh lemon, and check seasonings to taste.