Chicken cooked in Vincotto
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 6
The original recipe calls for rabbit but, because rabbit is not as readably available and takes planning, I usually make the dish with chicken. Vincotto is the cooked must of Negroamaro and Malvasia grapes aged in oak barrels – in this dish the rich velvety flavor of the Vincotto is balanced by the briny black olives. Cerignola olives in brine are a good choice though I have also made the dish with Alfonso olives that are purple and soaked in red wine in vinegar. The nature pairing with this dish is a wine from southern Italy like a Salice Salentino (100% Negroamaro or a blend of Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera) or a Primitivo.
  • 2 3lb rabbits cut into serving pieces
  • or 10 chicken thighs skin in tact
  • 1 ½ cups whole black olives
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1+ cup dry red wine – such as Negroarmaro
  • 1 cup Vincotto
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 5 leafy sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish
  • Olive Oil
  2. Smash the olives with the bottom of a glass and remove the pits and then give the pitted olives a rough chop.
  3. Heat a large Dutch oven until very hot. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, allow the oil to heat a moment and then brown the rabbit or chicken in stages – 3-4 minutes per side, until very dark. Remove the meat and set aside.
  4. Add onion to the accumulated juices and reduce the heat slowly cooking the onion until it is caramelized – about 10-12 minutes.
  5. Increase the heat; add the garlic clove, olives and thyme to the pot. Nestle in the meat and pour in the Vincotto, chicken broth and enough wine to cover the rabbit or chicken. Reduce the heat and simmer on low for 60 minutes. You may also place the pot in an oven at 325° for 60 minutes.
  6. After about an hour, the sauce should have the consistency of a stew. If it does not, remove the meat and set the pot over medium high and reduce it to the desired thickness. Remove the garlic clove and thyme sprigs before serving. Tastes great with a crusty bread that has been brushed with olive oil, grilled and then rubbed with a cut garlic clove.
Recipe by Pair The Wine at