CHICKEN, TOMATO & BLACK OLIVE CASSEROLE
A casserole is about comfort and sharing — it’s the ideal meal to serve at a laid-back family gathering. There’s something almost Zen-like about gathering a few ingredients, banging them together in a casserole pan and popping it in the oven for an hour or two while you get down to the serious business of canasta, Trivial Pursuit or Scrabble. ¼ cup olive oil 4 chicken marylands 2 red onions, peeled, fifinely diced 1 large red capsicum, halved, seeded, chopped 2 garlic cloves, peeled, fifinely chopped 4 bay leaves 1 teaspoon dried chilli flflakes 2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes ½ cup good-quality black olives 2 tablespoons baby capers, rinsed, drained 1 tablespoon fifinely chopped preserved lemon rind* 1 tablespoon sugar ½ cup white wine 1 lemon, rind fifinely grated 2 tablespoons chopped flflat-leaf parsley mashed potato or soft polenta, to serve Preheat oven to 160°C. Heat oil in a large flflameproof casserole pan or roasting pan over a medium-high heat. Cook chicken marylands for 3 minutes each side or until brown all over. Transfer chicken to a plate. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, capsicum, garlic, bay leaves and chilli to pan. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion just colours. Place chicken, skin-side up, in pan. Add tomatoes, olives, capers, preserved lemon, sugar and wine. (If necessary, add a little water to pan so chicken is completely covered.) Season with freshly ground black pepper. Bring to boil. Transfer pan to oven and bake for 1½ hours or until sauce thickens and chicken is meltingly tender at bone. Combine lemon rind and parsley in a bowl. Sprinkle chicken with parsley mixture just before serving. Serve with mashed potato or polenta. Available at gourmet food stores and delicatessens.