Country Style - - COUNTRY COOK -

Serves 4

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.

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