Some things, whether we like them to or not, come with trivia attached. Brazilians speak Portuguese. General Tso’s Chicken is from America. And puttanesca means “like a whore would make it.” These facts will come up again and again, as if everyone that ever went to a dinner party was given the same deck of prep cards. They’re inevitable. Prepare yourself.
That being said, puttanesca is aptly named–it’s a dirty hot mess. Although recipes vary, they always involve throwing together a dozen or so fresh Mediterranean ingredients, then letting the mix simmer itself finished. And, knock on wood, puttanesca has a fair track record of tasting amazing. We whipped up this recipe a weekend or two ago, and despite making enough to feed a good-sized family, it was gone in an hour.
- 8 chicken thighs or legs
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 12 garlic cloves, chopped
- 28 oz. canned fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
- 2 oz. anchovies, drained and chopped
- 1 cup pitted black olives, chopped
- 1/3 cup capers, drained
- 3 tbsp. sun dried tomatoes (suspended in oil), chopped
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
- black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large (and I do mean large) skillet or dutch oven. (If you’re in the market for one, I fell in love with this baby last month. So blue!) Add the chicken and brown on all sides, then remove it and set aside.
Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent (about 5 minutes). Stir in the tomatoes, anchovies, olives, capers, vinegar, and spices. Return the chicken to the pan and coat with the mixture. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes. Serve hot.