Mario bird take on a traditional sicilian rabbit dish comes from his Molto Italiano cookbook. The recipe looks like a simple multi vegetable braise if not for 5 dried hot chiles. "They can come from your Bobby Flay shelf of Mexican and Southwestern turn-and-burners, or you can use firery Asian or Thai chiles" – says Batali. I had both but decided on ancho chiles for their rich flavor. So something that started as a seemingly simple stew ended up as a dish of quite sophisticated flavor!
Here’s my adaptation of Batali’s recipe; serves 3-4 for dinner.
6 chicken thighs; 3 plum tomatoes; 2 small asian eggplants; 1 russet potato; all 3 veggies cut into big chunks; 1 carrot sliced; 1 red and 1 green peppers sliced into 1/2"; 1/2 cup green olives, pitted, 2tbs good capers; 2ribs celery cliced into 1", 6 dried ancho chiles cut across into 1/2" using scissors, partially seeded; 1cup of good italian red wine.
Brown chicken meat in a large 12" saute pan and put aside. Dump all the vegetables in the same pan and brown for about 7mins, add wine, bring to a boil, nestle chicken on top, cover and put into a preheated to 425F oven. Let it cook for about 15mins, uncover and cook for additional 10mins (at this point you may choose to lower the temp to keep the dish on a simmer.Remove the chicken and stir in couple of tbs each of chopped parsley and mint.
The combo of a red wine and ancho chiles is something to take note of. In fact the sauce reminded me very much of a beef jalisco style we had a while back at Centrico. I found and tried recipes i found on both Centrico’s web as well as in the chef Aarón Sanchez cookbook, but in both cases the results though good were missing something. Now i feel like the case is solved!