Chicken and Pepper Stew

Recipe Author: Conne Ward Cameron

From Martha Rose Shulman of the New York Times.


6 to 8 chicken legs and/or thighs, skinned Salt and freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 large onion, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced across the grain 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional) 3 to 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1 1/2 pounds mixed bell peppers, cored, seeded and thinly sliced 1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes with juice, pulsed in a food processor Pinch of sugar


Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the canola or vegetable oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, and brown the chicken pieces, in batches, on each side for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl or plate. Pour off the fat from the pan and discard.

Turn the heat down to medium. Add the olive oil and the onion with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze, until the onions begin to soften. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the hot and sweet peppers, a bit of salt and the garlic, and cook, stirring, until the peppers begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sugar and stir together until the tomatoes begin to bubble and smell fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Return the chicken pieces to the pan. Cover and cook 25 to 30 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring at regular intervals and turning the chicken pieces over so that the ingredients don’t scorch and the chicken cooks evenly. The peppers should be very soft and the chicken quite tender. Add freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust the salt, and serve with rice, other grains of your choice or noodles.