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A Chicken Dish From the 'Garden'

August 31, 2000|ROBERT SMAUS

In a column ("In the Garden," Aug. 10), I mentioned a favorite chicken dish my wife prepares with peppers. But then I didn't give the recipe. I was surprised by the number of faxes, e-mails and letters requesting the recipe. "Please share the recipe," said one. "Is it a family secret?" asked another.

I never expected so many readers would want to know Iris Smaus' tasty, not-so-secret family recipe:

Chicken With Peppers

We normally use poblano, big bell and Hungarian peppers for this dish. Iris feels it's important to include peppers that have turned red to guarantee sweetness. This year we've been growing all kinds of sweet peppers, and they all taste great in this dish.

Rinse and pat dry the cut-up pieces of one chicken. Season a quarter-cup of flour to taste with salt and pepper and combine that in a paper bag with the chicken pieces. Shake to coat well.

Heat a quarter-cup of olive oil in a large skillet and brown the chicken evenly until golden, about 10 to 15 minutes per side. When the chicken is well-browned, add one large chopped onion, one whole head of crushed and peeled garlic, six large peppers, a handful of fresh oregano and a tablespoon or two of paprika, if you like.

Cover and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the chicken is moist and soft and the vegetables have cooked down, about one and a half hours.

When the chicken is done, remove it to a plate, leaving the sauce and peppers in the pan. If the sauce is too thin, increase the heat to high and cook until it thickens. Taste the sauce for seasoning, adding a little chicken bouillon if you like.

Serve this over boiled rice or noodles or simply with a crusty loaf of sourdough bread.

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