Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Kota Kapama (Chicken In Tomato Sauce)

Tonight's recipe returns to the stack of old Gourmet magazines. This one is from April of 1972.

I'm guessing that the readers of Gourmet in 1972 knew a good bit more about cooking than readers today. I'll try to give a bit more explanation so that readers unfamiliar with "make a roux" will have a bit of guidance.

So how was it? Well, it was much better than vegetarian chicken substitute, but I guess that isn't too surprising. The addition of ¼ cup of olive oil didn't hurt either. We rather enjoyed it. The tomato sauce was light enough that it didn't turn the dish into spaghetti with chicken. Rather, the tomatoes worked well with the oil and lemon juice. The cinnamon might sound off here, but it really does give the dish depth.

The original recipe called for dry white wine. I've given up on finding a dry white wine we like enough to keep on hand. I don't really care for it and instead I've resolved to use extra dry vermouth in its place. This has worked out quite well for us.

You Will Need:

A 3-pound frying chicken cut into quarters
Juice of 1 lemon
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1-teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1-tablespoon butter
1 large onion, diced
½ cup dry white wine or vermouth
1/3 cup boiling water
1-tablespoon butter
1-tablespoon flour
1-cup water
1 cup drained Italian plum tomatoes (I used tinned)
1-cup tomato sauce
¼ cup dry white wine or vermouth (again)
½ teaspoon additional cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Cooked pasta

Cut a chicken into quarters and place in a large bowl. Cover with the lemon juice, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Let sit 15 minutes.

In a very large skillet, heat the olive oil and brown the chicken pieces. Remove browned chicken pieces to a plate. Add 1-tablespoon butter to pan and fry the onion until soft and golden. Return the chicken to the pan, add 1/3 cup wine and simmer the chicken gently, covered for 15 minutes.

Add 1/3 cup water and cook the chicken 15 minutes longer.

In a saucepan, melt 1-tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add 1-tablespoon flour and with a whisk, quickly blend together to make a roux. Cook the roux for about 1 minute, taking care to keep it moving. Slowly add the water, whisking as you go. Blend well. Add the tomato sauce, ¼ cup wine, cinnamon, and salt and pepper. Add the plum tomatoes last. Cook the sauce gently, stirring regularly for 10 minutes. Blend in the Parmesan cheese. Pour sauce over chicken. Cover, and cook another 15 minutes until tender and sauce is well incorporated. Serve over pasta.

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