Braised Chicken With Port Wine And Raisins | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Braised Chicken With Port Wine And Raisins

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Braised Chicken With Port Wine And Raisins

Braising chicken requires patience; use the time to reflect. Leticia Schwartz/JW

A Brazilian chef and recipe writer gives you her Rosh HaShanah chicken dish, a traditional dish with Iberian influences

I worked for several years in a French restaurant in New York City. Every day, I cut chicken bones and simmered stock in the morning hours; in the afternoon, I prepared chicken dishes. Braising chicken is a “specialite” of mine, and one of the reasons I love Rosh HaShanah is the tradition of serving such dishes.

And because I’m Brazilian, I was raised on Portuguese-inflected food. This Rosh HaShanah dish is inspired by Portugal’s Frango na Púcara. Púcara is the name of a tall clay pot used for peasant-style stews, but you don’t need to go to Iberia to procure one; a Dutch oven will work just as well.

My version is by no means the most authentic, but it imparts a feeling of fall. The golden raisins, which hint at our wishes for a sweet new year, give it a Latin Jewish touch.

Braising chicken requires patience. Let the liquid do its work and don’t try to rush it.

This dish on a beautifully set table is a symbol of love. As I watched my parents celebrate Rosh HaShanah every year, growing up with love all around me, there is nothing more that I want to do than repeat the very same experience this year.

Servings & Times
  • 4-6 servings
Active Time:
  • 15 min
Total Time:
  • 1 hr 30 min

1 whole chicken (about 3.5 lbs), cut into 8 pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, sliced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 bay leaves

One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, drained, half the juice reserved, and chopped

1/3 cup golden raisins

1 cup port wine

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper all over. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear the pieces, skin side down, until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer pieces to a bowl and cover with foil to keep moist.
  2. Drain off all but a thin film of oil from the pot (if the pot is dry, add more oil). Add the onions, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the bay leaves. Add the tomatoes and its juices and cook until it all starts to get mushy and bubbly.
  3. Return the chicken, and throw in the raisins.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the port wine and mustard; pour over the chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, turning the pieces to keep them submerged, until the chicken is cooked through and very tender, about 45-60 minutes.
  5. To serve, arrange the chicken in the middle of a platter and pour sauce all over. Garnish with parsley and serve hot.