Provençal Chicken Stew with a Touch of Mastiha

  • One 4 ½ -pound chicken (about 2.250 gr.), cut into 8 pieces and skinned

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ cup chopped red onion

  • ½ cup chopped shallots

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 3 Tbsp. diced lean smoked pork or Canadian bacon

  • 3 cups chopped plum tomatoes, with their juices

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • ½ cup Mastiha liqueur

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 scant Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme

  • ½ cup Niçoise or small Greek green olives, pitted, rinsed, and drained

  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil

  1. Wash and pat dry the chicken and season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat the olive oil in a large, wide pot over medium-high heat and brown the chicken in batches. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon.

  2. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and shallots and brown lightly. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the smoked pork and cook for about 1 minute.

  3. Place the chicken back in the pot and add the tomatoes, broth, and liqueur. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the bay leaves and thyme, and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 45 minutes. About halfway through cooking add the olives, and about 5 minutes before removing the pot from the heat, add the basil.