Chicken Provenal

Serves 4

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
4 skinless whole chicken legs
1 fennel bulb — quartered, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 15-oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 16-oz. can whole tomatoes, finely chopped, juice reserved
16 oil-cured black olives, pitted and quartered lengthwise
6 sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 Tbs. tomato paste
2 tsp. coarsely chopped rosemary
salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup water or chicken stock

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the chicken and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter.

Add the fennel, onion and garlic to the skillet and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the beans to coat them with the oil; then add the chopped tomatoes with their juice, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat until the juices thicken slightly, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken and water, cover and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 40 minutes; turn the chicken halfway through. Season the stew with salt and pepper and serve.
(Louise Fiszer)