Stewed chicken Stewed chicken Israeli Kitchen Photo: Mariontxa/Shutterstock

Stewed chicken with wine gravy

A little white wine adds that touch of sharpness and richness to this particularly comforting stew.

  • Yield: Serves 4-6
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour

I'd been down with a cold, and longing for well-flavored, aromatic chicken stew. You just don't know what's going to grab you when you're sick, but you should never ignore the longings of your hunger then. Maybe your body is trying to tell you something. In this case, it was telling me, chicken stew.


  • 1 chicken, halved
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 large onion, thickly sliced and the slices halved
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, enough to fill 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tomatoes, good and ripe, chopped coarsely
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup orange juice – stock or plain water works well too
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Sprinklings of salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, za’atar or oregano or basil or rosemary
  • Olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan thinly


Pat flour all over the chicken halves. You don’t have to use all the flour, but make sure the chicken is covered.

Heat the oil in a large pan. When it’s warm, put the chicken halves in, hollow side down.

Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and the dry spices.

Keep the heat at medium-low. When you hear light crackling sounds, turn the chicken over to brown on the other side. Again, sprinkle with salt, pepper and the dry spices.

Allow the chicken to brown again. Turn the halves over after about 5 minutes. Inspect them and if they’re still pale, turn them back to brown some more. Turn the chicken over every so often until all of it is browned – not cooked, just browned. Finish with the halves hollow side up.

Add the tomatoes, garlic, onion and bay leaf.

Add the liquid. (I had orange juice, so what the heck, I used that – and it was very good.)

Pour the soy sauce gently over everything.

Turn the chicken over again so that most of the vegetables fall to the bottom of the pot and the skin side is up.

Cover the pan, keep the flame low, and turn everything over occasionally to make sure the chicken cooks evenly and the skin side doesn’t burn. There will be more liquid as the vegetables cook; it will bind with the flour and form a sauce.

Once the chicken is tender all through and the pot is issuing appetizing smells, remove the chicken to a platter and keep it warm.

Add the white wine to the liquid in the pot, and reduce everything down to half by boiling it down.

Check for seasoning; add more salt and pepper if needed.

Replace the chicken in the pot if it has cooled down. When everything’s hot again, serve, with plenty of the gravy.

I served this with steamed fresh green beans from the market. My energy gave out or I would have made rice as well, but baguettes were good.

It’s homey, it’s just rich enough for comfort, it’s really just good stewed chicken.

Related Topics: Meat and Poultry

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