From America's Test Kitchen Season 11: Italian Comfort Classics
Chicken canzanese is a regional Italian braised dish that transforms tough old birds into a moist and tender meal. Today’s lean, mass-produced chickens, however, turn dried-out and bland when braised. We wanted old-fashioned results with a modern-day bird: tender, juicy chicken in an intensely flavored, well-developed sauce.
To start, we swapped out young, modern chickens for meaty chicken thighs that hold up especially well to braising. Next, we turned to the sauce. We browned diced prosciutto on the stovetop until it rendered enough fat to cook the garlic, which created a rich flavor base. Then we added white wine and chicken broth, and simmered them to concentrate flavors and burn off the raw alcohol flavor. We returned the chicken to the skillet and put it into the oven, uncovered to crisp the skin. To round out the flavors, we added a quick squeeze of lemon juice, a generous pat of butter, and a sprinkling of chopped rosemary.
Serves 4 to 6
When seasoning the dish at the end, be mindful that the prosciutto adds a fair amount of salt. It is important to use a piece of thickly sliced prosciutto in this recipe; thin strips will become tough and stringy. An equal amount of thickly sliced pancetta or bacon can be used in place of the prosciutto. Serve the chicken with boiled potatoes, noodles, or polenta to absorb extra sauce.