Tuscan Hunter’s Chicken

1/4 cup olive oil
2 large cloves garlic
10 large fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
about 3.5 pounds chicken—your favorite parts
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup dry red wine (Sangiovese is very authentic)
2 tablespoons tomato paste (important-the best you can buy)
1 cup mushrooms (crimini, wild, or shitake), sliced
1 fresh bay leaf

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, add coarsely chopped sage, rosemary and garlic. Cook on low for about 10 minutes, stirring once in a while until the garlic starts to turn golden.

Put the chicken into the pan and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook for about 15 minutes, turning the pieces a few times. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and red pepper, then add the wine and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes, until the wine is almost evaporated.

Stir in the tomato paste, 1/2 cup hot water, sliced mushrooms, and the bay leaf. Cover and simmer on low for about 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Pull out the bay leaf, because it gets too strong if you leave it in, skim any fat from the sauce, and serve—alone or over Arborio rice, really nice pasta, or gnocchi. Whole (skins-on) new potatoes boiled, drained, then sautéed in olive oil, coarse sea salt, and rosemary is a nice alternative starch. Green leafy vegetables or green beans are really good with this dish.

For wine, go with Sangiovese or Pinot Noir, though Fume Blanc might do nicely if you want to serve white.