For Lil, who wanted the recipe. Nothing fancy here, just a good, hardy winter dish best served with a thick-cut char-grilled sourdough.
For the tomato sauce
2 cans diced tomato
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
Handful of diced speck or other fatty Italian cured pork cut
1 small onion
1 red chilli + some red pepper flakes
Handful of Basil
Either 2 cloves garlic or use garlic EVOO
A good glug of EVOO
Dash of: Paprika, Pepper, Cinnamon, Fish Sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
A large knob of salted, cultured butter
For the chicken
Either break down a whole chicken OR
4 thigh fillets, 4 wings, 2 drumsticks (or whatever will fit in your roasting pan)
Preheat the oven to around 200C.
Start with heating the oil in the pot, then throw in the garlic, fine chopped chili, basil, minced onion and diced speck. Throw in the sugar after the onion to caramelize it a little. Saute until it smells heavenly. Dump in the two cans of tomato, and half a can of water, let boil then turn the heat down to let it simmer. Season to taste - you can keep adjusting as you go. I then let it simmer for about 40 mins, using a potato masher to "mash" the sauce. While the sauce is cooking...
Make sure meat comes down to room temperature, dry, then rub with salt, let stand briefly. Brown meat on stovetop, then arrange it evenly on the roasting pan.
When tomato sauce is ready, stir in the butter. Pour tomato sauce, now reduced. smooth and well-seasoned onto meat, covering it as well as you can. Cover the top with foil, I usually allow it space so it doesn't actually come into contact with the tomato sauce. Bake for 45 minutes.
Serve with warm, grilled sourdough (more butter if you'd like), and if you're really feeling it, sprinkle feta on top and let melt while the dish is still hot.