Braised Chicken in Aromatic Tomato Sauce

Source: Bon Appetit, May 1995

1/4 cup olive oil
1 3-pound chicken cut into 8 pieces
3 cups chopped red onions
6 whole allspice
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 28-ounce can whole Italian-style tomatoes, drained, juices reserved, tomatoes chopped
1 cup water
2 tablespoons (or more) red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
pinch of sugar
12 ounces perciatelli pasta or spaghetti
Freshly grated kefalotyri cheese or Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken in batches and cook until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Place chicken on platter. Add onions to Dutch oven; saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add spices; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and their juices and water. Return chicken to Dutch oven. Cover; simmer over medium-low heat until chicken is very tender, about 35 minutes

Transfer chicken to platter and tent with foil. Add 2 tablespoons vinegar, tomato paste and sugar to Dutch oven. Simmer until thickened to sauce consistency, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and more vinegar, if desired. Remove from heat. Cover to keep warm.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water til al dente. Drain and transfer pasta to platter. Top with chicken, sauce and cheese.

4 main dish servings